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 fiancee 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

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

Little Mix Bonus Online Cover Shoot for FAULT Magazine Online

A Bonus (not so secret) photoshoot with the Little Mix to celebrate the release of  album – Glory Days

Often referred to as this generation’s Spice Girls, Little Mix are just on the cusp of releasing their latest album Glory Days. The girls are no newcomers to the FAULT scene, having previously been featured in issue 17– back when Salute was only just being released. It has been a while since and the foursome has surely done some growing up in the meanwhile. We caught up with Little Mix ahead of their album release and here’s their take on the past 5 years of their careers.

You’ve gone a long way since people first saw you on the X Factor. You’ve rocketed to the top, broken records and vanished the jinx of the X-Factor winner. How does it feel to prove everyone wrong?

Perrie: It feels really good. Every little bit of success we get, we feel massively grateful and humbled for it. I don’t think I’ve ever expected to have the success that we have now. But I’m glad we broke that curse for X Factor. We’re very proud of ourselves.

 

It’s been five years now. What do you think is the most important lesson that you’ve learned over the past five years?

Perrie: Just to try and stay grounded with all your family and friends. Hold your loved ones really close. And try to keep your own little circle of friends. It’s hard to trust people in this industry. So yeah, keep all your family close.

Jade: To appreciate what we have. I think it’s very easy in this job to think negatively and think low of yourself after working such long hours. We’re always tired, but we have to remember that we’re in a much better position than many other girls. And also – to never underestimate our success.

So straight out of the X Factor – what were the biggest issues that you encountered in the industry?

Leigh-Anne: We didn’t have a clue what to expect. When you’re in a show like that, you’re kind of thrown into it in a way that you don’t really have any time to adjust to it. I think we were just really lucky to have each other. Doing that on your own – must be so much pressure. I’m just really happy that I got to have these girls as my comfort blanket.

Was there a specific moment in your careers when you realized that you’re becoming role models for young girls and therefore had a responsibility towards them?

Perrie: I think being named role models kind of happened just naturally, we never really asked for it. Which is lovely, I love the fact that girls look up to us and we empower people and inspire them. But obviously, we’re young girls and we’re going to do silly things sometimes that can kind of put pressure on us, but we’re just being ourselves. And if that means that we’re being role models by just being ourselves, then that’s incredible. It’s a massive compliment.

 

And as so, do you have any particular life stories that you’d like to share with your young audience for them to learn from?

Leigh-Anne: Well, both Jade and me had bad skin when we were young. And we used to get teased. And at the time – you think it’s the worst thing in the world. What I would say to anyone that is suffering from it is the fact that it will go away and it’s not the end of the world.

As women in the public eye working in an industry that constantly scrutinizes people – women first and foremost – have you ever felt you had a responsibility to act against it?

Perrie: Well, now that we’ve got a bit of influence – which is amazing – we try our best to make something positive out of it. We don’t think it’s fair that women get scrutinized more than men. Everything is harder for a woman in every kind of aspect and that’s why we try to empower women with our music, our image and everything we stand for. If we can help a little bit, then we’re doing okay.  

 

How did you all find your individualities under the given circumstances?

Perrie: We kind of stayed the same I think. From the beginning, we all knew who we were individually, what our style was and what we liked and disliked. Nothing changed, it just evolved. We like to be individuals because more people can relate to us. People relate to Leigh-Anne differently than they relate to me and so on. We’re all tight knit, but we embrace our individualities too.

Have you always had this mindset?

Perrie: Yeah, we’ve had the same beliefs pretty much from the beginning. We’ve always wanted to be girl-power; we’ve always wanted to inspire people.

 

How do you usually cope with the pressure of that omnipresent eye of the media?

Perrie: At first, it was really horrible. We were really young; I was 17 when I got put into Little Mix. I felt like a baby, I didn’t know how to fend for myself. Moving to London was terrifying – to not be with my family. I think, at first, we found it hard reading things about ourselves that weren’t true. Like rumours or seeing a bad picture right on the front of a magazine or whatever it was. But now, we literally couldn’t care less.

Leigh-Anne: It doesn’t matter. We’ve learned how to deal with it all of it now. Everybody gets it. Adele, Beyoncé, everyone gets scrutinized. And it’s usually from people who don’t have a life.

