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Ben Barnes: The Prince’s Wardrobe

In this brand new photoshoot for The Observer magazine, Ben wraps up in a selection of this season’s classic coats. Check out the photos in the gallery.

Ben Barnes was chuffed to be asked to wear classic British menswear for this Observer fashion shoot. “If this is my perceived style, that’s brilliant. I’m Burberry in a park!” After roles in Dorian Gray and Easy Virtue, and his current appearance as Stephen Wraysford in the stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’s novel Birdsong, it’s a visual shorthand that makes sense. And was dressing as an English gent enjoyable?

“It was,” he concedes. “I don’t do many shoots. You can’t, otherwise you get too self-conscious. It’s like when you go the gym. You enjoy the first few times, but then start thinking: ‘All I do is lift something heavy and put it down where I found it. I’ve achieved nothing.’ Or when you think about theatre acting as simply shouting in the evening… Oh.” He stops. “How did I get there?”

He may look like Burberry in a park, but Barnes is interestingly introspective. This might partly be due to the fact he was raised – in Wimbledon, south London – by a psychotherapist mother and a psychiatrist father, but, at 29, Barnes’s articulate thoughtfulness seems to be all his own.

When we meet in a Soho bar, he is six weeks into the run of Birdsong and, unsurprisingly, given that he has to endure lost love and the First World War every night of the week, he’s quite tired. “This is probably the hardest job I’ve done because it’s a three-hour play and I’m barely off the stage,” he says. “I’ve got that feeling of being drained that you get after you cry.”

He’s delighted to be back on stage, though. It was theatre that made him first want to be an actor. “I was heavily into sport from 10 to 15, I was in all the teams, and it was everything to me. But I was very young for my school year and when puberty kicked in for my classmates I got left behind. That’s when I did more acting and singing.”

His first brush with fame was with music, as a member of boy band Hyrise, which competed to be the British entry for Eurovision 2004. A mention of this makes him groan. “I was in the band for about a fortnight. Of course I regret it. I know everyone makes mistakes, but I wish mine had been drug-fuelled rebellion rather than being in a boy band.”

He became famous in 2008 with his role as Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia films, the latest of which, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is out next month. “Shooting Prince Caspian, the first film, was overwhelming. I’d never been on a major film set before, never been to New Zealand where it was filmed, never been horse riding – I was so anxious. This time I enjoyed it. This film is younger, more fun and it’s easily the best story of the seven books. I saw it last week. Traditionally I watch my films through my fingers – I hate watching myself – but I loved this and I want millions of people to see it.”

Next year brings a very different role when Barnes plays music journalist Neil McCormick in the big-screen adaptation of comic memoir Killing Bono. McCormick was at school with Bono and in a rival band to U2 during the 1980s. “It was amazing pratting about in Belfast wearing leather trousers,” says Barnes, beaming. “I made a complete fool of myself, which comes quite naturally. Playing the clown of the group is my role with my friends.”

After that Barnes would like to try Hollywood, but is happy to take any script or part that interests him. “I want to take advantage of any popularity I have. That how you get more work, and that’s how you get exciting work. Those opportunities diminish if you don’t keep your momentum up.”

For now, though, it’s back to this evening’s performance of Birdsong. Barnes pulls out some gloves that he was allowed to keep from the Observer shoot. He puts them on and waves his hands oddly and precisely in the air. I ask what on earth he’s doing.

“Robert Downey Jr using his computer in Iron Man 2.”

He does a quick impression of Tom Cruise using a screen in Minority Report to show me how the hand movements are different, then gathers his belongings so he can head off to the theatre. Outside, I suddenly remember that he paid for our drinks and I didn’t thank him, but Barnes has already disappeared, heading back to the trenches.

Source: Guardian.co.uk

UPDATE: Thanks to Lorna for the scans!

Comments

Helaine said:

Really nice interview and a gorgeous photoshoot! As I’ve already said on the previous post, I will sleep much happier now… *-*

November 13th, 2010

Helaine said:

Ops, I meant ‘article’, not ‘interview’… Wow, I’m sleepy… XD

November 13th, 2010

C.S. said:

Thank you!

November 13th, 2010

Kim said:

I am speechless! the pictures are beautiful and i love the interview. it’s so wonderful to see so much Ben these days! thank you for all your hard work, Stephanie!

November 13th, 2010

Jenny said:

He’s so down to earth and full of wit, I truly hope he gets more work here in Hollywood. And I have to admit I laughed out loud picturing him doing that RDJ impression… SILLY BOYO.

November 13th, 2010

Nicole L. said:

i love the pictures and article!! especially the part where he mimicks using the computers in Iron Man 2 and Minority Report (i was pretty fascinated by those too when i saw the movies!! it was awesome!)

@Kim — i agree i love seeing Ben a lot too! yay

November 14th, 2010

KeyKey2DaBenz (aka bleep!) said:

OMD how dare you Stephanie! How dare you! x_x I was just coming to! and then you go and properly repost it ! And with >THAT< pic enlarged! How dare you!– x_x

–now I'll be out like a light for the rest of the night *~*

;p

November 14th, 2010

KeyKey2DaBenz (aka bleep!) said:

@Jenny, I agree, EVERYTHING about that article is just x_x

too good *~*

November 14th, 2010

Kimbers said:

These new pix are so sexy I can barely look! The one on the bridge with the kinky boots should come with a health warning! Stunnin’.

