FAULT Magazine Reviews: HotPot, Chinatown London

Photography: Bim Hjortronsteen

 

Summer is fast approaching and with that in mind FAULT is on the quest to bring you the very best of dining experiences in London for our 2018 “where to dine this summer guide”.

Today we present to you Hot Pot, the quintessential group dining experience for friends and family. Hot Pot is of course nothing new, for over one thousand years it has allowed groups of people to come together in a shared cooking experience to prepare and enjoy food cooked at your very own table. With the newly opened Hot Pot restaurant located on Wardour Street and right in the heart of London’s Chinatown, we headed down to see if Hot Pot could still be enjoyed as part of a summertime experience.

Photography: Bim Hjortronsteen

Walking into the restaurant, it’s clear that it’s already a hit; despite it being a Wednesday evening, the restaurant was still a hive of chatter as friends caught up for their slow-paced postwork meetups. With two floors the second to be opened later in the year. It’s important to mention that the décor and arrangements are well put together as opposed to some other venues within the area. Every ornament complements the next without being garish or thrown together; it’s truly a place you’d feel comfortable.

As a group dining venue, seating is arranged in tables of 6, 8 and 10 with private dining rooms available if you’d like a more exclusive experience. In the centre of each table, you’ll find the hot plate on which all of your cooking will take place.

Now down to the food! Diners have the choice of five broths to cook chosen ingredients within which are listed below.

Mala Sichuan Spicy, Tom Yum, Chicken, Clear and Vegetarian.

We had the chance to sample all five and to my own surprise Vegetarian was my favourite – any vegetarian will tell you that some restaurants can really miss the mark with their vegetarian options usually resulting in disappointingly lacklustre flavours but Hot Pot is defiantly not an example of this. I’d highly recommend the Vegetarian or Chicken Broth for meat eaters who aren’t great with spicy food but are still looking for flavoursome dishes with rich spices.

Photography: Bim Hjortronsteen

After finding your broth, it’s then time to pick your ingredients to cook with it. This is somewhat daunting but luckily the restaurant staff are on hand to help pick dishes which complement each broth’s individual flavours. You can pick from a vast array of ingredients, all of which are listed below.
Rib-eye, wagyu, marinated chicken, pork belly, sea bass, king prawns, shrimp wontons, Scottish lobster, fresh abalone, shitake mushrooms, golden needle mushroom, sweet potato, fresh tofu, crab claws and quail eggs. 

While a large option is available, make sure to ring ahead and see what they actually have available that day. We know from last year’s “Datenight Guide’ that you’re all a big fan of lobster and crab however on this occasion the restaurant did not have the option available even with lobsters in the tank display, so if it’s a must, be sure to confirm before making the trip.

Despite it being a strange concept to have to cook your own food at the table, it’s actually surprisingly fun and interactive. An unexpected plus side to everyone participating in cooking and dining is that it drives conversation as you comment on the different flavours and discuss favourite dishes with your table. What really would be handy would be a graph with cooking times for each ingredient, left to our own devices there was a worry about making sure each ingredient was cooked properly and with little guidance, we were forced to either overcook the food or to risk eating it before it was fully cooked and neither option is ideal. That being said, it’s a new venue with all the potential to add in these features at a later date.

What really would be handy would be a graph with cooking times for each ingredient, left to our own devices there was a worry about making sure each ingredient was cooked properly and with little guidance, we were forced to either overcook the food or to risk eating it before it was fully cooked and neither option is ideal. That being said, it’s a new venue with all the potential to add in these features at a later date.

Photography: Bim Hjortronsteen

We tried a little of everything available and your dining experience is definitely down to you thanks to their wide variety of options. If you’re after something light, you can go with wontons and shrimp cooked in a light vegetarian or clear broth and if you’re looking for something more hearty then pair the ribeye and sweet potato cooked in a tom yum broth. If there’s one thing you get when dining at Hot Pot, it’s the pleasure of choice which is a massive advantage.

Is Hot Pot a must this summer? Despite some growing pains which we imagine will be ironed out in the coming months, it’s a resounding yes. Despite it sounding more suitable for the winter season, the broths are actually pleasantly cooling. Located in the convenient but often bustling Chinatown, it’s  a godsend to have a place where you can take things slow and enjoy a meal at your own pace with your loved ones. If you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience, then look no further than Hot Pot.

