Yahoo Style recently set aside some time to chat with English actor Theo James — best known for his roles in the Divergent series alongside Shailene Woodley — about men’s grooming, style, and how it feels to be the face of Hugo Boss cologne. But the star, speaking by phone from his hotel in New York City, preferred to speak about a range of headier topics — from modern love and politics to economics and Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union. Here’s what James had to say about…
…his recent stage work in London, in the digital-age drama Sex With Strangers:
“It was really good to get back to that, doing a play. I was nervous about doing it, but it was fun and gratifying and reminded me that’s partly why I started acting in first place. … It’s quite an intimate show. It’s about the politics of sex and everything that comes with monogamy. Baring everything for everyone to see for two and a half hours is fairly intense.”
… his personal style crush:
“[Sean] Connery in Goldfinger or [Steve] McQueen in Bullitt to early [Robert] Redford and middle Paul Newman. I like a classic masculine look, I guess. I’m not good at being funky or too out there. I like to dress classically. I like those simple, masculine lines.”
… his home city, London, and British culture:
“London is where I grew up; it’s where my family is. There’s a deep sense of history, which I think is in the bones of the city, and it’s alluring. But in terms of people, British people are great at being understated and underplaying things, which is a great way to handle things. By the same token, they can be not forthcoming or gracious to others. Americans are, by way of how the culture was born, independent, and the people are forward and positive and energized to push themselves and to push others forward.”
… American capitalism:
“Americans have a positive ambition, so it’s not a bad thing. Like every country, there are problems … with ambition and capitalism, especially in the post-Trump election. But beyond that, there’s something in the American genealogy — a positivity that’s endemic to people.”
… and, finally, Brexit:
“Brexit is happening quite aggressively. I obviously didn’t want to leave Europe — it’s a huge tragedy — but it’s happening whether we like it or not. We’re already seeing some of the ramifications, economically, like the effect on the pound — or if you’re living in London, certain ends of the market are dipping. I hope we can find a middle ground like Norway, with the ability to be involved but not be involved.”
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Alexandra Mondalek is a writer for Yahoo Style + Beauty. Follow her on Twitter @amondalek.