VMAN 51 COVER STAR: HARRIS DICKINSON
Another British invasion seems to be overtaking Hollywood, though this time it comes with a gentle knock, sheepish smile, and in the shape of Harris Dickinson, East London’s latest leading man
It’s rare that an actor gets flown across the world for their first role, and it’s even rarer that they land the lead, but Harris Dickinson is not an ordinary actor. When the East Londoner sent in his self-taped audition for Beach Rats, a 2017 coming-of-age indie film about a young Brooklynite coming to terms with his sexuality, Dickinson was just 19 years old. He had been working as a server and room service attendant at a hotel near his hometown of Leytonstone, and, he admits, had no idea what he was doing or what he was signing up for when he accepted the part. His gentle yet powerful, all-in-the-details delivery in that film set him up as one of the most promising young talents to watch out for, and his work since has far surpassed the public’s expectations.
“The environment of a set, with a load of random people, and then sort of having to be vulnerable is a very weird thing for me. It still is, even though I’m been doing it for a minute. It’s an odd place to put yourself in.” —Harris Dickinson
Last year, the now 27-year-old starred in Ruben Östlund’s dark-humored, Palme d’Or-winning satire of wealth and beauty Triangle of Sadness to tremendous critical acclaim. Now, everything seems to be happening for him all at once, as he prepares to launch three films and a miniseries within the next year, including the theatrical release of Scrapper, a kitchen-sink drama—which also happens to be the highly buzzed-about feature debut of 29-year-old British director Charlotte Regan. In the film, which won the Grand Jury Prize when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Dickinson takes on the role of Jason, an absent father with the douchey looks of a Slim Shady-era Eminem and the boyish charisma of a young Brad Pitt.
“At the time, I was working in a hotel. I didn’t have much foresight, I was just trying to get a job. I did a self-tape, and for a film of that size—it was a very small film—it was quite a big risk to find someone from London and get them a visa, and I had never done any film work.”—Harris Dickinson
Dickinson sat down with actor Emma Corrin, his costar in yet another one of his hotly anticipated new projects, Murder at the End of the World—a doomsday miniseries from the same brains behind Netflix’s The OA—to discuss the mixture of gratitude and whiplash he’s feeling in the wake of his dizzying rise. It’s taken Dickinson eight years to reach heights that others spend decades scaling, but, as becomes clear in the pair’s conversation, he remains grounded, goofy, and charmingly bashful. As he looks to the future, Dickinson is entertaining the idea of directing and writing—and hinted at a project he’s cooking up in collaboration with Corrin. They got into all of that and more, including acting philosophy, desert sandstorms, and seeing Elton John at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
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