interview. Odyssia Houstis
photography. Jvdas Berra
issue 1 – in love with Switzerland
I’m a big believer in showing gratitude for the little and the great things that life, or the people in it bring to us. To whom do you feel gratitude… who has helped you the most in your career?
My mom and dad have always been super supportive, and patient, same with my siblings, my girlfriend. I am grateful for my agent Annabel Gualazzi, who has been instrumental in my success in this industry. The team that I have, Jaclyn Mallon, Stephen Simbari, Harriet Long and Gavin Mills, too many to name here. Every person that has been instrumental in my life has also been incredibly instrumental in my career. Having said that, not everyone that came into my life had a positive effect, but they still taught me valuable lessons, and without them I may not be where I am today.
Is there a unique on set moment, or an experience that stands out in your memory that you can tell us about?
Yes! It was rather a dreamlike moment: I was doing a scene in Russia, and I was lying in a bed in a Russian palace with Dame Hellen Mirren. Naked, and just chatting. This is definitely one of the most surreal moments I can remember.
Wow! She must be so amazing right?
She is… so talented, so humble, so, so lovely.
Are there other actors who inspire you?
So many. I love Saoirse Ronan. I think she is incredible. Her craftsmanship is admirable. Shailene Woodley, James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch. Honestly, my friend that’s in Gossip Girl with me, Eli Brown. I just love him and how talented he is.
What kind of work do you enjoy the most? Tv? Film? Broadway?
Definitely film! I love everything about the process; from getting the first look at the script to breaking it down, discovering the character and making his journey… sinking into the characters world. Just having that time to really develop another human being is an amazing experience. I love film.
Do you lose yourself in the characters you portray, are you able to return easily to yourself, or does it sometimes bleed through?
It can bleed through, it does bleed through, because I have to let all of my boundaries down which makes me vulnerable and open. When you’re constantly working with emotions….Well emotions are not necessarily rational. So yes, sometimes it bleeds through, but nothing extreme.
What do you do to ground yourself after working so intensely?
I look at pictures of my family, my girlfriend, my dog… mostly my little sister. She’s seven years younger than me, but incredibly wise. She’s a great grounding force in my life.
Speaking of family, what do you miss most about Edinburgh? What is the first thing you do when you get back?
I miss going to the local pub with my dad, and my brother, and watching football. This feels like home to me….very grounding, and normal.
When you decided to become an actor, were your parents, and the people in your life supportive?
Everyone was supportive. They never made a big thing of it….There was no talk of believe in yourself, follow your dreams. It was more like, yeah go on then, easy! No big story, it just kind of happened. Even now when they see me on tv, they will say, oh yeah cool….Did you get paid? They don’t really understand, they care, but it’s not really their world. They just remind me to be nice, to be a loving person….and if you need to come home, just come home.
Are there moments when you say to yourself I just love this job?
Yes! When the director yells “cut” and I walk off set, and I’m still vibrating with the energy of the scene…. Everything that just happened a moment ago still feels so real! I love these moments. I can’t live without this feeling. Then there are moments where I get to go to new places, like Egypt with Dior and will visit the pyramids. I don’t really buy much for myself, but when I can spoil the people I love it makes me very happy.
What’s it like being an ambassador to Dior?
I’ve had such a beautiful relationship with Dior that I actually feel as though we are a family. It’s an honor to be part of the Dior experience.
Can you tell our readers about something that touches you on a soul level?
People helping people that they don’t know for no other reason than an inherent desire to help. This touches me deeply. The world needs more of it.
photography. Jvdas Berra
fashion. Paulina Castro @ Artists By Timothy Priano
talent. Thomas Doherty
grooming. Megan Lanoux @ The Wall Group
set designer. Colin Phelan
light designer. Matt Genovese
fashion assistant. Ana Mendoza
set assistants. Nick Kozmin, Bradford Willingham,
Joseph Waggoner + Kelly DeKenipp
backdrops. Schmidli Backdrops
location. Pier59 Studios
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