What’s next for Little Mix?

Perrie: Hopefully a lot more success. But we’re very happy with this album. It’s a lot more mature, it’s very honest and it’s different to what we’ve done before. We just hope it does really well.

 

What’s your FAULT?

Perrie: I can be stubborn.

Leigh-Anne: When I gen drunk, I take things really seriously.

Jade: Mine is overthinking. I’m too much of a perfectionist.

 

Words: Adina Ilie

Jonathan Holmes discusses working on Stephen Spielberg’s BFG with FAULT Magazine

 

Veteran actor Jonathan Holmes plays a ferocious giant called Childchewer in Disney’s The BFG, the cinematic brainchild of figurative giants Roald Dahl and Stephen Spielberg.  In this interview, Holmes tells of his time as a giant among men.

 

FAULT: In playing a character from such a beloved book, did you feel any extra pressure or responsibility?

Jonathan: I think we all felt a huge sense of responsibility. But knowing we were in the hands of such an extraordinary creative team certainly gave us confidence.

 

FAULT: In The BFG, how were you guys able to shoot the interactions between giants and regular-sized people without relying on CGI characters?

Jonathan: Many of the scenes had to be shot in three different scales. And consequently shot three times. Giant scale, BFG scale (he’s half the size of the other giants), and human scale. So we would have various balls, poles, etc. to make sure our eyelines were correct. It was quite the operation!

 

FAULT: How much makeup did it take to turn you into such a convincing giant? Or were the effects added in editing?

Jonathan: All giants were shot using ‘performance capture’ technology. We had to wear tight suits with dots on them and dots all over our faces that picked up every nuance of our performance. The animators then animated to that.

FAULT: How did you approach playing such an unconventional character?

Jonathan: We were very fortunate to have a month or so of rehearsal to get used to the technology and to create these characters. Terry Notary, one of the pioneers of performance capture from the acting perspective, helped hugely in finding the physicality of these creatures. We spent a good deal of time improvising.

 

FAULT: How did your experience working with Steven Spielberg differ from your experiences working with other directors?

Jonathan: The main difference was the technology we used. Because the cameras would only pick up those of us who were ‘dotted’, Steven could direct us whilst actually being physically in the scene. Which, as you can imagine, was a huge thrill for all of us.

 

FAULT: What makes your character happy (besides eating children)?

Jonathan: A good hair day!

 

FAULT: Is there any food in the real world that you think tastes worse than a snozzcumber?

Jonathan: Overcooked vegetables. And marzipan.

 

FAULT: Is there anything else we can look forward to seeing you in?

Jonathan: I’m working on an animation series and a video game – but sadly I’m not able to tell you much more…

 

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Jonathan: I have a ten year old daughter who would tell you most things are my FAULT.

 

Words: Cody Fitzpatrick

FAULT Magazine Online editorial: ‘Vue d’Ensemble’

 

Photographer: Charles Warren

Stylist: Pedro Moura

Beauty Artist: Renato Olliveira

Model: Renata Kuerten @ Mega Models Brasil 

Styling Assistant: David Souza

Retoucher: Doctor Raw.

Special Thanks to the Capital BGH Hotel in São Paulo for the location

FAULT MAGAZINE BACKSTAGE AT LFW – SIBLING SS16

 

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Credit: Daniele Fummo


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Credit: Daniele Fummo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Broco – Exclusive Photoshoot + Interview with FAULT Magazine Online

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Words ADINA ILIE
Photography MILES HOLDER

 

You’re just about to release your second album, Automatic. What can you tell me about it?

Well, it’s the album that we’ve been working towards for a year and a bit now and it’s the longest time that we’ve ever actually spent away from touring and being a band. I think for us, life in the studio was quite a change of pace.  We wrote our first album in about 2 months, recorded it like boom bosh and out. After that, we went on tour and then suddenly it was the right time to start writing the second album, so we just pulled ourselves out of the game for a year and wrote it. It was definitely an interesting period of self-discovery for us. Working out exactly who we wanted to be as a band and experimenting with different sounds to create the album. But now we’ve got it and it’s all done and it feels really good.

