- Photography by Mr Marcelo Gomes | Styling by Ms Gaelle Paul
- Words by Mr Mike Hodgkinson
Next year, Mr Barry Sloane makes his major Hollywood entrance in Noah, alongside Mr Russell Crowe and Sir Anthony Hopkins. It's a job that will no doubt blow open the doors of possibility for the 32-year-old Liverpudlian actor, leaving the big screen at his mercy, but in light of Mr Sloane's earliest plans for a career in entertainment, this breakthrough is confirmation of an unfulfilled dream.
"I wanted to be the new Liam Gallagher," he tells MR PORTER, with only the merest flicker of regret, because the crash of his adolescent Britpop hopes turned out to be a great stroke of luck. In fact, rock'n'roll led to his first break in acting, when a casting agent looking for authentic young scouse musicians tapped him for a role in the TV movie, In His Life: The John Lennon Story (2000). After that he was off to the races.
Trained in the British soap factory of Brookside and Hollyoaks, Mr Sloane moved steadily up Blighty's small-screen ranks, parlaying roles in several UK series (including Holby City and Casualty) into his current prime-time regular role in the US mystery drama, Revenge.
An eye-catching theatrical sideline in widely acclaimed play Jerusalem - in the West End and on Broadway - served only to bolster his chances of Hollywood success. Mr Darren Aronofsky (director of The Wrestler, Black Swan and so on) remembered him as "that crazy bastard in Jerusalem" during auditions for Noah, before adding him to the cast.
Mr Sloane joined MR PORTER in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, to fill out some more of his back story.
You grew up in Garston, Liverpool. How did your roots shape your career?
Your identity as a scouser is football and music. I went down the music route, had a band, and went to music college - did three years, got my qualifications there, and at the same time I was always acting, right the way through school. I was obsessed with Oasis at the time. I play bass guitar and sing.
Where did you hang out back then?
I used to gig at The Cavern Club, actually. We used to play there every Saturday: we were kind of residents with a couple of bands and played every Saturday afternoon. We'd drink, illegally - £1.20 a pint it was at the time. We'd be smashed by 4pm. I used to hang around The Krazyhouse in the early 2000s - you would get into a mosh pit, start throwing elbows. It was an acceptable release of energy: you could hit each other quite hard but as soon as the song finished you'd give each other a beer. And I preferred that to a fight.
Did you follow Britpop fashion?
That's always stayed with me, that influence. Pair of jeans and a rollneck top. I'm a jeans and T-shirt guy.
Your wife Ms Katy O'Grady is a fashion designer: does she style you?
She'll point me in the right direction. I got educated through her. I watch her cut fabric and make the stuff that she loves: that's very sexy to me because it's a talent that is unfathomable - it blows me away. It's so artistic, a wonderful skill. I'm really proud of her.
You worked with Mr Russell Crowe on Noah. What did you learn from him?
He was great - it was an honour to work with him, just watching the subtleties of his performance and how he reins it back, seemingly not doing much... until you see his eyes. His intensity is incredible. Doing shoots like this, you learn about controlling what you're showing: very subtle movements can do a lot. He was very helpful.
You've embraced social media recently - was that an easy habit to pick up?
It wasn't - I didn't have Facebook or Twitter [accounts]. I have the kind of personality that's all or nothing so I knew that when I opened the door that was it. Now, I have to slow down a little bit. I tweet quite a lot and I don't want to be one of those idiots who tweets about what he's doing in the afternoon. I try to keep it related either to promoting Revenge or to Liverpool Football Club.
Do you think Twitter demystifies the world of entertainment too much?
It depends what you give. I don't want people to know too much about me - I love Al Pacino but I don't want to know what he does at the weekend. I really don't. I think that the mystery has gone, regardless. If people want to find out about you now, they will. It's just more saturated. Stephen Fry does it quite well, he's got all these Twitter followers, he'll use it to publicise something important. I think that's a responsibility that people should take on. You should tweet the right things, not just about when you're going to go for dinner.
Did your background in British soaps prepare you well for Revenge?
I was blessed with a good character in Hollyoaks, and I cut my teeth in Brookside as well. The fact of the matter is, working with that kind of schedule, if you can do something good, then you can produce incredible stuff on something where you can actually take your time. I like the intensity and the quickness of Revenge. With theatre you get a huge rehearsal process; with film you rehearse a one-minute scene for a week and a half so that it's perfect. But with TV you have to pull a rabbit out of a hat a lot. You have to trust yourself.
What's in the pipeline for you?
If you get the right character now within TV it's going to be wonderful and strong, but ultimately I'd like to do movies. There's a load of people I want to work with and hopefully there's a few people that want to work with me. So we'll see.
Noah is scheduled for release in March 2014. The third series of Revenge is currently airing on Sundays on ABC.