An interview with Boyd Holbrook

photography by Will Davidson
styling by Michael Philouze
written by Alexis Maida


coat Hermès; t-shirt The Quality Mending Co.

When you come across authenticity in today’s celebrity-obsessed (and celebrities obsessed with themselves) society, it hits you like a breath of fresh mountain air. That is just what i felt when i had the chance to speak with Boyd Holbrook.

AM How did you first get into acting?
BH The very first thing I did was send a script I loved to Gus van Sant, naively thinking I would direct it. We then had an executive meeting with Larry Clark and later on, Gus who was shooting Milk at the time, offered me a Where’s Waldo part in Milk — a glorified extra basically.

AM So you were writing scripts before you even started to act?
BH Yeah, I’ve been writing shorts and skits and overall immoral ideas for a while. That’s what really interests me. I went to drama school, did some courses in NYU and then went on to Columbia for some writing.

AM Once you did your Where’s Waldo part in Milk did you know you definitely wanted to pursue the acting side of the industry first?
BH Absolutely. We didn’t have many theatres where I grew up, so it never really was any kind of means to me till I moved to NY and got into classes and became more of an actor. I was in drama school at the time, so after seeing Sean Penn work, I figured it might be best if I stayed.

AM Recently you premiered two films at Sundance. Was that your first big festival experience where you were showing and promoting films? BH I had two films there this year, Little Accidents and The Skeleton Twins, but my first experience was with Higher Ground, directed by Vera Farmiga. I thought it was this really nerdy festival so I drove up and sat in traffic for a few hours while trying to get into town, peeing in water bottles.

AM So how is the festival experience, especially this last one where you’re premiering two films?
BH The Sundance Film Festival is pretty wild. It has a bit more run- ning around. I only got to see one other film! I was basically just run- ning around and taking interviews, but yes, I didn’t get to see a lot of films, which was a drag.

AM Obviously you’ve already worked with an impressive list of actors. Were you ever intimidated going on set for the first day or meeting these people?
BH I think if you really can’t have a conversation with someone, you’re probably not going to be able to work together and be a good fit. However, I do prefer to get in these environments that allow me to be a better actor.


Download MUSE 38 – Digital Issue to read the full interview.