Photography by Alisa Connan
The best thing to happen to Kaya Scodelario’s title character in The Truth About Emanuel is Aneurin Barnard. In the new thriller from lesbian director Francesca Gregorini (daughter of Ringo Starr), Barnard plays Claude, a stranger Emanuel flirts with on the train who becomes a welcome, easy-on-the-eyes distraction from all the psychodrama unfolding between her and her new neighbor, Linda (Jessica Biel). This is a banner year for Barnard, who also stars as the heroic leading man in The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, based on G.P. Taylor’s bestselling Mariah Mundi fantasy series. It’s no surprise the 26-year-old Welsh actor is getting his due, given his recent head-turning work as Richard III in the Starz series The White Queen and his brooding good looks, apparent on camera and off.
On Subway Cruising
“I love sitting on the Underground and watching how people interact, especially in London, where people are scared to say a single word; they sit in silence and read their books or put on their headphones. I love people interacting just through their eyes and their physicality. If I was on the Underground and saw an attractive person, it’d be interesting to see how I’d approach it. It fascinates me when people just go with their instincts.”
On What Scares Him
“One film that really messed with me was Texas Chainsaw Massacre, because I’d read it was based on true events. When horror is based on something that actually happened, it’s more believable. I also find it best when they cast unknowns in horror movies. It’s more believable to watch a person you don’t know than to see Bradley Cooper being chased by a zombie. That’s just Bradley Cooper.”
“As a kid, I invested a lot of time in watching movies with my grandfather: old cowboy movies or things like A Streetcar Named Desire or Hitchcock. I used to really annoy my parents and sister by pretending to be people. One of my mother’s first memories of me was me taking my father’s work jacket and my grandfather’s cane and walking up and down our street like I was Charlie Chaplin.”
On His Dream Role
“I’d really like to play a boxer one day. We’ve seen so many boxing movies, and a lot of them are about the fighting, but I’d like to do something that shows the brutality of what boxers go through. I amateur boxed a bit, and I grew up someplace where fighting was the norm. I’ve thrown many a punch... but I’ve thrown them disgracefully.”
The Truth About Emanuel is in select theaters Jan. 10. Now available on iTunes and On Demand.
WATCH the trailer below: