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  • Photography by Mr Ben Harries
  • Styling by Mr Tony Cook, Junior Fashion Editor, MR PORTER
  • Words by Mr Chris Elvidge, Senior Copywriter, MR PORTER

"I have definitely played a few moody roles in my time," laughs Mr Oliver Jackson-Cohen. And as soon as he steps in front of the camera, it's not hard to see why: the London-born 27-year-old actor can certainly shoot one hell of a scowl.

"It'd be far too easy for me to get pigeonholed into doing just that, though. There are so many roles out there made for brooding, sulky, pretty men to just stand around, looking pretty."

Which is unfortunate, in a way, because "standing around looking pretty" sounds like something Mr Jackson-Cohen would be rather good at. Amid the frenzied speculation earlier this year surrounding the role of Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film adaptation, it was no surprise to see his name in the mix.

I said that if I was going to play the role then he'd have to have an edge - there has to be something in the character to inspire you

Not that the rumour mill would have been anything more than a distant concern at the time. While the role of Christian Grey was eventually filled by Mr Jamie Dornan, Mr Jackson-Cohen spent much of this year in Budapest filming NBC's adaptation of Dracula, in which he plays the journalist, Jonathan Harker.

"This portrayal is much darker than previous adaptations," he explains, describing his reimagined character, who was a solicitor in the book. "I was quite honest with the producers and said from the start that if I was going to play the role then he'd have to have an edge. From the point of view of the audience - and from my own - there has to be something in the character to inspire you."

Staying with the dark and gloomy theme, we met Mr Jackson-Cohen on an overcast November day on England's south coast: one of those days when all the colour seems to have drained out of the world. Wrapped up against the cold in a selection of winter shearling jackets, he put that expert scowl to use - and even managed the occasional out-of-character smile.

Click through the gallery, above, to see the shoot.

Dracula airs on Fridays in the US on NBC and Thursdays in the UK on Sky Living HD.

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