Photography by Mr John Lindquist | Styling by Mr Tony Cook
Words by Mr Seamus Duff
There would be some rising actors who, in the face of international
acclaim for their break-out performance, might allow their success to go to their heads. Not so for 27-year-old British actor, Mr James Floyd. Having stolen the show in last year's My Brother the Devil - a coming-of-age drama about two brothers living on an East London estate that doesn't hold back - Mr Floyd remains resiliently level headed about his achievements, even if he is still riding high as we meet two days after he scooped the prestigious Most Promising Newcomer award at the annual British Independent Film Awards. Previous credits include playing Mr Freddie Mercury in the BBC biopic of Mr Kenny Everett Best Possible Taste, and he was praised for his performance in the otherwise unremarkable 2011 film Everywhere and Nowhere. Dressed in a beaten leather jacket, black long-sleeved tee and dark coloured cords, the young actor is confident, relaxed and still processing his win as we meet after his MR PORTER shoot to discuss awards, acting icons, and his penchant for erm, hot pants.
My Brother the Devil
From left: Mr Floyd and Mr Fady Elsayed in the award-winning
2012 British drama
Everywhere and Nowhere
From left: Mr Floyd and Ms Katia Winter in the 2011 coming-of-age British drama
Best Possible Taste
From left: Mr Oliver Lansley as Mr Kenny Everett and Mr Floyd as Mr Freddie Mercury in the 2012 biopic
Congratulations on winning your British Independent Film Award. How did you find the ceremony?
Great, but very intense. Every fancy person from the British film industry was there, which was quite intimidating. Everyone was telling me I would win and so I thought "Well I obviously won't win, then" and I didn't prepare a speech. So when I did end up going to collect my award I had this shockwave in my body. I went up and blubbed for half of my speech and talked about Terry Gilliam a lot. I love his films, and I think I mentioned him three times and he was in the audience so he probably thinks I'm a weird stalker.
How did you feel collecting your award?
You don't know what to do with yourself. All of a sudden everyone is looking at you and it's like being on stage. The lights are on you and you can see Billy Connolly, Jude Law and Michael Gambon. It's mental. You think, I'd better say something interesting, but you never do.
Do you enjoy dressing for the red carpet?
Not really. I don't like dressing up in suits. I like walking around my flat in hot pants.
[Straight-faced] Hot pants, yes. Basically they are very comfortable and I wear them around my flat with a tank top. I'm much more comfortable in those than in a suit. If I had my way I'd be wearing my hot pants right now. They are made from the same material as a tracksuit and are like very short, very comfortable shorts. It's good to be comfortable in life. They were my girlfriend's. But they are mine now.
You gained your training through the National Youth Theatre. Did you ever feel you lost out by not going to drama school?
I used to but you have to live life, and that's what I know. I'm not sure you can teach screen acting. Ultimately you could be playing a character who has an accent or funky clothes or make-up, but it's your feelings and emotions that are coming across on screen. In my opinion, the older you get, the better you get. I think Daniel Day-Lewis or Meryl Streep are doing the best work of their lives now because they have lived more life and they are more interesting and complex as people.
Who are the actors that have inspired you?
The two I just mentioned, and Marlon Brando. You can watch his films from the 1950s and 1960s and he seems so contemporary with his style. He was always ahead of his time. He had a quality that was compelling. You had to watch him.