As they’ve raced through pop puberty and grown from boys to men, severe haircut heartthrobs Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson continue to prevent any disassociation of their style from their music, as evidenced by the release of the vaguely poperatic Exile (Major Label). Here, native Mancunian Hutchcraft discusses his style icon, another man with great hair and a penchant for dark roles: Jeremy Irons. Armed with little factual information about the actor himself, Hutchcraft offers tableau-rich speculation about Irons’ life as based on the actor’s various on-screen identities. Interview by Louise Brailey. Above: Jeremy Irons plays identical twin gynecologists in David Cronenberg’s classic Dead Ringers from 1988. Image courtesy of Concorde Home Entertainment.
Someone once told me that the films you like as a kid and the stars that you idolize become what you subconsciously emulate through your style later in life. I discussed with a group of my friends the other day this very idea, and it was telling, to say the least. When I was about eight, it was undoubtedly Kiefer Sutherland as the older brother in Stand By Me who influenced me. I would even comb my hair to be just like him. But as I’ve grown older, there’s somebody else who has exerted an even greater hold on me, someone who I only realized was cool a few years ago: Jeremy Irons. I found this really great, stark black and white picture of him the other day wearing a monocle and a polo neck by the photographer Michel Comte in an Interview Magazine from 1990. It’s such a brilliant fucking photo—I’d argue that it’s one of the coolest, well, of all time. There’s another photograph that I really like where he’s wearing a suit matched with a pair of Nike trainers. Tell me, who else would dare to do that? When I look at these kind of pictures of him I can’t help but imagine what being Jeremy Irons is actually like; It’s something about his demeanor that suggests a romantic back story that I want to rifle through. Of course, he’s this established Hollywood star so he probably has a beautiful house and a nice car. But it’s about more than the usual trappings. He looks like he could live in some sort of house in Paris or somewhere in rural France with a vineyard. Or else he looks like you might see him on a yacht or a small canal boat tending to the flowers on the roof. Why? Why do I think that about him? It’s weird, because I actually know essentially nothing about the details of his private life. But that doesn’t stop me. I can’t help it—his style tells a story that seems to tacitly suggest that he’s in the middle of doing something much more interesting than you could ever be doing.
Recently I’ve come to the conclusion that the key to growing old is to always look old in the first place. And Jeremy Irons has always looked old. Even when he was young he possessed an air of refinement. Just look at him in Brideshead Revisited: he had such gravitas! Or if you watch his performance in David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, which is my favorite of the films he’s made. Such a creepy stillness in his dual role as twin gynecologists and an incredible departure from his quintessentially English TV past. What a way to gain a rep in Hollywood. But it doesn’t matter what role he’s playing because he always maintains an air of effortless, chilling cool. He even looks good in Die Hard: With a Vengeance as the baddie. Perhaps it’s those sad eyes, which, for some reason, remind me of a horse’s eyes because they’re so big. They’re certainly great actor’s eyes.
I think there’s a big dose of Jeremy Irons in Hurts, or we would very much like there to be. He dresses like I aspire to dress, but you couldn’t emulate Jeremy Irons off the peg. It comes down to that unknowable mystery: what is cool? I think the secret is not to care, and Jeremy Irons acts like he couldn’t care less. It’s like Marlon Brando: he wore the same clothes as everyone else but he seemed like he didn’t give a shit. You’ve got to be comfortable to be able to pull that off, especially if you most definitely do care about how people perceive you. I guess it’s a mindset because you sometimes get cool people who don’t dress very well. But there’s just something about them that draws you into their orbit, like I’m drawn to Irons’. Are Hurts like him? No. But I think we’ve tricked people into believing we are. Put it this way: If I’m like Jeremy Irons when I’m old, I’ll be a very, very happy man. ~
Published August 27, 2013. Words by Louise Brailey.