INTERVIEW: Theo James Discusses Traveling & Romance With Esquire Middle East
ESQ: Welcome to Dubai! Is this your first time here?
No, I came here 12 years ago when I was a broke student.
ESQ: A lads’ beach holiday?
Not really. I was travelling with my brothers to East Africa, looking for a bit of adventure, and we stopped over in Dubai. It was different back then. There was no Burj Khalifa or anything. We didn’t have any money so we stayed in less glamorous surroundings.
ESQ: You’re a bit of an adventurous traveller then?
I used to be, yeah. There are plenty of places I’d still like to visit. I remember my parents telling me that in the late ’60s, places like Iran and Afghanistan were on the equivalent of the backpacking circuit, but now, obviously, they are a lot harder to get to. I have heard they are beautiful and the mountains are really special. Myanmar is also supposed to be awesome.
ESQ: Do you get to travel with work much?
I do. It’s one of the good perks of the job, but the places tend to be more sanitised and for short periods. That said, there is something nice about going to places like Hong Kong or Dubai and having a great place to stay in and an itinerary all planned out for you. But I do miss grassroots travelling. I used to do it a lot, but I’m now pretty busy with work.
ESQ: Speaking of work, have you always been interested in fragrances?
I wouldn’t have said I was interested, but I always wore some. Personally, I prefer subtle fragrances, rather than more ‘out there’ concepts.
ESQ: So, the link up with Hugo Boss was pretty natural?
Sure. As a Brit, I grew up with those very classic, masculine Hugo Boss images. I’m an old-school bloke at heart, so I relate to those. Regarding The Scent, what I liked about it was that Boss was doing something new. The colour, the mood, the marketing — that ambition suited me.
ESQ: The term ‘seduction’ seems to be key buzz word for The Scent’s campaign. Are you as brooding as the campaign suggests, or are you more easy-going?
No, I’m a grumpy f***! [Laughs] No, I’d like to think of myself as a light-hearted person, but I am quite private. It’s funny, because what ‘seduction’ looks like is a rather abstract concept. I don’t think anyone would describe themselves as ‘seductive’. If they did, they would sound like a complete tw*t!
ESQ: Is it intimidating to be the face of a Boss fragrance?
Not really. Having people like Gerard Butler represent the brand before you is quite a big draw, but ultimately, I’m an actor, so it’s part of the job. The difference is that when you’re doing a campaign you don’t have an anchor the way you do if you’re playing a character in a film. There is no script or character. That is the most daunting thing. It helps that the people I worked with were nice.
ESQ: Speaking of which, did it help having someone like Darren Aronofsky direct the video campaign?
Definitely. It helped because obviously he knows exactly what he is doing. It’s a completely different thing to shooting a film. For example, you have to retrain your brain to look straight at the camera.
ESQ: The opposite of what you are used to doing?
Yeah. So, it definitely helped having Darren on set.
ESQ: It’s Valentine’s Day this month, and I’m sure there are women around the world wishing they could spend it with you. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done on February 14?
My girlfriend and I had been out at a party in London. The next morning she was dozing in the back of the car and I told her that I needed to go pick something up. By the time she woke up, we were in France, on the way to Paris.
Every interview that Theo does we get to see a little more of how truly amazing he is! And we love him more every time. He is so funny. “No, I’m a grumpy f***! [Laughs]” lol. Love that part 🙂 And how lucky is his girlfriend?!? A surprise trip to Paris *swoon*
THEOlogians what was your favorite part of this interview?