Address:
17 Wardour Street
London
W1D 6PJ

Opening Times:
Monday-Wednesday: midday to midnight
Thursday – Saturday: midday to 00.30am
Sunday: midday to 11.00pm

www.hotpotrestaurants.com
Price:
Hot Pot is £8 for the table and ingredients range from £5 for vegetables, mushrooms and tofu, £5.50 for marinated pork, £7.50 for mussels, £10.50 for scallops and £20.50 for premium wagyu.

 

FAULT Reviews: ArtBaB Fair, Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain may be small but it punches above its weight in the wealth and new tech stakes. It is now establishing itself as a leading cultural destination in the Gulf via ArtBaB.

Guests at ArtBaB

Guests at ArtBaB

 

FAULT’s sister publication, The Art Collector, visited ArtBaB (Art Bahrain across Borders) which is just in its second year. ArtBaB’s mission is to create a platform for both local and international galleries to engender a dialogue on how art bridges geographical locations by a shared aesthetic and artistic language. The incubation of high-quality home-grown artists juxtaposed against international ones created a fascinating platform for comparison of both the differences and the similarities.

There are several factors that contribute to making an art fair globally significant. The foundation is, as ever, great art; the structure is heavyweight collectors; the organisation is logistics, sponsors, media and invited guests.  This is what has made the Frieze Art Fairs a superbrand.

A spade of art fairs in the UAE means that ArtBaB fits nicely into the emerging rhetoric of the Middle East as a cultural hot spot that is shaping up as a formidable contender to the West.

The requisite art-collector-guest ratio that is needed for a successful art fair is beginning to coalesce around ArtBaB. The fair is still young, but it means that ArtBaB is able to cultivate high-quality artists and works whilst building a more substantial art platform. The fair has already attracted renowned Middle Eastern artists and a handful of high-end commercial galleries from around the world such as Maddox Gallery, London, XVA Gallery, Dubai, Project 88, Mumbai and Bait Munza, Oman.

DSC_6536

The artists

For the seasoned art circuit-hopper the art might come across as not edgy enough. At the same time, the works on show were underpinned by great skill and good taste. This is art that is not pandering to trends but has its own agenda. Some of the works had an iconic quality about them and will pass the test of time. It is, after all, the strength of talent that will place Middle Eastern (and Bahraini) artists into the cannon of contemporary art.

A good example are the works of  Lulwa Al Khalifa defined by her own mission statement:

“Today art is weighed down by pretension that defies its true purpose, to inspire, evoke, provoke and delight. I believe that art is for everyone, it should be shared and appreciated.”

A self-taught painter, her oil canvasses are a mixture of abstract expressionism and the figurative. The blend creates a mellifluous hazy texture in the background, which is often in stark contrast to the very real and very beautiful figures in the foreground. The result is a magical – filled with colour and emotions.

You can view a sample of her works here.

FullSizeRender(4)

Omani artist Ahmed Al-Shukali was one of the few Omani artists exhibiting at ArtBaB. His introspective portraits draw in the viewer who are confronted with a very raw and real view into the everyday life of the working man. The portrait photographs are intimate and, relatively uncontrived, show every human’s basic essence – with the only difference being the eyes, which, as the proverb goes, are the window to one’s soul. Equally impressive are the expansive landscapes which breathe new life into an often empty space.

Structure: the Collectors

The fair has already attracted a few patrons from the Gulf and a trickle of quality collectors from around the world, clearly aiming at becoming a contender to the well-established neighboring ArtDubai.

DSC_6173

The fair

With several well-known international galleries firmly entrenched at ArtBaB, it is evident that in a few years the fair will be booming with talent from around the world.

DSC_7975

In terms of juxtaposition between art from the West and that from the Middle East, the former was dominated by trendy styles that are recycled in a lively manner with an array of pop art, the conceptual and the abstract. The Middle Eastern art, on the other hand, appeared to retain its traditional roots all the while experimenting with contemporary ideas. The Middle Eastern rhetoric is supported by traditional motifs and references, and enhanced by contemporary ideas and styles. It is already both well-received and exhibits all the hallmarks of enduring relevance.

