The royal tells PEOPLE his surprising pick to play him in an upcoming movie about his Olympic journey

By Peter Mikelbank
August 19, 2015 10:40 AM

After celebrating 10 years on the throne, Monaco’s Prince Albert is making a move to the big screen.

Word about the film project Royal Ice has been circulating around European film festivals this year. In May, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall will helm the movie, which chronicles the story of how the Prince led a bobsleigh team – from a country too small to practice the sport and without previous history in it – to the Olympics.

It’s a remarkably similar story to the 1992 sports-comedy classic Cool Runnings, a comparison that is not lost on His Highness, whose mom is the late Oscar-winning Hollywood legend Grace Kelly. “We’re not trying to make Cool Runnings, which is an excellent film,” Albert, 57, told PEOPLE in an exclusive recent interview.

Contrary to reports, the film “wasn’t my idea,” says Albert, noting that the inspiration came from Mark Thomas, a screenwriter and member of Monaco’s original bobsleigh team. Thomas drew on his own first-hand memories of how Albert overcame opposition from his late father, Prince Rainier, to forming a national bobsleigh team in a principality notably short of space and snow.

Confirming that Royal Ice is planned for theaters in 2018, the 30th anniversary of the team’s first Olympic appearance, Albert remains wary of seeing his family portrayed onscreen, especially following last year’s dispute concerning fictionalized aspects in Nicole Kidman‘s Grace of Monaco, which caused the royal family to denounce the film.

He says he is “a little embarrassed” by the idea of seeing himself portrayed in Royal Ice, adding, “I haven’t really given that much thought” to who might play the role, “though I hope it would be someone reasonably athletic.” Such as?

“I really have no preference,” he says, before adding, “maybe Vin Diesel or someone else who is slightly balding?”

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