Henry Golding covers T&C: ‘My first passion was hairdressing’

Any day we get a new Henry Golding interview is a good day. At least for me. I could stare at these photos all day long *sigh*. Henry is in the current production of Persuasion that has everyone in their feels. The discussion has made me want to see it because you know how attracted I am to drama. I have nothing to lose as I’ve never read Persuasion. While I love Jane Austen film adaptations, I cannot stand Jane Austen books *ducks for cover*. It’s just icing on the cake that Henry is in this adaption and, according to his new Town&Country interview, loves “modern takes on period dramas.” Me too, Henry! We’ve mentioned a few times that, prior to film star, Henry held a few jobs, like travel show host and red-carpet interviewer. But his main profession was hairdresser, something he began at the age of 15. Henry is always happy to talk about his hairdressing days. In this interview, he admits it was his first passion. But in addition to the craft itself, he feels working in the hair industry gave him a foundation of gratitude and empathy for others.

On Mr. Elliot: I think he’s far less complicated than we would imagine he is. He’s one of those people who knows what he wants and is going to mold the universe to his will. Within the story, he has his goal and he’ll do anything to get it—or to get into the pants of his perspective target. For me, it was a joy to know that as much as the character goes through, he’s not going to end up with lady. I could just have fun with that.

On the characters he chooses: I’m really drawn to characters that itch something not only in my mind, but in my heart. It can be curiosity, it can be envy, it can be a kind of joy, but if a character sparks an emotion like that deep within me, it becomes something that I’m completely drawn to.

On his work ethic: I’ve worked tremendously hard for the majority of my lifetime. My first passion was hairdressing, and working in that industry in London from the age of 15 instilled at the early stages gratitude and empathy for others. I’ve lived a really beautiful existence in a way that I’m so grateful for, being able to have experience in different levels of life. It gives me a sense of reality. Like, if all of this went away, I think I’d be okay. I was something else before, I could be something else again.

[From Town&Country]

I know Henry sticks mainly to giving his wife blow outs and clipping his kids’ coifs now, but could you imagine? Those hands massaging your scalp at the shampoo bowl, with that gorgeous face looking down at you and that lovely voice telling you to just sit back and relax? (I know high-end stylists don’t do their own shampooing but don’t ruin this for me.) I like Henry’s whole answer about working. It’s easy to think that when someone is as handsome as Henry, things maybe came easier. But he was in a service industry at the age of 15. My guess is he started as an apprentice and worked his way up to master stylist, so I’m going to take him at his word about having worked hard. Time in the service industry will give someone a different outlook on their fellow man. And hair is so personal. Not only do people get hyper-protective of their hair, hairdressers see people at their most vulnerable, like weddings, awards, dates, breakup make-overs, etc. That’s difficult to navigate.

The interview said they were speaking to Henry in Italy where he’s shooting The Old Guard 2. Credit where its due, he didn’t allow himself to be type-cast after Crazy Rich Asians. I imagine there’s a freedom to find the “characters that itch something” when you know you can fall back on an old profession or simply that you know the value of hard work and are willing to go back to it if the film career doesn’t take off. On that note, it’s refreshing to read Henry say he worked hard but also recognizes he’s been blessed since entering Hollywood. Both things can be true and it’s nice to hear someone admit it.

Photo credit: Instagram. Avalon Red, Cover Images and Backgrid

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35 Responses to “Henry Golding covers T&C: ‘My first passion was hairdressing’”

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  1. Mia1066 says:

    Well I’ve been reading austen for 50 years and no way am I watching this mess of a movie which seems to bear no relationship to the book other than austen slapped on it.

    I did really like Golding till I read someone here say he’s a Depp supporter (liked his post) so not liking that about him if true.

    • Isabella says:

      The reviews are scathing. A low Rotten tomatoes score.

    • whatever says:

      Well, I’ve watched about a third of it and it is god awful. The beauty of Austen is the prose and they tossed all that out the window. Anne Elliot is now an alcoholic who swills red wine and screams into her pillow about Wentworth “Love me now! Love me now!” ???

      Anne is usually depicted as pining for her missed chance at love love and here she’s snarky and downright manic. Its all so cringey.

  2. Southern Fried says:

    I first noticed him in A Simple Favor and wanted more.

    • SpankyB says:

      I just just watched A Simple Favor not realizing he was in it. It was a pleasant surprise when I saw him. Then I watched Persuasion. Back to back Henry. It was a good night.

