Julian Morris

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Julian Morris is going to take Hollywood by storm but he just doesn’t know it yet. You may not be very familiar with his work on the big screen but watch this space come 2017. However, if you’re an avid television fan like we are, you may recognise Julian from his previous roles in several primetime network shows.

A quick glance at his CV and you’ll noticed that he played Agent Owen in 24, Wren Kingston in Pretty Little Liars and Prince Philip in Once Upon a Time. Not too mention, his recent stint on New Girl where he plays Zooey Deschanel’s distractingly handsome colleague at school.

But right now, the British actor stares in the emotionally charged and thought-provoking television series Hand of God where he plays Reverend Paul Curtis, a man who has seemingly left behind a life of indulgence to focus on God or so it may seem from the outside. However the role of Paul Curtis is just one of many complex characters that Julian loves working on. In 2012, he starred in Kelly + Victor, an indie film about a young couple who embarks on a passionate love affair which went on to win a BAFTA. During one of his interviews for the film, Julian mentions how proud he was to play that role which shows his love of playing dynamic and multifaceted characters.

It’s often not easy to make the transition from primetime or cable television to the big screen but if there’s someone who could do it, it’s Julian Morris. He’ll be next seen in the American spy thriller drama Felt that also stares Liam Neeson, Diana Lane, Tony Goldwyn and Michael C. Hall.

Shirt & jacket by BILLY, Pants by LANVIN, Sunglasses by TVR OPTICAL

Shirt & jacket by BILLY, Pants by LANVIN, Sunglasses by TVR OPTICAL

What can you tell us about your character in Felt?
I play Bob Woodward, one of the reporters who broke the Watergate scandal using a source known at the time only as "Deep throat,” the true identity of whom was later revealed to be one Mark Felt,  played by Liam Neeson in the film. My research involved trying to understand the pressure, excitement and fear of working as a young journalist at that time, as well as the historical context of the story.

The film has a huge ensemble cast that includes Liam Neeson, Diana Lane and Michael C. Hall among others. Who did you work with the most and what was the experience like?
I’ve long admired Liam Neeson, and fortunately most of my scenes are with him. He’s an exceptional actor, so to have an opportunity to see his process was incredible. He channels masculinity in a very interesting way - strong, while vulnerable: there’s something of the hunter about him, and also the hunted. All of which makes for a forceful performance in Felt. Work aside, he was fun, playful and wonderful to spend time with. The rest of the cast were equally fantastic. I’ve known Ike for many years, so it was great spending time with him, and I grew close to Tony and Diane over several gin martinis.

What is it like to work with director Peter Landesman and what have you learnt from him?
I loved every moment of working with Peter. I enormously grateful to him for trusting me with a role I knew he saw as pivotal, and I’m grateful to him for pushing me past the boundaries of where I felt safe to go. Because of his journalistic background, he has a detailed investigative approach. That becomes apparent not only in the research of the movie, but also in the layers of each of his characters.

Shirt by HELMUT LANG, Pants by CHAPTER, Jacket by PALACE COSTUME, Pins STYLIST'S OWN

Shirt by HELMUT LANG, Pants by CHAPTER, Jacket by PALACE COSTUME, Pins STYLIST'S OWN

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You’re ultimately telling a story and working with directors you either like or don’t in shaping what you hope will be an interesting performance.

Why did you choose to be an actor?
The choice was simple: I had none.

What is it like to work with director Peter Landesman and what have you learnt from him?
I loved every moment of working with Peter. I enormously grateful to him for trusting me with a role I knew he saw as pivotal, and I’m grateful to him for pushing me past the boundaries of where I felt safe to go.Because of his journalistic background, he has a detailed investigative approach. That becomes apparent not only in the research of the movie, but also in the layers of each of his characters.

You spent three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Would you like to return to theatre one day?
I’d love to, and I’d love to play Coriolanus.

Shirt by GUCCI, Pants by JACOB HOLSTON, Belt by PALACE COSTUME

Shirt by GUCCI, Pants by JACOB HOLSTON, Belt by PALACE COSTUME

Shirt & jacket by BILLY, Pants by GUCCI

Shirt & jacket by BILLY, Pants by GUCCI

Can we talk a bit about your new series Hand of God? Your previous characters are very different to what you’re doing currently. How do you prepare for a role such as Paul Curtis?
I’m fascinated by the charisma of certain preachers, as well as their theatrics - I knew I wanted Paul to have these qualities. YouTube was an incredible resource from which to mine sermons and refine their melody of cadence, and the confidence in their delivery. I subscribed to an evangelical magazine to help gain a vocabulary that I could put into use in inventing the kind of preacher I imagined Paul to be. I discovered the internal debates of the clerical community, such as those who differentiate between God’s wrath and God’s grace, and where the emphasis should be placed. The prosperity gospel seemed like a good fit for Paul, and I familiarized myself with its message and proponents. Of course the biggest help was working with Marc Forster and Ben Watkins on the character. They were (my) ultimate source.

Can you tease anything for Season 2 yet?
A lot of prosthetics, and I shave my head. I loved last season. This one is even better.

What’s different about working on a film set and a television set? What do you like about each of it and do you have a filming preference?
The biggest difference between the two is that in film your character is close-ended or at least the parameters of the character are very clearly defined. In telly, the arc of the role continues from one episode to the next and over one season to the next and yet you have to make choices that define him after just reading the pilot. That aside, there’s little difference. You’re ultimately telling a story and working with directors you either like or don’t in shaping what you hope will be an interesting performance.

Sweatshirt & vintage LEVI's jacket by BILLY, Vintage LEVI'S by PALACE COSTUME

Sweatshirt & vintage LEVI's jacket by BILLY, Vintage LEVI'S by PALACE COSTUME

Who do you look up to or admire in the industry and why? And is there anyone in the future that you would like to work with?
Oscar Isaac, Jason Clarke, Ralph Fiennes are actors that I deeply respect and admire.

Are you currently watching any television series?
Yes, I love Veep.


Photography by Anais & Dax at Apostrophe
Styled by Francis & Pereira
Grooming by Mira Chai Hyde at THE WALL GROUP
Words by Averlyn Lim