Cool Hand Luke

We sat down with the new face of Ralph Lauren POLO RED fragrance and Hacksaw Ridge star Luke Bracey to talk adventures, nature, super hero roles, and more.

Tell us about your adventures back in South Wales.

When I just finished school we went on a big surfing trip up the coast we were on this beach we drove another 45 minutes down a dirt road and we hadn’t seen a person all day we came across this beach that didn’t have a foot print in the sand — it was kind of the quintessential surfing trip. We are out there for about an hour and then suddenly we see a grey shadow go behind the wave, and me and my mate look at each other just in the eyes ‘oh fuck’ this is a shark we’re fucked. We ducked down into the next wave hoping it was not a shark and when we came up we saw it was a dolphin. For the next hour we were surfing with dolphins by ourselves in beautiful pristine water. As an Australian we are really proud of how beautiful it is.

What is life like in LA now that you have been a working actor for several years?

I have lived in LA more than 6 years now. I moved to Los Angeles to work. It was;t so that I could have a great time. I wanted to push myself and all aspects of life. Now it is kind of nice to get out of the Hollywood rat race. I grew up where I could walk to a beach, and the idea of getting in a car to drive to the beach to go surfing is a bit of a trip. This year I moved much closer to the beach maybe a 10 minute drive from a great surf spot in front of me. It really is the first thing you think of when you wake up and when you go to bed. There are a lot of beautiful trails it is kind of secluded I am really loving it out here. It is a relaxed way of life, actually. I live a real homebody life. I keep it really low key with the people I love my family and friends. A popular question I get is ‘who would you want to invite to the ultimate dinner?’ but my answer is always my family and friends.

You really love nature tell us more about that?

In a broad sense I believe in spirituality. I find such beauty in this world. I guess you could say I am a nature spiritualist in that way. One of the great things about growing up on the ocean is you realize how small you are. The water is going to take you where it wants to take you. You can’t argue with it. I find that really beautiful that I am a small part of such beauty. Recently I started doing a bit of mediation following Hacksaw Ridge, I needed to find a way to get back to who I was.

Why did you taken the role in Hacksaw Ridge and what were some takeaways?

I just wanted to be apart of this film. I told my agent I would play a tree! To know that Mel (Gibson) was directing it along with Andrew Garfield starring in it you knew it was going to be a brilliant. On the surface my character just looked like a tough guy, as a man I found it really interesting at what point does another man stop telling a man to just harden up and empathize with him. What point does he recognize a struggle and a pain in another man that is just not easily brushed off. Where does this mask of masculinity come from — and when does it get put on at a young age, or do we grow into it? I really found it interesting as an actor and as a man to ask those questions. My character was such a lost soul. Once he got into the military he realized this is what I was put on this earth to do — he was finally able to do something with his life. I think what I took away from that was; don’t wait for something to happen that way ya know — go out and enjoy your life. Its cliche but push yourself forward rather than being pushed.

Can you tell us about any future projects?

It is kinda hard to jump onto any old thing after a movie like Hacksaw Ridge but there are definitely some projects in the works.

Tell us about being the face of POLO RED?

I’ve been traveling around the world with them. I have been really enjoying it. It is a great opportunity and cool kind of campaign shot by Bruce Weber. It’s really a scent I really connect with its authentic, masculine, and down to earth.

Have you ever wanted to play a super hero — if so who would you play?

I never really was a comic book guy growing up. Now, with all the superheroes movies coming out I never knew there was so many! I was a big fan of the X-men cartoon growing up. I always really liked the guy the who threw the ace of spades in a trench coat, Gambit. I could be really open to all of them. We can get a little self important in a way — and if I can inspire kids and people playing a superhero.

Who were some of your idols or icons in Hollywood?

I always looked back at Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, and Robert Redford those three I’ve always admired. Cool Hand Luke is one of the greatest movies ever made. I love any movie Steve McQueen has ever made and Robert Redford is a legend. The way they carried themselves the way the dressed was truly masculine to me.

What is masculinity to you?

In movies if you don’t have huge muscles and 3% body fat than you are not a man, and I think that is just bullshit. I think the men back in the day portrayed so much masculinity and so much strength and they didn’t need be these huge dudes. It’s a cheap fix to go and get big and strong, that’s not masculinity to me — that’s not being a man. I don’t think being fit and going to the gym everyday and haven’t had a carb in five months makes you a man. When I make a movie I take my shirt off a couple times. I trained for two months leading up to that 1 or 2 days of shooting. People think I look like that all the bloody time. There’s a reality to that; I don’t want young men to think being a man is purely what you look like. It is more about how you conduct yourself.

Any Summer Plans You Can Share With Us?

I’m planning on going to Croatia to catch up with some of my friends who are going to be there. I have spent the last few Summers in Europe I really enjoy it.

On dating

You never know if you never go. Go up say good day, hi my name is — To me it is about right place right time kind of thing. I don’t like to manufacture things. Be careful what you wish for — you might actually get it.

On the secret to a good life

Whenever my father toasts, he always says to health and happiness. He always said Health is a crown. If I can be happy and healthy in my life and the people I love can be happy and healthy then that’s a successful life.

 

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