  3. Danbury says:

    I know this will be a very unpopular opinion – but I really enjoyed the movie!! Honestly, it was loosely based on the Austen book – we just need to put that aside and enjoy the lighthearted silliness of it all. Henry was great in it too. That man can wear a suit …

    • Common sense says:

      You are not alone. I too enjoyed the movie. Although, I have never read the novel and I don’t plan to.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think if you haven’t read the book then you’re going to really enjoy the movie, but if you’ve read and loved the book and were expecting a genuine adaptation, then you would be disappointed. They made Anne into an Elizabeth Bennet type, and she’s not like that in the book at all.

      • Dee says:

        I read and loved the book. And I enjoyed the new movie. Anne doesn’t have to be a silent mouse to be persuaded and then regret her choices. Austen doesn’t have to be a stuffy or an historical reenactment to be enjoyed. It was so fun, I watched it again the next day. Did I miss some of the minor characters and subplots that needed to be trimmed to fit into a movie length feature? Sure,

      • Becks1 says:

        It’s not about Anne being a silent mouse. It’s about Anne being a different character than Elizabeth Bennet, and the movie just basically acted like the characters were interchangeable. It’s not about Austen needing to be stuffy or a historical reenactment to be enjoyed (although this was still a period piece so i guess still a historical reenactment…) . I don’t think most Austen movies are stuffy, certainly not P&P and not Sense and Sensibility.

        There’s a way to do historical Austen with a modern feel, and I just think this movie’s attempts fell flat overall.

    • SpankyB says:

      I liked it too. I was entertained. And I thought Dakota did a great job. I’m not a huge Austen fan and read Persuasion years ago so I don’t remember it very well. Except for a few modern phrases thrown about I couldn’t tell you what was accurate and what wasn’t.

  4. Becks1 says:

    I didnt know he was a hair stylist! That’s interesting. I bet it does give him a different perspective on the whole entertainment industry.

    I watched Persuasion this weekend. And then on Sunday I declared myself in need of a palate cleansing and watched the 1995 version, Keira Knightley’s P&P, and Sense and Sensibility. (My husband was like WTF is going on here lol. but I declared myself in need of an Austen day so there you go.)

    Anyway, for the new version….the only thing that saved it for me was I went in with super low expectations. they tried to modernize in weird ways ( the whole “he’s a 5 but a 10 in Bath” was just kind of cringey) but I got what they were going for overall. Henry Golding was actually pretty perfect for the part, and the supporting cast were all pretty dead on (omg Mary Musgrove was the best, lol.)

    I didn’t dislike Dakota Johnson in the part, I just thought the part was miswritten. like I don’t think anne Elliot really was such a lush, smuggling bottles of wine to her room, and they made her seem too snarky and kind of brushed over Anne’s goodness. The big issue for me was Wentworth, there’s one scene on the beach when he’s talking to Anne and he’s just basically yelling at her (but hes not supposed to be yelling) and I was like why is he being so LOUD?!? They also completely messed up the scene with The Letter. That was the part that really ticked me off.

    Overall….if its your first introduction to Austen or Persuasion, I think you might enjoy it. If you’re a devotee of earlier versions, this might not be your cup of tea, but if you go in expecting nothing (as I did), you may end up being surprised.

    • Snuffles says:

      My favorite Austin adaptation was Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet’s version of Sense and Sensibility.

    • Anners says:

      I went in with super-low expectations and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t as awful as I feared. It wasn’t good (it wasn’t Persuasion), but I liked Richard E. Grant as Mr Elliott and Mary was a fun modernized version of “a lot”. And I will happily watch Henry Golding in pretty much anything.

    • Dee says:

      People drank a lot of wine, cider or beer in those days. Water was either contaminated with bacteria and parasites or people thought it was unhealthy, so they drank alcoholic beverages instead, since it was considered safer.

      • Becks1 says:

        LOL, I know that. I never said that they didnt. but do we think Anne elliot was smuggling bottles of red wine into her room to “dance to beethoven”? Or that she was sitting in the hallway, chugging wine straight from the bottle?

