Jack Huston Has More Than a Famous Name
Grandpa John and Aunt Anjelica set the bar high, but the 27-year-old is rising to the challenge with roles in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Martin Scorsese’s new HBO project, Boardwalk Empire.
BY DAVID WALTERS,
With a breakout role in Martin Scorsese’s new project, the 27-year-old Brit proves he’s got more than Hollywood good looks and a famous last name (as in Grandpa John and Aunt Anjelica)—he also has a legitimate knack for the family business.
Details: In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, you play the former fiancé of Edward’s sister, Rosalie. How did you land the part?
Jack Huston: I auditioned for another part—a newborn vampire—and kind of shocked the producers. I acted like a junkie. I hadn’t slept the night before and had drunk lots of coffee. Everyone was like, “Um, a little too edgy.” But they liked me enough to offer me this part instead.
Details: What’s it like to be part of the Twilight phenomenon?
Jack Huston: I have never seen anything like it, actually. I turned up for shooting and, literally, everyone was there—children, teenagers, 20-year-olds, mothers, older ladies. There was an English teacher, who had saved up her time off and flown from England to Vancouver to put herself up in the same hotel as the cast. She sat in the lobby all day, just to see them walk out. That’s a little extreme, but I like her dedication.
Details: Your character isn’t a nice guy. Have any rabid fans confronted you yet?
Jack Huston: They haven’t said anything to me yet. I’m safe for now. But imagine if it turns nasty and they camp outside my house with knives. That would be terrible. “Stop attacking me! I’m really a nice guy! I am not a rapist!”
Details: Your next project is the hotly anticipated HBO Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire. Any spoilers?
Jack Huston: Martin Scorsese shot the pilot, and it’s going to look like a Scorsese movie. It takes place in Atlantic City during the 1920s, in the early days of organized crime. My character’s come back from the war, and things have happened to him. He’s not really an on-the-boardwalk kind of person. I can’t reveal too much, but he wants to hide. I had to alter a lot about my appearance for the role.
Details: Like growing a mustache?
Jack Huston: I’ve had a mustache in a few things now. I think I’ve become the go-to mustache man. It works in period pieces. Modern-day mustaches are probably creepy. But I get compliments—everyone’s like, “Wow, love the ‘stache, dude.”
Details: You’re filming in New York. What have you been doing when you’re not shooting?
Jack Huston: Filming in New York has been nice, but like an idiot I’ve just been up in my room working. I tend to do that when I travel for work. Just sitting in my hotel room getting stuff done: reading, going over scripts, rewriting little bits. Like a recluse. I am Howard Hughes at the moment. I’m pissing in bottles.
Details: What’s the set like?
Jack Huston: We are at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. They built this incredible boardwalk. It blows your mind. When the show ends, apparently it’s going to stay there because it’s become this attraction. You can see a time line of them building it on YouTube. All from nothing.
Details: Is it true you’ve filmed a movie with Al Pacino?
Jack Huston: It’s been a couple years now, I think. I did a day’s work on this Oscar Wilde movie he’s doing called Wilde Salome. He must have hundreds of hours of film now, and he’s still editing. I’ve seen it maybe six times, and I’ve seen six different movies—each time it’s a different film. For a week or so we were going to Al’s every night, eating fruit salad, and talking about the part.
Details: Fruit salad?
Jack Huston: “Fruit salad, Al? Seven days in a row?! Can you bring me some fucking prosciutto?” [Laughs] I can’t say enough about Al. There is no man as invested in what he does.
Details: You come from a famous family. Do you feel pressure to live up to the name?
Jack Huston: My grandpa didn’t get started until he was in his mid-forties. My aunt Anjelica started in her thirties after modeling for a long time. My uncle Danny really started in his late thirties. I guess we’re just late bloomers. I started early compared to them, so there’s no pressure.
Details: Did they steer you into the family business?
Jack Huston: I was in England, so I was always very separate from them. But Anjelica did say that she thought it would be a good idea if I came to America, which really spurred me to make the move. But we never really talk about the craft or anything like that. They gave me advice, but more as one’s own aunt or uncle or mother or father would do. Just like a normal family.
Details: They must have taught you a few things about Hollywood.
Jack Huston: I went to the Academy Awards with my aunt when I was, like, 19, and I remember walking the red carpet. I think that put me off ever wanting to do it again. I was just shell-shocked. There are so many people, and they are literally yelling at you! I fucking freaked out! I downed, like, four drinks and got hammered.
Details: Has dating Cat Deeley, the host of So You Think You Can Dance, made you better at handling the flashbulbs?
Jack Huston: She gets recognized when we go out, not me. It’s like that scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall—”Hey, Lurch! Get out of the picture.”