 

 

 

ArtBaB is evolving organically, striving to combine authenticity with quality, as it grows to join the ranks of international art fairs. Having already generated sales of over 200,000 Bahraini Dinars this year alone, it is already making serious strides in that direction – both in terms of the works on show and in terms of high-profile attendees.

Art Bab

With thanks to sponsors Gulf Air for assisting with the flights and the Four Seasons Bahrain.


Originally posted on The Art Collector

Amanda Steele – FAULT Magazine’s Future Face Of Fashion

Despite being only seventeen Amanda Steele has already created quite the storm within the fashion industry. Despite her young age, Steele epitomises everything it means to be a model in the current industry. With a strong fan base within and outside of the industry it’s clear that Amanda has all the tools and business know how to become not only a great model but a brand within herself. FAULT Issue 25 features Amanda as our Future Face Of Fashion FAULT with a special FAULT Focus Cover Shoot. Please enjoy the preview below featuring  Alexander Wang, Balmain, Christian Louboutin and much more.

See the full shoot in print & digital editions of FAULT Magazine issue 25!

Byline: Miles Holder

Photography by Nelson Blanton | Styling by Sammy K Makeup by Anthony Merante | Hairstyling by Kristin Heitkotter Thanks to Apex Photo Studios for use of their location

 

 

 

 

 

Preview: Oliver Stark talks ‘Into The Badlands’ and finding success inside FAULT Issue 25

 

Words by Miles Holder | Photography by Irvin Rivera at Graphicsmetropolis| Styling by Monica Cargile |  Grooming by Preston Wada at Opus Beauty using Kevin Murphy | Photography assistance by Phill Limprasertwong at phillldotcom

 

Fans of British tv and cinema will likely recognise Oliver Stark from various independent movies and UK television dramas. While the roles were small, they gave Oliver the confidence he needed to join a long list of British actors to head to the states with hopes of landing a big time role in Hollywood. It’s a move that many make but one that very few manage to succeed at and while Oliver knows all too well what defeat can feel – he conversely has seen what persistence, courage and the drive born from those setbacks can produce. On his second attempt to crack the US television market, Oliver landed the role of Ryder on  AMC’s ‘Into The Badlands’ and the rest, as they say, is history.

As his career climbs to new heights, we sat down with Oliver inside FAULT Issue 25 to discuss his journey into Hollywood and to find out what’s next for the London-born actor with so much more to give.

 

When the first season came out, no one had an expectation of you but now you have fans and Ryder has fans who want to see him played a certain way. Is that more pressure on you as the actor?

In a way, yes but at the same time I’m more excited that nervous. The first season was my first ever time being a recurring character on a show and I felt like I was finding my feet. Now with the second season I feel a lot more assured with what I want to do so I’m excited to see how Ryder grows alongside my personal growth.

So we’ll be seeing more character progression from Ryder in Season two?

Ryder is in a very different position from where he was in season one which is exciting because I got to step into a different world of Ryder.

Are there any similarities that you share with Ryder?

He’s struggling with finding who he is and where he fits in which I think is something that at some stage in our lives we’ve all dealt with. He’s just in a world where he has to work it out very quickly or end up on a sword but I think the idea of working out where one fits in is where I most resonate with Ryder.

What is it about a script or a role that draws you in?

I think that’s changed over the past year. Now, I really want to be involved in projects focussed on what’s happening around us on a social level and tell a story that has a relevance to society. The way the world is now and where it’s going as a population, I think there are stories that need to be told and I’d love to be a part of that.

How daunting was your move to LA?

I first came our here in January 2014 and I originally came for two months with a head full of dreams and didn’t actually have the best time if I’m honest with you. I wasn’t very busy and I didn’t do very well in auditions so I came home very dejected after that. The second time I went out was a much bigger deal for me because I had to rebuild all the confidence I’d lost and it was on that trip that I booked Into The Badlands.

It’s a big commitment to British actors to do it because it’s a lot of money and you have to readjust your entire life so there is a certain level of commitment to the craft actors show when they make the jump.

What’s it like to meet fans of the show?

I think the greatest compliment I can receive is “I didn’t know you were British” because that is always a phew moment because it means I’ve got the accent nailed at the very least.

What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017?

There’s a movie out in March called ‘Mind Games’ which is a really interesting sci-fi action movie which looks at if the church can coexist with science. It’s a mind-bending movie!

What is your FAULT?