How did the writing process go this time?

It was the first time we ever wrote with our new bass player, Tom, so that was quite exciting, like finding out each others taste and boundaries and pushing each other and seeing how far we’d go. But once we got into a flow, we found it was a very collaborative process. We’re very much a band, we’re not one person calling the shots -with us, all four of us are very deeply involved in every process of the song. It’s all about the teamwork.

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What effect do you think it’s gonna have on people? Do you expect a different reaction as opposed to your first album? 

Yeah, I think it’s definitely going to take a few people by surprise.  But at the same time, if you’re a fan of the band already, you’re gonna really enjoy it.  It might open you up to new music and hopefully question what you’re listening to and make you think like “okay, this isn’t a band that sound like anyone else.” We’re hoping to make our mark on the world of music and stand out as a band, stand out as a group. You know, bring in all our interests and joys, make up a musical landscape and refine that into one sound. We’re hoping it’s gonna get people talking.

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For you, in what way is your second album different to your first? What have you done differently now, if anything at all?

We’ve written better songs that really work together and take you on a bit of a journey, rather than just a random collection of ideas. There are ideas that are developed and messed about with in our heads. From a listener’s perspective, I think you’re gonna leave feeling like you’ve actually listened to a more well rounded bunch of songs and a better album. Musically, we experimented with a lot more instruments on this album. We got to play in a pop studio to begin with, as opposed to the usual recording on a computer that we did on our first album. On this one, we went to a proper studio where we really embraced the live band sound and made sure that everything sounded as real as possible. If we had to play things a couple of times to get them right, we did that, without being perfectly accurate in everything.  The perks of being in a studio is that we’ve got all these instruments, we got to play around with a lot of keyboard sounds, old school organs. We managed to do a couple of songs with string arrangements, so for us it was fun, like discovering instruments that take you out of that basic guitar, bass, drums. So I think that’s probably the main difference, from a songwriting perspective, the use of electronics and instrumentation.

Tell me a bit about the video for Automatic. Did you have any input on the visuals?  

Yeah we did. The basic idea was born out of our artwork. We wanted to create something strong, visually striking for our album and we spoke to various designers and photographers about trying to achieve what we wanted. The easiest idea to get it done and make it look good was to fly out to the location in Malibu. We were talking about either Miami or Malibu, somewhere where you have sea and the weather and the palm trees and create something that wasn’t pastiche but still gain reference to that sort of bygone era where exciting music was coming out in the 80s where a band still sounded like a band. You know, once we had the collection of songs that really reflected the sound of the album, we wanted the visuals to represent that. So yeah, we went out to Malibu and then to LA and came across this incredible villa in Malibu where we shot the album artwork. The video for Automatic was kind of born from the idea of that. Our director really wanted to play on this visual reference of static motion and things kind of reflecting. I guess that’s cause the song is called Automatic. His idea was to show people having a good time and show this kind of high society that you associate with that Miami aesthetic. A lot of the references were guided towards our artwork.

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Will you be doing a headlining tour after the album release? 

Yeah, we’ve got an album release launch show on the 7th, then we’ve got a week tour and we’re going back to some of the venues where we first started playing a couple of years ago. That’s gonna be the first time we get to play a lot of the new songs on the album. We’re really excited about that, it’s gonna be the first time in 3 years that we’re actually gonna get to play those venues that made us into the band that we are today. We’re extra excited.

It sounds like you really miss touring.

We do! Touring is our favourite part about being in a band and we did enjoy the studio, but at the same time, touring is what it’s all about for us. When you’re on the road, it feels like you’re actually achieving what you’re set out to do. It gives you that sense of “okay, we’re making the right call being a band.”

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A lot of bands aim to break America. Is that something that’s been on your mind or something that you’d potentially like to achieve at some point in the future? 

Yeah, I think definitely. I think for us it’s not specifically America, it’s everywhere really. I mean, the more we get to tour and the more we get to explore the world and see new and exciting places, the more driven we are about being in a band. We’re hoping to get out to America next year; it will be the first time we go out there and play, which should be fun. But there’s so many other countries we haven’t been to, we only scratched the surface. So yeah, I think this album, if things go well, will give us the opportunity to travel and explore the world.

