In ''The Prince & Me,'' (opens Friday), Luke Mably plays Denmark's Prince Edvard, a caddish royal who loves fast cars and even faster women. In real life, the British Mably, 28, doesn't share his character's Oxford-educated accent. But as an up-and-coming actor (he had roles in the cult hit ''28 Days Later'' and the 2001 NBC miniseries ''Uprising'') he must be living some of Prince Eddie's decadent lifestyle, right?
''I'm a typical guy. Driving cars and speed are really fun,'' he admits, calling via a cell phone from the backseat of a chauffeured car.
This sounds promising. So, we wonder, has he been tripping the nightlife fantastic? Did he engage in tipsy late-night chats with his iconic costar John Malkovich while filming the upcoming ''Colour Me Kubrick,'' the story of a con man who impersonated the late director Stanley Kubrick? Does he, like Prince Edvard, jet off to distant lands to find himself?
Well, not exactly. ''I like playing heavy metal music and pretending I'm a vampire in front of the mirror,'' he says, laughing.
Oh. Well, that's good too.
So it seems that even though Mably vividly captures the degenerate ways of Edvard (who is ultimately reformed by a bookish American premed student played by Julia Stiles), he's more about hard work than play(boy). Back in the day, while other 8-year-olds were foolishly squandering their weekends, Mably was making horror movies with his best friend in the backyard. Even now, after ''The Prince & Me'' (his first major studio movie), he claims to be unimpressed by the perks of his new Hollywood life. ''People follow you around with umbrellas, which I find a bit odd.''
When he isn't pretending he's a vampire or being followed around with an umbrella, Mably indulges in people watching (''I steal things from people, characteristics, and I just stock them in my head like a library to use for characters in the future,'' he says) and he makes masks: ''The last one I made was the Elephant Man mask, but it's not very good. I just hang them up on my wall and my friends come around and try them on.''
But back to Edvard. What if Mably had the chance to put on a real prince's ''mask'' for a day? ''I'd give all my money to someone who needs it more and throw a big party.'' Finally, a big party -- maybe he's more like this prince guy than we thought.