CULTURED RIDER. With roles in this year’s most exciting Western and next year’s hottest romance, Luke Grimes takes on the ride of his life on the big screen and beyond
Back in 2010, American actor Luke Grimes appeared in a drama film titled “Shit Year.” So, maybe 2010 wasn’t exactly a good year for the Ohio-born actor, but the 2010s has so far proven to be quite a great decade, full of eminent roles in high-profile films.
From 2012 till last year, it’s been a succession of knock-out titles starting with “Taken 2,” “True Blood,” “American Sniper” to “Fifty Shades of Grey.” This September, Grimes saddles up—literally, that is—in the long-waited “The Magnificent Seven,” before reappearing in the “Fifty Shades” sequels starting next year.
If anything, his recent filmography speaks volumes of his talent and, perhaps more importantly, his impressive acting range. When a performer does equally well as sexy TV vampire and battle-hardened Navy SEAL, typecasting ceases to be a potential problem.
Then, there’s his work outside of film production and outside the reach of cameras. A couple of months ago, for example, Grimes became the face of Chanel’s Allure Homme Sport Cologne.
One interesting side note to this, though, is that to this day, Grimes has also been outside the reach of social media. Some artists are hailed as having, or being, a “complete package.” If Grimes isn’t one yet, he’s certainly on his way to becoming a prime example of it.
But don’t just take our word for it; let the actor himself tell you of his recent adventures and future goals.
DA MAN: Can you tell us a bit about your character in “The Magnificent Seven”?
Luke Grimes: My character’s name is Teddy Q. He is a young farmer, who goes on a search along with a fellow townswoman to find gunmen to help them defend their town from the bandits who are trying to take their land. He has a lot of heart, but, when we meet him, not a lot of skill.
DA MAN: The film is a remake of a 1960 remake of a 1954 Japanese samurai film. What does this version bring to the table to make it appealing to a 2016 audience?
Luke Grimes: On top of being a really fun ride with a lot of action, this version of the film deals with some timely themes like racism and terrorism. It’s ultimately about the human spirit’s will to fight for their freedom and their rights.
DA MAN: Is this your first western? What do you think about the genre—especially with its recent resurgence in Hollywood?
Luke Grimes: This is my first western, and it is a definite dream come true. I grew up on westerns and my dad is a fanatic. I’d say my favorite is “Tombstone.” It doesn’t get any better than Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday.
DA MAN: How was it working with the cast on this film? There are so many amazing actors in it from Denzel Washington to Ethan Hawke and Peter Sarsgaard.
Luke Grimes: There were days when it literally felt like a dream. Not only have I looked up to a lot of these guys for a very long time, but now we are spending all day every day together for months and living in a different time, in this beautiful little town that was created for the film. We were riding horses every day and sharing stories. I was a very lucky young man to have been a part of this film.
DA MAN: Can you share some of the most memorable moments you encountered on set?
Luke Grimes: I remember one day we were sitting around a campfire shooting a scene, and it was one of the few times I found myself chatting candidly with Denzel, and he said, “I’m going to give you some advice that was given to me by Meryl Streep.” Obviously, that’s a hard sentence to beat from where I’m sitting. He said, “Your best work is done off camera.” I still think about that a lot, and I’m sure it will take on different meanings as I grow as an actor.
Outfit by Salvatore Ferragamo
DA MAN: How did your involvement in “The Magnificent Seven” actually begin?
Luke Grimes: I had heard about the project and wanted to read the script as soon as I could. As I read it, I didn’t really see anything for myself in there. Antoine [the director] called me in for a meeting and said that he had an idea about a character that he wanted to change to fit my sensibilities a little better. Of course, that is always a little scary—taking a job without really knowing what will be on the page. But Antoine asked me to trust him, and he seemed like a guy I could trust. I’m very glad I did.
DA MAN: Other than that, how was it like working with the director Antoine Fuqua?
Luke Grimes: I can’t say enough great things about Antoine. As a director, as an artist and as a human, he is just all around the best.
Outfit by Burberry
DA MAN: And then, of course, we’re also starting to hear about the two upcoming “Fifty Shades” sequels. How far into production are those two titles? What can fans look forward to?
Luke Grimes: They are both done with production. The new films have many new characters and are much more involved than the first film, which was actually more of a simple love story that focused mainly on getting to know the central characters. There are also some new people on the creative side of things, so I think that fans can look forward to seeing something fresh and a little different.
DA MAN: We’ve also learned that you’re now the face of Chanel’s Allure Homme Sport Cologne. How did you end up being picked for that particular campaign?
Luke Grimes: Chanel asked for an actor who was comfortable on a horse. Since I had just shot “The Magnificent Seven” and been on horseback every day, I felt comfortable enough, so they threw my name in the hat.
DA MAN: Was that really you galloping on a horse across fields and beaches? Did you do your own stunts?
Luke Grimes: A little of both. They really wanted to portray English-style riding, which I had never done before, and the horses were actual racehorses, which are extremely fast and require a lot of skill to handle. I rode where I could, but for some shots they wouldn’t allow it, because it required a real professional.
Outfit by Ralph Lauren
DA MAN: So, outside of the Chanel campaign, the two “Fifty Shades” sequels and “The Magnificent Seven,” where will we likely see you appear or perform next? How do you choose your projects?
Luke Grimes: The last two sort of go together. I’m not quite sure what the next step is. I feel like I am, or at least would like to be, a constantly changing and growing being, and I would like my work to reflect that. So, I just try to stay interested and keep looking for something that I feel I could add something to, or could add something to me artistically, whether that’s a film, a play, a TV series or something else.
DA MAN: Are there any particular filmmakers that you’d like to work with in the future?
Luke Grimes: Spike Jonze, Dennis Villeneuve, Olivier Assayas … The list could go on and on.
DA MAN: Beyond your work, are there any personal goals you’re looking to tackle?
Luke Grimes: Absolutely. I have a feeling this is where my “best work being off camera” comes into play. I am getting to an age where I feel my place in society in a different way. In my twenties, I did a lot of observing the world, almost dabbling in it to see where I fit. As I get a better understanding of who I am and my place in the world, I would like to find my niche where I could make a difference and give back.
DA MAN: Speaking of which, will we ever see an official Luke Grimes social media account?
Luke Grimes: I wouldn’t rule it out. At some point, maybe I will see a way in which I could add to it.
To see more images from this shoot, get a copy of DA MAN August/September 2016 here. And check out these outtakes below!
Sweater by Calvin Klein Collection