Ben Barnes Takes Interview Magazine
Narnia’s crowned prince Ben Barnes will soon be filling the shoes of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde‘s handsome protagonist who sells his soul to the devil to stay looking very much like Ben does today.
The British actor, who turned 27 last week, sat down with Interview Magazine to talk about upcoming films. Here are some highlights:
Looking at 15-story high posters of yourself (for Prince Caspian) seems like the perfect grounding for playing a character like Dorian Gray. There have been some very interesting parallels. I don’t really see the point in making a film unless you can think of a good reason to do it. We live in this celebrity-obsessed, youth-obsessed culture, and it just seems to make a lot of sense to make this Dorian Gray film right now. Especially for me, as somebody who’s…I don’t know if “on the brink” is the right term, but sort of at the beginning of getting attention from the media and from other people. Dorian Gray is also somebody who, at the beginning, doesn’t want to be looked at, doesn’t really want to be noticed, but then begins to realize the power of youth and the power of people wanting to be around him. Obviously it goes very dark, which I’m hoping in real life my part won’t. I suppose you have to be aware, on some level, of the attention being focused on yourself even to accept a part like Dorian Gray.
You’re really going for the iconic gay writers, aren’t you? Alan Bennett (History Boys), Noel Coward (Easy Virtue), Oscar Wilde… Sexuality is a topic that has huge shifts in society. Attitudes toward different sexualities change, but the actualy sexuality of a human being is something that consistent, and it’s consistently interesting, and so people write about it. But having said that, I think for all the characters I’ve played–obviously Caspian–sexuality hasn’t been the most interesting thing about them.
Then what was it like playing the husband of Jessica Biel in Easy Virtue? Actually, we were in the recording studio together just this morning. We were signing some songs together in this sort of ’20s jazz vibe, and it was so much fun. My character has to be in love with Jessica’s character like a puppy, which is not a very difficult thing to act.