November 14th, 2010

Nightshade said:

Such a lovely article and @Helaine, I too am pleased that he is looking forward to doing more things.

@ Kimbers, I agree about the one on the bridge, I almost combusted ;-)

I have just been out to buy (two) copies of the paper (not cheap and you get about 100 supplements but this IS Ben). Sadly, the beautiful one of Ben wearing the lighter coloured coat is not even featured for some reason :-( but the picture you have featured here, just his head and profile, has a FULL PAGE!! ***thud***

November 14th, 2010

Nadia said:

Ohh, Ben it’s sooo beautiful (I love the part “he paid for our drinks XD).
I like the pictures, but I miss his lovely smile ;P

November 14th, 2010

DW said:

Looks kinda James Deanish in number 3! I like the one sitting on the bridge the best. Hmm lemme think, which park is closest to the theatre? I’m thinking maybe Green Park or Hyde Park! I’ll have to look for that bridge! hehe What’s with the over exposed one?! When I take ones like that, I’m embarrassed!

November 14th, 2010

Autumn ^_^ said:

OMG Steph!!! I almost fell off my chair when I saw Ben’s new pictures especially no.3!! Oh my!! pictures 3, 5,6,7 are heavenly but picture 3 with the smoldering eyes was too much for me. I love it!!! Thank you Steph for making my day. =)

November 14th, 2010

Helaine said:

“Looks kinda James Deanish in number 3!”
@DW – Oh, I so agree with you on that!!! *-*

November 14th, 2010

Autumn ^_^ said:

Wow, the article was great.!! Ben is such a gentleman. =)
Its okay Ben if you dont get to be a hollywood star, you already are a star here in UK and in my heart. ;)

November 14th, 2010

Geo said:

WHAT IS AIRRR? OhmyGod! These photos… these. these photos are killing me. The number 7 is… OHMYGOD, SAVE ME. And the article, oh, I don’t feel tired of saying he is the cutest and smartest person in this world *-* Thanks Steph :D

November 14th, 2010

Nicole L. said:

hey Steph — i found a longer behind the scenes video (they call it a “B-Roll” on the youtube page) for Carrie Underwood’s new single from the VDT movie…it’s a little choppy and the sound goes out for a few seconds about 2 mins in, but i think yall will still enjoy watching it since it has more clips of the song that wasn’t heard in the other video yahoo posted :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guxASoRV1UA&feature=player_embedded#!

November 14th, 2010

Helen said:

“Robert Downey Jr using his computer in Iron Man 2.”

haha, I adore Robert :)
and Ben ofc….:)))

November 14th, 2010

Nightshade said:

The loveliest pic of Ben on the bridge wasn’t in the Observer magazine :-( still at least we get to save the pics on here …

@DW, the article says the photoshoot was at Kenwood House, which is in Hampstead, North London. A lovely place, went there for a couple of outside concerts many years ago.

November 14th, 2010

DW said:

Oh, thanks Nightshade. I haven’t had time to read the article yet! Sounds like a pretty place. I guess I won’t look for it in the parks in London then! My fave park is Regent’s Park though. We walked through there last year, and of course I’ve been to the zoo. Really lovely, especially the pond or lake or whatever type body of water it is there! Very serene!

Yeah, the bridge one is my fave pic! I have a contact through ebay who lives in England and sends me all the Ben paper media! Already alerted him to the Observer and he said he’s on it!!! He’s my lackey! lol

November 14th, 2010

Mandi said:

*crossing my fingers for HQ photos to show up*

I want to make more Wallpapers!

November 14th, 2010

The Prince’s Wardrobe | AslansCountry.com said:

[…] Ben Barnes Fan and Ben Barnes Online have reported an article from the Observer featuring fashion pictures of Ben Barnes. In the article he talks about being in a boy band, sports in school, how he acts around his friends, Birdsong, and getting film jobs. Here’s what he says about Narnia: He became famous in 2008 with his role as Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia films, the latest of which, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is out next month. “Shooting Prince Caspian, the first film, was overwhelming. I’d never been on a major film set before, never been to New Zealand where it was filmed, never been horse riding – I was so anxious. This time I enjoyed it. This film is younger, more fun and it’s easily the best story of the seven books. I saw it last week. Traditionally I watch my films through my fingers – I hate watching myself – but I loved this and I want millions of people to see it.” […]

November 14th, 2010

Stephanie said:

Just added scans of The Observer article, thanks to lovely Lorna! :)

November 15th, 2010

StarryKnight said:

OH. EM. GEE. Could he be more fabulous in those pictures?!?! What a doll…Mmmmm <3! <3! <3 him!

November 16th, 2010

*Caroline* said:

Thanks for posting that Elle Girl thingy from Russia, Steph!

But now… Is there anyone here who can translate it to English?!?!? ;)

November 20th, 2010

Galene said:

@*Caroline* There is nothing new in this interview (but pics), really.
It seems to be a compilation from Ben`s old interviews.
Hello Kitty pants, Ben`s “bad knees”, the quest for girl with sense of humor and good appetite ;) , 90 interviews in a single day during promotional campaign for “Prince Caspian” and lost voice, fighting wearing handcuffs in the “Dawn Treader”, etc. We already know all this.

November 20th, 2010

*Caroline* said:

@Galene: Thanks! Too bad there’s nothing new. It looked so cool I was really hoping there’d be something cool to read, too! :D

November 21st, 2010