Friend joins royal court for 'Victoria'


NEW YORK -- Prolific British actor Rupert Friend has been cast as Prince Albert opposite Emily Blunt in the historical drama "The Young Victoria."

Jean-Marc Vallee's film, produced by Graham King and Martin Scorsese from a screenplay by Julian Fellowes, follows the romance and marriage of Queen Victoria (Blunt) to her first cousin Albert during her tumultuous 19th-century British reign. Filming is set to begin next month in the U.K. Denis O'Sullivan will oversee production for GK Films.

Friend co-starred with Kiera Knightley in "Pride & Prejudice" and with Johnny Depp in "The Libertine," which earned Friend the 2005 British Independent Film Awards honor for most promising newcomer.

"Victoria" is one of more than a half-dozen films Friend is starring in or filming this year, many of them historical dramas. His recent appearances include "The Moon and the Stars," "Outlaw," "The Last Legion" and "Virgin Territory." Upcoming projects include "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas," "Jolene" and "The Other Side."

Friend is repped by ICM London and Endeavor.