The inability to escape my own head at times because there is always that voice back there that in a room full of great actors will ask “do I deserve to be here?” I think it’s something that everyone struggles.

Read Oliver’s  full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

Pixie Lott Returns To FAULT Magazine For Our Latest Online Covershoot (Sneak Peek)

Shorts:  Dsquared2  www.dsquared2.com Top:       Gracia www.shopgracia.com Heels:    ASH www.ashfootwear.co.uk

 

FAULT fans will remember our FAULT Magazine Issue 19 Cover shoot with Pixie Lott where we discussed her rise to prominence in the music industry and the feeling of “knowing” you were born to perform. Now Pixie returns to FAULT on the day of the release of new single ‘Baby’ a collaboration with Anton Powers released through 3beat to discuss the new single and of course – her FAULTs. Tomorrow, Pixie will be premiering the single live on The Voice Final. To celebrate the new release, we’re previewing a snippet from our upcoming Online Cover story with Pixie to tide fans over until the big reveal – enjoy and watch this space for the full feature coming soon!

 

You’ve got a new single out today, what can we expect to hear?

It’s a dance track which is really exciting for me because it’s so fun and I just love going out. I’ve not released music for a while so it’s nice to do something fun with it – it’s a very different for me. My favourite kind of music always has a soulful vibe so to have a dance track to come out first is really exciting. That being said, I have an acoustic version recorded also where I really get show a more sombre version.

What was the inspiration for the track?

Just having fun really! It’s a collaboration with Anton Powers and we met each other years ago when I was in Ibiza with my friends from school and we said “let’s get in the studio” and it finally happened!

 

Bra:            Bjorn Borg www.bjornborg.com  Net top:     Miss PAP www.misspap.co.uk Leather:     Richards Radcliffe www.rachardsradcliffe.com Heels:        Chie Mihara www.chiemihara.com Trousers:   J.Kwan www.jkwan.co.uk

Last year you were in Breakfast In Tiffany’s the broadway show and tomorrow you’ll be on The Voice. How does acting on stage compare with singing on stage?

It’s completely different. I love them both and singing is something I’ll do forever and can’t live without where as acting is something that I really enjoy and I’m still learning. That’s what’s so exciting about acting is because you’re always learning and learning new techniques with your characters and always growing.

What is your FAULT?

I have LOTs of FAULTS! Time-keeping and forgetfulness, which really go hand in hand! I’ve gotten a lot better than I was but I guess it’s in my bones. My sister, is the complete opposite and everything is planned and organised whereas I am nothing like that.

 

FULL SHOOT COMING SOON

 

Words: Aimee Phillips

Photography Rossella Vanon

Styling: Rachel Gold @ Red Represents 

Make up: Christabel Draffin using Charlotte Tilbury

Hair: Enzo Volpe @ Mandy Coakley using Color Proof

Nails: Georgia Hart@Stella Creatives using Orly

Photography assistance: Jessica Gates

Retouching: Rossella Vanon and Alice Galiotto

Location: Huddle Studios

 

FAULT Magazine Summer 2017 Festival Guide

Who

Frank Ocean , Jamie Xx , Mac Miller , Solange , Sampha , Kaytranada , Ray Blk , Mick Jenkins , Rex Orange County , The Fedz , Raheem Bakaré , Noisey Djs, Rag’n’bone Man , Rüfüs , Sälen Chase & Status (Live) , Jess Glynne , Annie Mac , Dj Ez , Kano , Anne-marie , Raye , Club Drive

What

Lovebox have now announced Solange and Frank Ocean as headliners for 2017 and we are more than excited. Both performers released critically acclaimed albums respectively in 2016 and fans will sure to be excited for the release of these details. Being the eclectic festival that they are, there’s truly something for everyone this year. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Jamie XX, Mac Miller, Chase & Status and many more FAULT Favourites will be there.

As they enter their fifteenth year, Lovebox has made a name for itself with lineups featuring taste making-headliners and need-to-know acts from Britain and around the world.

