Ed Skrein is not crazy

Ed Skrein (London, England, March 29, 1983) is not crazy. What happens is that you have nothing to lose. If his acting career, boom, ended tomorrow, he wouldn’t care. So imagine the power you have in your hands. When he blurts out that he has no idea what roles he’s going to play next year (the interview takes place in early October), he sounds devilishly sincere. “I really don’t know what’s next,” he says. There is no pomposity, there is no posturing. And in reality it is more than a power, it is a superpower: it is the ability to say ‘no’ to any proposal that is put on the table and that you do not like. Let’s see how many 36-year-old actors who are building a career can afford that luxury.

So no, he’s not crazy.

He was not when he left painting after graduating from Central Saint Martin’s College (the same place that Alexander McQueen, among other illustrious Londoners, left), just as he was not when he left his career as a rapper (you can find no problem on Spotify Pre-Emptive Nostalgia and The Eat Up and judge for yourself if he had a chance), as he was not each and every time he has said ‘no’ to a role in film or on television or has rejected an advertising campaign with a big brand.

“I have been fortunate to start my acting career at the age of 27. I have had the opportunity to live many lives before. I know what it is to be broke. I have had many jobs before becoming an actor, I have had the opportunity to exploring creativity in very different ways before approaching acting. I have had many life experiences. When I started acting I was already, for example, a father. My best friend [Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew, más conocido como Plan B] He was already famous, with what he had already seen how public exposure could influence a person, everything positive and everything negative, “explains Skrein, with whom we sat down to talk, taking advantage of the launch in Spain of Bad Boy, the Carolina fragrance. Herrera to whom he lends his image.

Ed Skrein is much more than the character of Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones, a role he had to leave in the third season after a tug of war with the producers that everyone speculates about, but nobody really knows anything about. And it’s much more than the role that Commander Ben Daimio missed in Hellboy because he disagreed with the Hollywood whitewashing of an Asian character. “I know that sometimes people think I’m crazy for letting a lot of projects go by, to say no to many projects, but it is the only way that has allowed me to take care of my career, to shape it, to feel satisfied from a point of view. creative view, “he says.

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“I have never needed to become an actor, I have never needed to achieve fame. Fame is something I have never wanted, it is not something I have ever wanted. I wanted to be recognized for my ability to create a work of art. Obviously in order to be able to. To create art and for it to be durable, you need a certain amount of notoriety and notoriety always comes with fame, but I have never needed … I am always willing to leave, to leave it if it does not work. What does not work? Perfect, I continue with my life . As soon as I started to have enough money to pay the mortgage, to pay my family’s expenses, to invite my friends to dinner, I stopped needing more money. I don’t need much more. I don’t need expensive cars or jewelry. I don’t live. a life of luxury, “he continues.

If you really want to know who Ed Skrein is, if you are seriously interested in knowing what has made him the way he is, who makes the decisions he makes, you just have to look at his first scene in the role of Agent Bell in If Beale Street spoke, the film that adapts James Baldwin’s novel about everyday racism in the United States in the early 70s. His way of approaching the character in less than a minute without opening his mouth is a work of art. Just look deep into the camera for 30 seconds. And that’s it, we already get a perfect idea of ​​who his character is, what he is about. It is like one of the paintings of his admired Cy Twombly, pure abstract expressionism, scrawled, violent, forceful.

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Ed Skrein has always boycotted his image, as if it were another canvas, often shaving his head to go, as far as possible, unnoticed … something that clearly has not worked because he has highlighted a face that works so much as a villain as a bad boy (and for a bad boy think of his Frank Martin character in Transporter Legacy). So it is surprising that it has become the image of a fragrance. “With a proposal like the one in this campaign, the same thing happens with my acting career. I have had many commercial proposals before this one and they offered me more money than I have earned so far in my entire career, in my entire life. , and I told them no, that I did not feel it was correct, I told them that I thought it was too tacky or too boring. If something like this, it has to be something that is true, something that does not damage your identity or as an actor , nor as a human being. And the same thing happens with many roles that they offer me: just as there are roles that can damage my image as a human being if I become famous for the attributes of those characters, “he assures.

Masculinity is based on old social constructions that we have to reimagine.

And yet, there it is, as a new benchmark for masculinity. “Modern masculinity is something I reflect on often. In my group of friends we empathize a lot, we support each other. We can cry together in the same way that we can play football, we have this dynamic new version of masculinity … So too It has attracted me to be able to represent that new masculinity. Many people are now reimagining what masculinity represents, what femininity represents today. We are now analyzing social constructions, the foundations on which today’s society is founded, our belief systems are they are based on very old social constructions, so we need to reimagine them, “he says.

“I mentor a lot of young people in my community and see how they are evolving masculinity into new places. The 19-year-old version of it has nothing to do with the version of masculinity that I had at 19. And it has only happened. 15 years. They are reinventing masculinity. We make generalizations about young people, but I am optimistic. I think they are more spiritually balanced than we were. Towards religion, towards sex, towards drugs, towards alcohol. a more balanced, more informed vision. Seriously, I am optimistic about the future. And I am because I am in the first line with them, it is not something that comes second to me. And yet, I do not see it represented in the media The media continue to perpetuate stereotypes. For all this I believe that I have the responsibility to show these new versions of masculinity. I have grown up. I am a father. I am a family man. I have experience and want or to help young people and I want to inform them of the scenario towards which they are heading. I want them to flee from the subcultures of young people, from the way of thinking: If I belong to this subculture, I think, I have to copy everything that this subculture represents… At thirty I can teach them the importance of freeing you, “he says.

But now the question that we can not get out of the brain: Does all this mean that he is not going to shave his head again? Skrein stares at me and laughs. “I think in a couple of years I’m going to need to shave my head again or do something crazy with my appearance,” he says.

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Ed Skrein is not crazy