    • JJS says:

      Yeah I liked it too, I just had to violently block out the moments where she talks to the audience directly and I could enjoy everything else. But I’ve never read the book, which I think helped. I also hated the numbers thing though! Took me out of the film every time. But the casting was excellent, I didn’t know Cosmo Jarvis from anything but I’m now convinced he’s Hollywood casting of my husband (who has thick hair, sparce eyebrows on the edges and most importantly, the natural brown on the skin around the eyes — I never see that anywhere! he is French…) so maybe I’m now biased…

  5. Shawna says:

    It would be cool if he did a charity fundraiser based on his hairdressing. Like a variation on a thirst trap or auctioning dates. I can only imagine what I’d be willing to pay if I were rich! (I hope his agent reads CB!)

    I like that he doesn’t want to overcomplicate his character, who comes in way too late in the book for Austen to develop very deeply. He’s like a flat/simplified Willoughby.

  6. Mel says:

    I really hope he fired his agent!

  7. Tiffany says:

    The man has the movie star look down.

    The last one we had or still have is Clooney, so it’s nice to have another.

  8. Lucy says:

    There are some deeply cringey lines and moments in this version of Persuasion, but as a whole, I really enjoyed it. The acting and costumes are very good. I expected to hate-watch it and ended up just mostly enjoying it.

  9. MK says:

    Same on Jane Austen books! You are not alone!

  10. K says:

    He’s so gorgeous. You could put a turnip in an Empire waist dress and I would watch it. I will give Persuasion a shot even though I don’t really like DJ

  11. Alexandria says:

    It’s definitely difficult for him to break into Hollywood and get good roles afterwards. His pan Asian looks are valued in SEA so acting and hosting jobs are available here at least as a good backup. To translate that success to Hollywood was not easy and I wish him more success after taking the risk. No stories about bad attitude from him too. I think if he became Bond that would be very very interesting and refreshing.

  12. Scal says:

    He was miscast and should have been Wentworth. But nope let’s have the hot Asian guy be the villain instead!

    The dialogue was awful. If you’re a 5 in London you’re a 10 in bath? The entire 4th wall thing was stupid. If you want a solid modern Austen interpretation from this year go see Fire Island. All gay mostly Asian cast. Has Bowen Yang as the ‘Jane bennett’ character. It is a perfect modern retelling.

    Decent version of persuasion go see the 1995 adaptation. It’s perfect.

    • Wilma says:

      I haven’t watched yet, but I was very disappointed he was cast as Mr. Elliot instead of Wentworth. I would happily watch that movie!

      • Ladiabla says:

        I think Henry being cast as Mr. Elliot would make him even more of a temptation to Anne, before she becomes aware of his true character. What does Anne say about him in the film (the real film, with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds)… It was something like, ) he had “very correct opinions, manners, and wide knowledge of the world.” Throw in the fact that he looks like Henry Golding, I mean….being the next Lady Elliot would start looking better and better to me lol. Anyway, I’m not sure if I’ll watch this version, I love the book and the movie so much. Love Henry, but he can’t save the movie if the rest is a mess. And Anne is neither Lizzie Bennett nor is she fleabag. And she’s not a silent mouse either

  13. Chaine says:

    Not loving his beard. Go back to clean shaven Henry!

  14. AmelieOriginal says:

    I don’t recognize him with facial hair and longer hair! Still handsome but he looks like a totally different guy.

    I haven’t watched the movie yet and I don’t think I ever read this Jane Austen book. But I thought Dakota Johnson’s English accent in the trailer was awful.

  15. Lens says:

    I love him.He is just perfect. That is all.

  16. Jess says:

    I’m not an Austen expert but read Persuasion and didn’t get the hype. I was going to avoid this movie too but given that he’s in it and it sounds a bit fun, I think I’ll have to give it a try.

  17. AnneL says:

    I like Jane Austen books OK, but I’m not an Austenite or anything. I might be the rare one who didn’t love the 90s film of Sense And Sensibility. Kate Winslet was wonderful but Emma Thompson, much as I admire her work, was too old for the role of Elinor. And Alan Rickman seemed like a creepy old lech as Brandon. I loved the BBC mini-series and thought it was a better adaptation. The romances were more romantic.

    So as for Persuasion, I think I’ll watch it. No expectations, since I haven’t read the book and don’t expect it to be great. And I want to look at Henry Golding.

  18. Poppy says:

    @Hecate, if you ever plan to read Austen, Persuasion is really great.

  19. SIde Eye says:

    He is so beautiful and I love what he says here. Love him.

  20. The Recluse says:

    Ah, such nice, charming eye candy.
    Still haven’t decided whether to watch the new version of Persuasion. I may be too loyal to the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version and to the book itself.