Where

London – Victoria Park

When

14-15th July

Tickets

www.loveboxfestival.com

Who

Metronomy, Crystal Fighters, Toots & The Maytals, Wild Beasts , Peaches , Ray Blk , Honne ,,jagwar Ma , Jeremy Loops , Rejjie Snow ,tom Misch , Kate Nash , Akala , Jorja Smith , Fickle Friends , Bonzai , The Moonlandingz , Deap Vally , All Them Witches , Jain , Pumarosa , Zak Abel , Will Joseph Cook , Tom Grennan , Mabel , Etta Bond , Be Charlotte , Toothless , North Downs ,?Let’s Eat Grandma , Seramic , Charlotte Oc , Laurel , Anteros , Aine Cahill , Cosmo Sheldrake , Mont Jake

What

This year, our FAULT Favourite Festival ‘Secret Garden Party’ is back with a clear message to the fame worshipping and excluding masses, “bore off, we all run this town!” This summer the Secret Garden Party invites all into the most inclusive VIP-LOL-OFF for their 15th SGP ever themed – “Sweet Dreams. Are made of these? And who are we to disagree…” It’s no surprise that we LOVE attending SGP each year and would likely still attend even if the lineup wasn’t to our taste but time and time again they have filled their lineup with FAULT Favourite bands and this year is no exception.

Where

Cambridgeshire – Mill Hill Field

When

20-23 July

Tickets

http:,,www.secretgardenparty.com,

Who

Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, The xx, The National, Biffy Clyro, Katy Perry, Barry Gibb, Royal Blood, Stormzy
Chic, Major Lazer, Alt-J, Boy Better Know, Lorde, Solange, Run the Jewels, Laura Marling, Kris Kristofferson, The Jacksons, Emeli Sandé, Phoenix

What

Come on, you know about Glastonbury by now! Not to mention the lineup is batshit crazy but we love it. Whether you have a an eclectic music taste or just a large group of mates with diverse music tastes; you’re bound to have fun at Glasto 2017. Skank out to Stormzy, jive with The Jacksons and sing your lungs out to Solange all in the same week – chances are you won’t get many chances to see so many great performers under the proverbial roof that is Glastonbury.

Where

Glastonbury – Worthy Farm

When

21st – 25th June

Tickets

www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

Who

Chance The Rapper Skepta The Weeknd Abra Cadabra AJ X DENO Big Narstie Big Tobz Bryson Tiller (UK Festival Exclusive) Bugzy Malone Cadet Dave Desiigner DJ Charlsey Fetty Wap (UK Festival Exclusive) Flatbush Zombies G-Eazy (UK Festival Exclusive) Geko Hilltop Hoods Jez Dior Kojo Funds Lil Dicky Lil Uzi Vert Lil Yachty (UK Festival Exclusive) Mike Skinner and Murkage Present TONGA MoStack Nas (UK Festival Exclusive) Nef The Pharaoh Noname Post Malone Rae Sremmurd (UK Festival Exclusive) Sean Paul Section Boyz Stefflon Don The Age of L.U.N.A Tim Westwood Topaz Jones Tory Lanez Travis Scott (UK Festival Exclusive) Ty Dolla $ign Tyga Wiley WizKid Young T and Bugsey Young Thug (UK Festival Exclusive) Yuna Yungen Zara Larsson

What

Wireless Festival today adds five further artists to its 2017 line up, including some of the biggest names in home-grown talent Bugzy Malone, Geko and Kojo Funds, as well as international stars Fetty Wap and Travis Scott for two UK festival exclusive performances.

Where

London – Finsbury Park

When

7-9th July

Tickets

http:,,www.wirelessfestival.co.uk,tickets

What

Now in it’s 11th year, Field Day has consistently proved itself to be one of the leading festivals in the UK. Exceptional programming over the years have seen the best in upcoming and legendary acts and this year Field Day is set to surpass expectations once again with Aphex Twin playing in a brand new stage plus Flying Lotus, Slow Dive and many more confirmed to grace the festival’s many other stages in

Who

Aphex Twin, Fatima Yamaha – live, Flying Lotus, Marcel Dettmann, Midland, Moderat, Nicolas, Forest Swords ,Forth Wanderers, Gaika, Haelos

Where

London – Victoria Park

When

3 June

Tickets

fielddayfestivals.com,tickets

Who

Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, the xx, Aphex Twin, Grace Jones, Slayer, Solange, and Van Morrison,Run The Jewels, Mac DeMarco, Miguel, Flying Lotus, the Magnetic Fields, Angel Olsen, Grandaddy, Sampha, Swans, Broken Social Scene, Mitski, the Afghan Whigs, Against Me!, the Damned, the Descendents, Priests, King Krule, Gordi, Pinegrove, Mannequin Pussy, Cymbals Eat Guitars,

