British Actor Douglas Booth Teases Fans with Outré Pandemic Hair

Sunday April 4, 2021
Originally published on March 28, 2021

When he starred in Netflix's "The Dirt" British actor/model/activist Douglas Booth had iconic shoulder length hair befitting musician Nikki Sixx, whom he played in this biopic of the band Motley Crue. That was two years ago, but the 28-year-old hunk is still embracing his inner rock star which he put on display with an Instagram pic while in Rome. In the snap, his blondish locks are piled high on his head, held in by a band to hold his face mask. He is also sporting a full beard and sunglasses.

That was Booth's last released film. His most recent project is as a cast member in Terrence Malick's highly secretive film about the life of Christ, "The Way of the Wind," currently in post-production. While his role is unknown in the film, he co-stars with Géza Röhrig ("Son of Saul") as Jesus, Matthias Schoenaerts as Saint Peter, Joseph Fiennes, Douglas Booth, Alfonso Postiglione, and Lorenzo Gioiell and Mark Rylance as Satan. Rylance said that he is playing four different versions of the Devil, which at one point included a female version; "but it was when he asked me to grow a beard that I realized I wasn't going to do it that way," he told the website Film Stage last year.

Booth first came to public attention playing Boy George in the 2010 BBC film "Wild About the Boy." The following year he played Christopher Isherwood's German lover in "Christopher and his Kind," His other film and television roles include Pip in a BBC adaptation of "Great Expectations" (2011); playing opposite Hailee Steinfeld in Carlo Carlei's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in 2013; the 2014 adaptation of the West End stage hit "Posh." He also played a space-age playboy in Pip in the Wachowskis' "Jupiter Ascending" (2015), Mr. Bingley in "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (2016) and the experimental animated film about Vincent Van Gogh, "Loving Vincent" (2018). He recently starred in the British horror film "The Little People," scheduled for release this year.

Little is known about the British hunk's private life, though over the years he has been linked romantically with Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Kirby, according to the website Grazia Daily. "Cara Delevingne was his date to his first Met Ball, where apparently photographers shouted 'Oi! Attractive couple!' to get their attention. He's also been linked to Taylor Swift in the past."

Amongst his stage roles was in the West End thriller "A Guide for the Homesick," "in which he plays closeted gay character Jeremy, who is returning home after working in a medical clinic in Uganda," wrote Gay Times in a 2018 interview.

Asked about the backlash against straight actors playing gay roles, Booth said that it is a matter of choice, but acknowledged it is far more difficult for gay actors to get cast. "I think as actors, you hope that can anyone can be free to play anyone because it's acting. I played Boy George and I've played a couple of gay roles. To me, sexuality is one small thing, one part of what makes up a character. I don't think everything that defines Jeremy is his sexuality, but I do think it's important to recognise that it's harder for openly LGBTQ actors to work in this industry. As soon as you come out, you do have to fight that in some sense, which is unfair. But what I hope is, is that there's a change. Maybe I'm being a bit like Jeremy, being positive, but I feel like our generation don't think and feel the way other generations do, and it doesn't matter as much and everyone should be able to play anything. I think it's an important conversation to have."

He acknowledged that he took gay roles (such a Boy George) out of necessity. "At the beginning of your career, it's what jobs you can get, you grab any role you can." But added: "It's always a combination of script, the auspices involved, but yeah, sexuality is one part of what makes a character. It's hard to pin down what draws you to a character, but I feel open enough in myself to play anything. I've very much in touch with all parts of myself."

And he acknowledged that there is still homophobia within the film industry that keeps actors from being authentic about their sexuality. "Within the industry, it's more about a casting thing I think. I don't know why. It's a casting thing or an audience thing. A lot of people aren't openly gay in the industry, they keep it to themselves, they keep it private, 'It's easier, why would I reveal that?' Which is a sad thing. I've also had friends who've been extremely bold and brave, and I respect to the highest level I could possibly respect them, who have gone, 'This is who I am, I am bisexual, I am this, I am gay.' I have a lot of respect for that."