Speaking to Another Man, Hollywood’s passionate new prodigy discusses the loves of his life and stars in an exclusive short film, dressed in the A/W18 Paul Smith collection
Taken from the A/W18 ‘Romance and Ritual’ issue of Another Man:
Charlie Plummer has an old head on young shoulders. The Poughkeepsie-born actor’s handle on love, life and relationships belies his 19 years. But maybe, combined with angelic looks, that’s the secret to playing alienated rich kids and runaways. Because for someone so laidback and together on the phone from New York, excited about spending summer with his girlfriend and family, he excels at angry young men – be it kidnapped teenager John Paul Getty III in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, or displaced loner Charley in Lean on Pete alongside Steve Buscemi and Chloë Sevigny.
The raw beauty of these lost and broken boys appeals to his love for projects that make an emotional connection with their audience, rather than rely on the thrill of special effects. He should have been around in the 70s when mainstream movies could do both. “These days I feel like you have to choose,” he says. “And call me selfish but I prefer to work with real people, because it encourages you to grow.” That means indie fare – like the upcoming dystopian drama Gully, the feature debut of video director Nabil Elderkin – edge it over Marvel merch. For now…
What are the biggest loves in your life?
I’m lucky to have a lot of people that I love: my parents, my little brother, my grandparents, and my dog. A girlfriend of two years I can trust, love and experience life with. I love the planet and discovering different cultures. Then fashion, food – all the F words. And I love the streets of New York City. I could go on.
Are you a romantic?
Of course! It’s the reason we’re here. Love is the universal language and, no matter your background, everyone can connect with the feeling of falling in love. Or being frustrated with how tough love can be. I’m a big believer in all that, but especially in romance because it’s such an important part of life for an artistic person.
“My girlfriend is a songwriter and she made a record of two songs about me on vinyl that I’ll keep forever” – Charlie Plummer
What’s the most romantic thing someone’s done for you?
My girlfriend is a songwriter and she made a record of two songs about me on vinyl that I’ll keep forever. In return, I could just say, ‘Yeah, one time I surprised her with a trip’, or ‘I whittled something out of wood’ etc. But when I make a movie, whatever is happening in my life at that time goes into it, and we’d just met before Lean on Pete, so us falling in love was captured in this beautiful film. That’s pretty romantic, don’t you think?
Who was your first love?
Aged nine or ten, when I started acting, I discovered that by being another person I could reveal my true self. And feel confident. And free. That was like falling in love.
Has acting ever broken your heart?
As a kid I wanted my first Broadway show so bad that I told my parents, ‘If I don’t get this, I don’t want to act anymore.’ And of course I didn’t get it, but I carried on. When you fall in love with a project and it doesn’t happen it’s heartbreaking. But having your heart broken is important because you learn to move on.
Do you have any secret loves?
I love everything from comic books to Star Wars, and I’m a big fan of Harry Styles. I wish I could say that Taxi Driver is my favourite film, but it’s Hitch with Will Smith. And I’m a football fan, which people aren’t always super into, especially at cool New York parties.
“I love everything from comic books to Star Wars, and I’m a big fan of Harry Styles. I wish I could say that Taxi Driver is my favourite film, but it’s Hitch with Will Smith” – Charlie Plummer
Is there a thin line between love and hate?
I remember Cillian Murphy, who I really admire, talking about this. He thought that to be a good actor you needed to have had a tough life and draw from these awful experiences, and worried because he had great parents and a nice life. But it’s acting. I can portray another person without deepening the dark parts of myself. I’m not about to fuck up my life for art.
Is there anything you wouldn’t do for love?
Change who I am. Or sacrifice what makes me happy just to preserve someone else. But it’s complicated because when you’re in love it’s like, ‘Fuck, I just want to do everything for you I can!’
The A/W18 ‘Romance and Ritual’ issue of Another Man is out now. Buy a copy here.
HAIR Shingo Shibata at The Wall Group MAKE UP Grace Ahn using MËNAJI at Julian Watson Agency PHOTOGRAPHIC ASSISTANT Meshach Roberts STYLING ASSISTANT Alex Assil PRINTING Labyrinth PRODUCTION Jennifer Pio