What

Year after year, Primavera have paired contemporary and culturally relevant artists alongside living legends who paved the way for originality within the music industry and 2017 is looking to be no exception to that rule. Classic festival favourites Arcade Fire, Aphex Twin and Bon Iver tear the stage up at every appearance and we’re sure Primavera Sound 2017 will be no different. Solange, Frank Ocean and The XX arguably released three of the best albums of 2016 and on their merit alone will bring music lovers from across Europe and beyond to Barcelona next May.  That’s all before we even mention that Run The Jewel, Skepta, Flying Lotus and FAULT #23 Alumni Miguel will also be performing. Alongside these contemporaries, festival goers can also bask in the presence of legends Van Morrison and  Grace Jones who have made undeniable contributions to music throughout their respective careers.

Where

Spain – Barcelona

When

31 May – 4 Jun

Tickets

www.primaverasound.com

Who

Aphex Twin, Fatima Yamaha – live, Flying Lotus, Marcel Dettmann, Midland, Moderat, Nicolas Jaar, Nina Kraviz

What

Hideout is firmly cemented as the leading electronic music festival in Europe, the six open air stages will once again play host to the best in electronic music. With Croatia now a globally recognised destination for dance music, Hideout Festival is at the forefront of the scene. Six incredible years of stand out line-ups spanning the whole spectrum of electronic music, Hideout has become one of the definitive european dance music events in the calendar.

Where

Croatia – Pag

When

26th – 30th June

Tickets

http:,,www.hideoutfestival.com,

Who

Rae Sremmurd, French Montana, Sean Paul, Lady Leshurr, Krept & Konan, DJ Jazzy Jeff

What

Fresh Island is Europe’s leading hip-hop and urban music festival, set against the backdrop of the stunning island of Pag in Croatia. The festival has become renowned for welcoming the finest international talent to the shores of Zrce Beach to play across its three open-air superclubs and in the last five years has hosted performances by Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Eve, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Stormzy, JME and many more.

Where

Croatia – Pag

When

11th – 13th July

Tickets

Fresh-island.org

FAULT Magazine Alumni – Bleachers are back with new single, ‘Don’t Take The Money’

Avid FAULT readers will know that we have a (healthy) obsession with all things Bleachers; today we’ve been graced with the release of their brand new single, ‘Don’t Take The Money’. The heart-pounding single is the first single from their upcoming second album which is slated to be released early summer.

In 2015, we caught up with lead-man Jack Antonoff for our FAULT Online cover shoot (read here) where we discussed music, touring and FAULTS – on this latest single, he had this to say:

“Don’t Take The Money’ is a phrase I say in my head all the time. It has nothing to do with actual money. It means to follow the light. Don’t ignore a gut feeling. ‘Don’t take the money.’ I repeat it to myself when I’m trying to stay on track. Specifically in this song I’m writing about my relationship and the verse and chorus run quickly through the past and the fight leading to the euphoria of seeing the light with someone else.”

The track is the syth-pop track we’ve been waiting for to get summer started right! It’s guaranteed to be a massive festival favourite this summer and if ‘Don’t take the money’ is anything to go by, Bleacher’s second album is going to be another masterpiece to add to the collection.

 

To Buy or Stream ‘Don’t Take The Money’:
iTunes: http://smarturl.it/DTTMi
Apple Music: http://smarturl.it/DTTMa
Spotify: http://smarturl.it/DTTMs
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/DTTMaz
Google: http://smarturl.it/DTTMg

Follow Bleachers:
Website: http://www.bleachersmusic.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bleachersmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bleachersmusic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bleachersmusic

HTGAWM’s Jack Falahee discusses lessons learnt from the LGBTQ community in FAULT Issue 25

 

Photography by Joseph Sinclair
Styling by Angel Terrazas
Grooming by Mishelle Parry at Celestine Agency

Jack Falahee ‘Playing Connor | Finding Jack’

