GQ Magazine: July 2018 – Pedro Pascal

Narcos alum Pedro Pascal is featured in the July 2018 issue of GQ Magazine.

From the digital issue:

“I’ve been to such extreme locations,” Narcos star Pedro Pascal says from Oahu where he’s filming a scene that he describes as “survivalist.” Hawaii is good to him, though. “At the end of the day, it’s a caress being here. There aren’t any snakes, no deadly spiders. It rains a lot but it’s never cold. The locals are just too cool.”

Still, he feels he’s been away from his spiritual home (New York City) for far too long. He’ll be leaving Oahu soon for London and a Wonder Woman sequel. He misses being onstage in New York, where he hustled in theater and on cop shows for more than a decade.

Narcos has been renewed for season four and five on Netflix.

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Photography: Daria Kobayashi Ritch / Styling: Lucy Armstrong / Grooming: Hee Soo Kwon

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GQ Magazine: July 2018 – Bill Skarsgård

Castle Rock star Bill Skarsgård is featured in the July 2018 issue of GQ Magazine.

From the digital issue:

Not long after playing the child-eating psycho clown Pennywise in last year’s remake of It, Bill Skarsgård found himself in a nightmare of his own: fame. “I think it’s easy for people to think of celebrity as something attractive. That aspect of it scares the shit out of me,” says the 27-year-old.

The Swedish actor appeared in Deadpool 2, stars in Hulu’s Stephen King-inspired Castle Rock and has a small role in September’s feminist revenge fantasy Assassination Nation. In terms of acting, he finds a quiet confidence in acknowledging that he is only, in his words, “pretty good.”

He has an idea to being some anonymity back into his life. The plan? To run away from it all. “I’m going to Japan.” He’s joking. We hope.

Castle Rock airs Wednesdays on Hulu.

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Photography: Daniel Jackson / Styling: Geoge Cortina / Hair: Ward at the Wall Group / Grooming: Romy Soleimani

GQ South Africa: July/August 2018 – Kit Harington

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington is featured in the July/August 2018 issue of GQ South Africa.

From the digital issue:

At the end of the final season of Game of Thrones (set to air in 2019), Kit Harington will return to real life. After spending ten years living on the edge of The Wall, dying, and coming back to life again, he’s ready to lay down his sword. We find out what he’s doing after Winter is over.

It was almost immediately after drama school that Kit Harington was approached for the role that would make him globally famous. He was not aware of George R.R. Martin’s books and was only drawn to participate in the pilot because of the company producing it. “It was HBO, and that’s all that really mattered to me But the script? I didn’t really understand it. I read it twice and thought, ‘this is the most bizarre thing ever. I don’t quite get why they’re doing it, but I’m in.'”

What will he miss when Game of Thrones is over? Iceland, the location of Westeros’ north beyond the wall, where much of 2011’s second season was filmed. “That season was the most significant because we realized the show was successful, we were suddenly in this incredible location and I was with the girl I fell in love with,” he says. That girl, Rose Leslie, played Ygritte with whom Snow fell in love with before she died. But in real life the pair recently tied the know. They now share a house in the English countryside. “It’s in Suffolk – it’s lush – in the middle of the country.”

Game of Thrones returns in 2019 with new episodes on HBO.

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Photography: Luca and Alessandro Morelli

GQ South Africa: June 2018 – Nikolaj Waldau-Coster

Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Waldau-Coster is featured in the June 2018 issue of GQ South Africa.

In the issue, Nikolaj talks his new gig as brand ambassador of L’Oréal Men Expert:

“I definitely feel proud. L’Oréal Men Expert is known for its efficient products tailor-made for men. I’m absolutely on board with Vita Lift: ageing better. It’s satisfying to use one product knowing it’s going to do five different things to your skin.”

What’s your favorite place in the world?

“Greenland, where my wife’s from, is one of the most magical places on earth. It’s been eye-opening seeing the impact climate change is having there.”

What’s the secret to improving with age?

“Don’t worry. Be who you are. And don’t let a number define you. Keep winding people up, make everyone laugh.”

Game of Thrones returns 2019 on HBO.

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Photography: L’Oréal Paris

GQ: July 2017 – Mahershala Ali

House of Cards alum Mahershala Ali is featured in the July 2017 issue of GQ.