What’s your FAULT? 

I think it’s probably being too caught up and not looking at the bigger picture. I mean for us that’s what Automatic was all about actually. Staying into the moment and not worrying.

FAULT Fashion – interview with Barbara Hulanicki

Barbara Hulanicki designer

Barbara Hulanicki. Photography by Dania Graibe

Whilst many fashion legends of the 60s have faded into history, Barbara Hulanicki, founder and head designer of Biba, is still making her artistic mark on the world.  Though she is only involved with the Biba brand, which made a high street fashion and interiors revival in 2010, on a consultancy basis she has busied herself with (much more exciting) ventures in interior design and a new fashion range called Iconclub.

The 79 year old – and OBE – now lives in Miami, designing the interiors for hotels and nightclubs and turning her narrative illustrations into scarves, bags and tshirts that inject the same sense of fun and liveliness as the Biba brand did in the 60s with a modern day update.

FAULT quizzed Barbara on her thoughts on fashion yesterday and today…

Talk us through the concepts for the illustrations on the new scarf collection…

It is so exciting to work with new digital printing techniques. In the past, I was restricted by cost because of the number of screens one would want for a design yet today it’s so wonderful to design on a computer, anything is possible. I generally start with an original illustration and we scan it in the computer and have a go with colors, styles, prints etc.

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Why did you decide to manufacture the new scarf line in Britain?

I just wanted so badly to work with a UK factory like I did during the BIBA days where we manufactured everything in London’s east end.

What’s your design philosophy?

I just keep observing everything and watch how and when fashion changes. The most recent is how the high heel died! I was wondering when women would just say STOP.

We think it’s incredible that you’re still working, do you think you will ever stop designing?

There is no “work” word in my vocabulary. There is so much more to learn and absorb from new situations and meeting new people.

What does it take to succeed in the design business?

Perseverance and just hard plod!

Iconclub Barbara Hulanicki

What have been some of your favourite projects to work on?

There are always new projects coming up. I seem to be interior design at the moment. I am very excited about working on a Hotel in Hollywood called Runway. It is the perfect partner for my fashion project Iconclub.

Why did you decide to settle in Miami?

It was not a conscious decision. I loved it as it was so rough, so raw. I came to Miami Beach to work on a club in the late eighties for Ronnie Wood. I met Chris Blackwell during that time, and he had just bought a job lot of hotels in Miami Beach. He gave me one to begin with, The Marlin Hotel. Then I continued to work with him on his hotels for about twenty years.

What do you think about the revival of 60s and 70s fashion in modern fashion?

Oh boy! Seen and done it and to me it’s not really new, the designers are stuck!

Who do you think is creating groundbreaking fashion today?

I really like Rick Owens and a few people who are still independent and not just governed by sales figures, the people who move forward regardless.

What’s your fault?

I am lazy, terrified to give in.

Ariana Grande Releases Music Video For ‘Love Me Harder – ft The Weeknd’

Unless you’ve spent this summer under a rock, you’ll undoubtable know the name Ariana Grande by now. Even those of you that don’t, we would bet money that you could recite the lyrics to hits ‘Problem‘ and ‘Break Free‘ without hesitation if asked. After Grande’s recent collaboration with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj on track ‘Bang Bang‘ gained nearly 100 million views on YouTube and momentarily broke the internet, we were kept on the edge of our seats waiting for her next release.

 

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We have now been graced with Ariana’s latest (and highly anticipated) music video for ‘Love Me Harder’ which features the soulful vocals from The Weeknd. Taken from Ariana’s sophomore album ‘My Everything‘, fans have called for this track to become a single, making the arrival of this video is very welcomed.

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Pop music as a genre is often plagued with insults and insinuations that pop singers lack vocal ability however Ariana and her powerhouse vocals not only silences the haters, she drowns them out with impeccable belts and vocal maturity far beyond her twenty-ones years of age. If anything, this song is not only a glimpse at what we can look forward to from Ariana as she continues to grow as an artist but another testament to the fact that no genre (especially one as expansive as pop music) should be defined by any one artist or their (or lack there of) of vocal ability.

See the full music video directed by Hannah Lux Davis below! The song is released in the UK on November 30th.