Words: Miles Holder

How To Get Away With Murder first appeared on our screens in 2014 and is to this day one of America’s most progressive and expertly written television dramas. Oscar award winning actress, Viola Davis stars as the powerful, female, African-American lawyer without a defined sexuality nor reason to explain one. As an African American female actress, she will no-doubt have faced similar prejudices to that of the character she plays; however the same can not be said for the whole cast. Enter, Jack Falahee. Despite years of training at prestigious acting schools, it was the role of a homosexual college student, Connor Walsh that would provide Jack with a clear and untilfiltered glimpse into the LGBTQ community. It’s a credit to Jack’s skills as an actor, that Connor’s character and his sometimes turbulent relationship with his HIV-positive boyfriend have created strong discussions within and outside of the LGBTQ community. With that in mind, I sat down with Jack to find out what the character that means so much to so many different people – means to him.

You’ve got an impressive resume – you’ve studied so many different acting methods, what is it about television and the screen that mean you’ve gone down that route?

When I was at NYU I was originally admitted to study musical theatre but when I started hanging out with kids who had grown up with ballet classes and vocal coaches, I quickly realised I was a bit out of my depths. If I felt that way in a class of forty students, then going to an open audition for a broadway show was going to be a nightmare; and it was and I was cut very quickly.

I went to Amsterdam and studied the experimental theatre and then Shakespeare in the States but when I got into television acting, I was really inspired by the technical side of it. I grew up enjoying movies but when I started studying it I became aware of angles, what “the shot” was and just everything that is done to make a screenplay come to life. That really fascinated me and will likely lead to me producing and directing in my future.

What period of Connor’s character resonated with you the most?

Fundamentally he and I are very competitive and also very jealous people – it’s something which I’m personally working on but I don’t think Connor is! I grew up with 3 siblings and 2 brothers who are all wildly brilliant and whilst it was a house full of love, it was also incredibly competitive so I definitely relate to Connor in that way.

When you first got the role, did you think the show would have such an impact?

Frankly, you’re not thinking about that when you’re a struggling actor; you’re thinking about getting a job so you can pay rent and survive so I never really sat down and considered I’d be spending years of my life on the project.

I’m still not over how the much of an impact the show has made and a lot of that is Connor’s character and his importance to fans. It’s emblematic of my straight privilege, but I never thought his character would be so important to the LGBTQ community. When the finale came out and Oliver proposed to Connor, seeing the Twitter reaction was so overwhelming and I was just overjoyed at how meaningful the character is to people.

What are the best lessons you’ve learnt from your fans?

100% opening my eyes to the LGBTQ struggle and I can’t stress that enough. Going into this, it was never written on the page that “Connor Walsh is a homosexual”; so when it came to the first love scene I just thought, “wow this guy is willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead” and now I know that was the heteronormativity in my mind back then that was rationalising this whole aspect of his character. It wasn’t until Pete Nowalk was like “oh no, Connor is gay” that I’ve been really trying to become a student of the history of LGBTQ rights and learning more about the struggle of those in the past and in the present day.  I asked Pete and my friends for a reading list on LGBTQ history because one of my favourite aspects about being an actor is that I’m continually having to learn about things I’ve been very uneducated on in the past. I’ve grown up with friends and family who aren’t straight white males so it was important for me  to do Connor’s character justice. The outpouring of love from the fans was so gratifying and humbling for me. Receiving messages from fans saying “Connor & Oliver helped me come out to my parents” is deeply rewarding and to be any small part of the courage needed to come out will forever be a blessing to me.

Are you comfortable with your sex symbol status?

No! Well, it depends [laughs]. I go back and forth on this, on one hand, it’s a great boost to my confidence but on the other hand, it’s a very vulnerable thing to be. Women live their lives being objectified and reduced to just their bodies every day and it is awful so I’ve been discussing it with the women close to me. I obviously can never understand how women can go through life that way but I can see a glimpse of what that experience might feel like and it’s not a nice one.

Nine times out of ten, it’s all good fun and nice things are being said but that 10% of the time when people disregard my space or my wellbeing is not okay. People tell me “that’s what you signed up for” and I really don’t think it is! I was this chubby, awkward kid and now I’m a sex symbol with the help of great makeup and lighting experts making me look a certain way on tv and magazines.

What is FAULT?

I think that there is a part of me which is always seeking validation which is very informative of why I’ve become an actor; regardless of what might happen, I think I’ll always be seeking approval.

Read Jack’s full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

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