Photography by Conan Thai
August Man Creative Direction by Melvin Chan
Styling by Fashion Editor Juliet Vo
Hair by Castillo at Tomlinson Management Group using ORIBE
Makeup by Jeffrey Baum at Atelier Management using KOH GEN DO
The English actor, Gregg Sulkin, who is best known for his leading role as Liam Booker in the hit MTV series Faking It was first on track to be a professional soccer player. However, there is no such thing as accident—it is fate misnamed; when a severe soccer injury sidelined him for a year, Gregg Sulkin had to find a new outlet to express and release his inner energy. And so his story begins, from an average London boy who was set on playing soccer and living a normal life, to a budding star in the acting industry, traveling around the world.
With his laid back charm and outgoing vibe, Gregg Sulkin has become one of the most visible actors of the moment. Growing up in London, he considered himself to be an average English boy who is a rabid fan of Arsenal and dreamt of becoming a professional soccer player. “Soccer was my whole life; I didn’t ever think about being an actor,” he shyly admits. But life has other plans for young Sulkin; when the doctor informed him that he would need to stop playing soccer for a year and a half after a knee injury at the soccer field, he found acting. “I fell in love with it when I realized how amazing, difficult, and interesting it is,” he says and so goes his obsession to be a top notch actor.
At the tender age of thirteen, young Sulkin has already starred alongside talented English Rose, Helena Bonham Carter, in Sixty Six and also dashing American actor, Billy Campbell, in a FOX pilot. His enviable career trajectory began when he landed himself as a recurring guest role in one of Disney Channel’s series. Landing in Los Angeles at the tender age of seventeen alone, he slowly made his way into the industry by occurring in popular series such as Pretty Little Liars and Melissa & Joey. In addition, this young ambitious actor has also landed roles in several films such as Affluenza, White Frog and the up-coming action thriller, Anti-Social. Still in the midst of perfecting his American accent and adapting to the American culture, Gregg Sulkin is definitely one young talent to look out for.
To date, you have been interviewed by numerous notable magazines and talk shows. What can we expect from you in this interview?
That's one question I've never been asked! You will get honesty, British sarcasm and hopefully have a couple of chuckles while reading.
What was the tipping point of your life?
I’ve been working for about 10 years now, but I feel like I’m just getting started. Navigating the new waters of more adult roles has been a fun challenge for me. I don’t think I’ve reached a tipping point just yet, but if I had to pick something I would say moving to the states was one of the most important moments in my career. I came over to do one episode on a Disney Channel series and it turned into me being on that show for three years. It was a great sort of boot camp for me on how sitcoms and network series operate. To be on such a successful and well-written show was such a great opportunity, and one I'll always be grateful for.
How did you get involved in Faking It?
I actually was offered another scripted show at exactly the same time as the "Faking It" offer came through. It was a tough decision. The other show was to shoot in London and I would work with the producers of "One Tree Hill” (who I have a massive amount of respect for). The other option was to stay in LA and do a show for MTV. I chose "Faking It" for numerous reasons; but mainly because of the message of our show- be accepting of others no matter the size, race, sexual orientation etc. I felt like our generation needed a show like it. It also shoots 10 minutes from my new house so that may have had a small impact on my decision.
Which is the most awkward scene that you have to go through throughout Faking It?
Threesomes, figuring out your sexuality, going on dates as a teenager in general- there are a lot of things that could become awkward. But all these stories on the show, no matter how outrageous, are very real and honest. That’s one of things that drew me to the script, it wasn’t too over the top and campy, it was written to be very relatable. As far as filming goes, I'm always shirtless so nothing is awkward anymore!
The recent trailer for Anti-Social is just up and I must say it was very exhilarating. Do you think you can shed a bit of light on what to expect?
YES! It's gritty, edgy and its storyline is very topical right now. Gang crime in London is a serious issue and hits home for me since my parents’ home was recently broken into. Expect a lot of high intensity drama, cop/car chases, and bank robberies. It was a complete step outside my comfort zone.
How did you prepare for this role?
I really had to dig deep & go to places I had never been personally before. I hung around with a lot of the guys from the cast who grew up in rough neighborhoods hoping I could learn something from them. I used a rougher accent & committed to the role. My mum and dad grew up with no money in the East End of London, so I had heard stories over the years of the difficulties of poverty & how desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.
What has been your favorite experience while shooting for Anti-Social?
Getting to do illegal things that I'm not allowed to do in real life! Haha! Learning how to graffiti was a blast (my character is a graffiti-artist) & also creating all the friendships between cast members was great. I've got guys now that will always have my back.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with acting?
It's mostly love. Jumping into a new a project, bringing fresh characters to life and challenging myself is something I very much love to do. It’s everything else that goes along with the industry that is not always so pleasant. Also, I hate the fact that I can't eat chocolate and cake whenever I want!
What is the ultimate goal of your career?
At the end of the day, the most important thing that I want to get out my career is to be able to support my family in the future. Do I want my movies to be good? Yes, of course. Do I want to be like Liam Neeson and do my own version of "Taken"? 100%. But my direct goals don’t include doing projects that will help me win awards. I just want to do good work, choose good projects and be working for a long time in this industry.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I am very family oriented, at the end of the day they are my number one priority. For being an Englishman I really don’t care for tea. I bite my nails. I’m extremely competitive and I swear a little too often while watching soccer. Oh and I’m addicted to chocolate chip cookies.
You have worked with quite a number of big names in the industry, but what would you say were the big moments that took your career to the next level?
My first ever project with Helena Bonham Carter was memorable. I learned from her what it meant to be a big name but also how to treat others with respect and to always be humble. I also did a FOX pilot starring alongside Billy Campbell. I learned from him many little tricks of the trade, but I can't reveal them ;) But I also learned from observing egotistical and self-absorbed actors who thought they were God’s gift to the industry - they taught me what NOT to do if I was ever in the position I am now.
Is there anyone in particular that you would like to work with in the near future?
Daniel Craig, DiCaprio and Clooney. Oh, and Margot Robbie…for obvious reasons.
Aside from acting, is there something you always wanted to do?
I've always wanted to be a professional soccer player. I was actually on that track, I played for Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United’s club teams, but got injured. I needed something else to channel my attention and fell into acting.
What can we expect from you in the year 2015?
Well hopefully not to see me on TMZ for a bar brawl or stumbling out of a nightclub hammered! For the record, I normally try to avoid those type of situations :) But I am very excited for my fans to see “Anti-Social” and also the new episodes of “Faking It” that will be coming out shortly.
Photography assistant: Diane Jong
Special thanks to Bloomingdale's, South Coast Plaza