From a small, rural town in England, British-born actor William Moseley has taken the United States by storm. His desire to act dates back to childhood, yet his first professional experience was for an American audience in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,” which debuted in US theaters in 2005.
“Chronicles” of the Early Days
“When I was about 10 years old a casting director came to my school auditioning kids for a BBC TV movie,” says Moseley. Although he didn’t get the part, the experience opened up his eyes to acting.
“I remember the audition was like playing a game,” he says. “I asked my mum, ‘So you can do this for the rest of your life?’” Heartened by her response, the young Moseley’s future was sealed. “The great thing when you’re a kid and you get into acting is you don’t care about money, fame, or all the stuff that surrounds the industry—you’re just having fun.”
A few years later the same casting director remembered the young boy from Sheepscombe, Gloucestershire when casting the role of Peter Pevensie, one of the central characters in author C.S. Lewis’ fantasy novels, “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
He describes the experience as being “magical” (plus it was his first time on set). “It was a dream come true. I just knew things would change from then on, and they did,” says Moseley. “It was one of the most beautiful movies you could ever make; they mean so much to many people, and I’m proud that was my beginning.”
Moseley went on to star in “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” in 2008 and had a cameo appearance in the third film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” in 2010.
Ruling the Monarch
These days Moseley is heating up the screen as Prince Liam on “The Royals,” a soap opera-style drama about a fictional British monarchy on the E! Network, now in its third season. As the E!’s first scripted series, the show is unlike anything else on the network.
“When I read the script, I knew it was going to be a great show,” says Moseley.
He describes his character as someone who has evolved as a result of a series of unavoidable circumstances. “When the show first started, he was a bit wild,” says Mosely. “He had that flair to him, he enjoyed being out with the girls, and having a pint with his mates. He’s a ‘lad’s lad,’ and I loved that part about him.” With the death of his older brother and then his father, all that freedom was taken from him; now he’s viewed as the patriarch of the family—and that carries tremendous responsibility. “Prince Liam has a lot of demons to face at the end of the second season and going into the third.”
Moseley admires Liam’s strength and says he’s the kind of guy who does what he wants despite what others think. He’s prepared to fight any battle that comes his way, which the actor says is a true testament to who he is. “A couple of times he’s reached his breaking point, but whenever he’s beaten down he always comes up swinging, and to me that’s a sign of a good person,” says the actor. “I absolutely love where he is right now.”
Another strong focus was in making sure the family dynamic between him and his twin sister Eleanor (played by Alexandra Parks) was real. “As twins they have a real bond and I wanted that to play out well,” says Moseley. “They’ve fought every battle and weathered every storm together; they’re a united front and I wanted to make sure Alex and I were on the same page and that we connected, and we do.”
Along with good storytelling, the show boasts an impressive cast led by Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, mother of Prince Liam and Princess Eleanor. “I’m always a bit starstruck when I hang out with Elizabeth on set,” says Moseley. “I work with her for five months out of the year and I think, ‘Oh God, that’s Elizabeth Hurley.’ She’s beautiful, elegant, refined, and kind; I sometimes can’t believe I get to work with her.”
Forging His Path in Hollywood
With all of the projects he’s been a part of, Moseley says he has learned volumes on the projects he’s worked on, oftentimes just by observing. “The really good people make it look easy but it’s a lot of work, time, energy, and commitment, and when you work with them you see that through osmosis,” he says. “You pick up a lot just listening to them.”
Actors like Leonardo DiCaprio inspire Moseley the most. From the films DiCaprio chooses to his commitment to acting, Moseley says he’s the type of actor he respects. “You watch films like ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ and ‘Titanic,’ and you connect to the actors and their performances. When a star like DiCaprio always gives 100 percent, it makes me try and do my best.”
In addition to his work on “The Royals,” Moseley’s upcoming film, “Carrie Pilby,” an American comedy, will be released later this year. Two additional projects he worked on, “The Veil,” and “A Little Mermaid,” have not yet been given a release date.
The Best of Both Worlds
While his family still lives in the small village where he grew up, Moseley currently splits his time between a small flat in London he shares with his sister while shooting “The Royals,” and a place in Venice, California. An avid surfer who loves the outdoors, the actor feels good to get back to his roots when visiting home, while being afforded the opportunity to take advantage of his surroundings here in the States. “I miss home, but I don’t miss it when it’s dark and rainy,” jokes Moseley. “Here in Venice, I get to surf and be with my mates.”
Mosely was just 17 years old when he first left England to work on the Narnia films, and he briefly returned a year later to finish up his education, then left again when he was 19. “I moved away from home when I was young and it was hard in the beginning,” he says. “But I built things slowly and I’m happy where I am now; everything comes together in a symbiotic way.”