Jamie Dornan Is Not a 9-to-5 Kind of Guy
Jamie Dornan is not a one dimensional actor. In fact, being pigeonholed into a certain type of character or routine is the last thing he wants. He likes his portfolio—and his schedule—as varied as it can be, without thinking too far ahead. That philosophy directed him to his latest campaign with Hugo Boss fragrances for Boss The Scent. The campaign itself is all about connecting with people (via fragrance), while living in a digital-focused world. Dornan went back to his modeling roots, but in a way he feels comfortable in. We caught up with the actor on his return to modeling, on his upcoming projects, and on what really makes a man stylish.
He gets into character, even when he's modeling.
It was quite seamless for me to slip into something that has felt like the right kind of fit since the beginning. You have to get into character, too, which is a nice place for me to be. Obviously they want a version of me involved too, but there’s gotta be some sort of separation. I felt the world that the team created lent itself to giving in to this bizarre sense of existence in the virtual world. I did feel like we had to embody something other than ourselves, which is fun to do. There’s usually a formula for standard fragrance campaigns, and this turned that on its head. Having a unique concept is really fun.
His first fragrance made him feel grown up.
CK One was probably the first fragrance I had, at least in my consciousness. I’m sure I was first given Old Spice or Brut—something that stinks like a locker room. I think everyone in Northern Ireland was wearing CK One. I was probably 14 years old, at the time. Fragrance at that age is so expensive, so you get it at Christmas and use it for a few years or so. When I put the fragrance on, I felt like a grown up. I thought: I’m sophisticated. I’m a man now.
He knows the power of scent, too.
For me, it’s the sea. I grew up on a beach, near Belfast. The strong smell of seaweed, the proper earthy—earth below the water—that strong sea smell brings me back to home. I love smelling that, wherever I am in the world, and thinking of home.
When it comes to style, he likes feeling comfortable.
My whole thing with style is comfort. If you feel comfortable, then you’re set. I don’t think I’ve ever been someone in particular who has followed trends. I’ve seen people wearing stuff that’s on trend, but you can tell they’re not very comfortable in it. Whereas if you find something that fits you and you feel good in, that’s much better. For me, I feel the most comfortable in a white T-shirt. I have a pile of white T-shirts that I did a clear out on last week, so now I know that it’s all T-shirts that I like. I feel comfort in just reaching for one of them. I like wearing it with jeans and Nike Air Maxes. That’s the easiest thing to do: put on some T-shirts, jeans, and trainers. That’s the easiest way to be. Sometimes you can’t even be bothered buttoning your shirt.
He still far prefers acting over modeling.
I don’t love [modeling]. This kind of stuff with Boss was great because it’s closer to what I do day to day. Even through my years of modeling, I never got over the feeling of being uncomfortable when someone is putting a camera in my face. In TV, you’re playing a character, so you’re losing yourself to that. It’s much easier to do when you’re not representing yourself. As a model, there’s a pressure with every frame that you’re meant to look good. That should be the last thing you’re thinking about in acting: "I hope I look good," or "I hope this is a nice angle for my face." That’s not what you should be thinking about. There’s freedom in that.
Acting requires a different type of focus.
You’re thinking about whatever the situation is in front of you, instead of about how you look. If the actor opposite you is telling you she hates you, you’re trying to absorb that feeling. Wear that. I don’t think all acting is just listening. You’re reacting, too. It’s good to have a clear head when you’re acting and not overthink things. Take your mind off it when the camera isn’t rolling. 99 percent of actors are the same: You’re usually talking shit right until they say action. Then you’re in it.
He's not a 9-to-5 kind of guy.
I love this job because it gives you variety. I couldn't be one of those guys who just does action films all the time. It’s every reason I didn’t want to work 9-to-5 in an office. You have this opportunity to explore so many different worlds, and that’s the gift of doing this for a living and the variety of it. Sometimes, it’s not too good to have too many plans in this industry. I couldn’t tell you what continent I’m going to be on next year. That’s really exciting sometimes, and other times it’s really annoying when you have a life and a family. But you can't have too much of a plan, or too much an idea of a character you want. You’ve just got to trust that that will happen, rather than focusing on it. Anything can happen one day or the next.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.