In the issue:

The past year has brought Mahershala Ali a rash of fame after nearly two decades spent toiling away as what you might call a blue-collar actor. A four-season run on House of Cards may have elevated Ali to minor renown, but it was his performance in Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight as Juan, a drug dealer who takes a vulnerable child under his wing, that launched him into the stratosphere.

Like many actors, he is charismatic and clever and easy to talk to. But perhaps more than most, he is thoughtful. He wants to say what’s on his mind, and he wants to say it correctly. He is a black man who has been navigating America for 43 years. He wants to choose his words carefully, so that when he talks, you don’t get it twisted.

“When suddenly you go from being followed in Barneys to being fawned over, it will mess with your head.” He remembers being on subway trains and seeing people hide their rings from him: “those experiences that you have from age 10, when you start getting these little messages that you are something to be feared.”

“I think African-Americans have a very convoluted relationship with patriotism,” he says. “The fact is, we essentially were the abused child. We still love the parent, but you can’t overlook the fact that we have a very convoluted relationship with the parent. I absolutely love this country, but like so many people have some real questions and concerns about how things have gone down over the years and where we’re at. And that’s from a place of love, because I want the country to be what it says it is on paper.”

Believe it or not, Mahershala is a nickname. His given name is Mahershalalhashbaz, which also, believe it or not, is not a Muslim name but a Hebrew one. It is the longest name in the Old Testament, belonging to the second prophetic son of Isaiah, and it means “Hurry to the spoils!” or, in other words, “Look at all this good shit here!”

It also means that after 9/11, Ali found himself on a terrorist watch list. “They would be like, ‘Yeah, your name matches the name of a terrorist,’ ” he told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “I was like, ‘What terrorist is running around with a Hebrew first name and an Arabic last name? Who’s that guy?’ ”

He converted to Islam in 1999, after attending a mosque with his future wife. His faith, he says, has helped him become a better actor: “It benefits me from the standpoint of really creating empathy for these characters that I try to embody, other human beings with issues as deep and personal as my own. Because of Islam, I am acutely aware that I am a work in progress.” The daily practice of the religion, he says, “puts a healthy pressure on you to be your best self, beginning with your own spirit and how that feeds into your actions.”

 

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GQ: June 2017 – Dwayne Johnson

Ballers star Dwayne Johnson is featured in the June 2017 issue of GQ.

In the issue:

At six feet four, Dwayne Johnson, while big, is not actually freakishly huge. It’s his hands that translate him into something a shade more than human on-screen. They’re enormous: tan and broad with flat, clean seashell pink nails. Each hand could comfortably lift an 8-year-old by the skull.

Johnson’s in Los Angeles now to film HBO’s Ballers, but he’s got gyms wherever he goes. He’s building one at his farm in Virginia, where he keeps his horses (and also, he says, a piano once owned by Benjamin Franklin; it came with the farm), and he has a workout facility at his primary residence in Florida, where he lives on a compound on the edge of the Everglades, in a tiny rural town popular among professional athletes who yearn for country living within an hour’s drive of Miami. As he crisscrosses the country for work, he’s constantly scouting new spots.

Last June, when The Washington Post published an op-ed suggesting he could be a viable candidate, Johnson posted a screen grab and gave the idea a boost. On Instagram, he called the Post piece “interesting” and “fun to read,” adding that “the most important thing right now is strong honest leadership from our current and future leaders of this country.”

Since then, Johnson tells me, he’s given the question more thought. “A year ago,” he says, “it started coming up more and more. There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think, ‘Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.’ I didn’t want to be flippant—‘We’ll have three days off for a weekend! No taxes!’”

So, after all that consideration, Johnson doesn’t hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. “I think that it’s a real possibility,” he says solemnly.

“What are your thoughts on the Muslim ban?”

“I completely disagree with it,” he says without hesitation. “I believe in our national security to the core, but I don’t believe in a ‘ban’ that bans immigrants. I believe in inclusion. Our country was built on that, and it continues to be made strong by that. And the decision felt like a snap judgment. I feel like the majority of, if not all, Americans feel that protection is of huge importance. But the ideology and the execution [of national-security initiatives] is where we really have to be careful of not making those snap decisions, because there’s a tail effect… Within 24 hours, we saw a ‘tail effect.’ It grew to heartache, it grew to a great deal of pain, it grew to a great deal of confusion, and it had a lot of people scrambling.”

Ballers premieres July 23 on HBO.

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Photo Credit: Peggy Sirota