SBJCT JOURNAL – Meet Lucy Boynton, much more than your latest blonde breakaway bombshell. We talked inspiration and evolving with your career. Captured in LA clad in some of Miu Miu’s latest most IT GIRL looks, for your reading and viewing pleasure.

Have you had a role that you really identify with most with? What was it?
I’ve realised recently what excites me most is if there isn’t much at all that I can identify with in the character I’m playing. Obviously in order to play them you have to have empathy for them, and so to find that you try to draw lines in abstract ways between your experience and theirs, but I wouldn’t want to play someone close to me. There’s no journey or adventure there. There’s more to learn from someone further from your own existence.

Was there a moment in your life where you knew 100% you wanted to be an actress, and how did you make it a reality?
I had a few years going through an awkward teen phase where I was auditioning several times a week and getting nothing. I had suddenly become too old for the child roles and was still too young for the adult roles so it was quite relentless rejection. It made me question myself and how much I needed or wanted to be in this industry if this was an insight into what it would be like. As crap as it felt at the time I’m now really grateful to have had that period to step back and see it all more clearly, to check myself and what I was really looking for in it. It forced me to acknowledge just how much I love it and need it and how much I’m willing to put into it.

How has your career changed from when you first started acting at such a young age, and how do you hope to evolve in the next few years?
I started when I was twelve so I’d say it’s evolved quite a bit! One thing I’d say is that I’m much more deliberate in my process and preparation now. It’s been a fierce education and I’m learning better how to get as much as I can out of it, learn as much as I can from each job and each person I work with.

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GALLERY LINKS
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2018 > Session 005

THE LAST MAGAZINE – Acting is not a game of make-believe for Lucy Boynton, star of the new film Bohemian Rhapsody. No newcomer to the scene, her lead role opposite Rami Malek as Queen’s Freddie Mercury proves the New York-born, London-raised actor is destined for success.

In the biopic, directed by Bryan Singer of X-Men fame, the 24-year-old Boynton plays Mary Austin, Mercury’s wife and longtime muse who inspired the ballad “Love of My Life.” The hotly anticipated film follows the founding of British rock band Queen in London in the early Seventies, focusing on the life story of the icon and visionary lead singer Mercury.

At first, Boynton didn’t jump at the role, she admits. “I’m quite tentative when it comes to biopics,” she explains, “because they cross a line into intrusiveness or exposing someone who isn’t alive or around to draw a line or defend themselves.” However, upon reading the script, she changed her mind: “It’s a celebration and an ode to this person and these brilliant minds that formed Queen. It doesn’t shy away from anything.” The Fox producers called Boynton on a Tuesday, having worked closely with her on the star-studded Murder on the Orient Express the year before. She signed on the following day and just two days later, she was on a plane home to begin filming.

Boynton’s interest in acting began early, inspired by a school drama teacher who sparked a sense of wonder in her as a child. “She taught us something that I still find most fascinating about this job: You aren’t pretending to be someone else, you are really embodying this person,” she recalls. “At its best, you really step out of yourself and become the other person, which is a very strange thing to be able to teach ten-year-olds.”

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GALLERY LINKS
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2018 > Session 004

CONTENT MODE Considering your formative years growing up in the UK, did that had any influence on your various roles in British centric films?
One of the reasons I’m so drawn to this job is the life-hopping, time-hopping element of it. London has always been my home so to get to explore it in new ways throughout different decades and centuries and through the eyes and experiences of such contrasting perspectives is a total thrill. It feels like a behind-the-scenes history lesson.

Can you describe the research for your role as Mary Austin in Bohemian Rhapsody which is set during an iconic time in music history ?
My first step was watching all the interviews she’s done to try and gauge what she’s happy talking about publicly, and how she spoke about some of the moments we specifically address in the film. Also it wasn’t so much about focusing on her ticks and idiosyncrasies as one might usually have to hone in on. Because I’m playing her at a time and age much earlier than the interviews were taken I focused more on how she described her experience and tried to get into the mindset of how someone innocent of hindsight might see it. And beyond that Brian May, who actually introduced Freddie and Mary to one another, was my main source of information and opinion. He was incredibly generous with his time we were so so lucky.

Mary Austin is known to be very private; were you able to meet Mary and discuss her life with Freddie Mercury? And her life without him?
Unfortunately as much as I would have liked to, and would still like to, I didn’t get the opportunity to meet Mary or have a conversation with her, which added another pressure of wanting to portray her story honestly but with as much respect to her boundaries as possible. Also because I wasn’t able to ask her about the specific moments we address I am very much aware, and hope the audience understand too, that my portrayal of her is an interpretation of her experience.

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HEMISPHERESPast
Lucy Boynton was just 12 when she landed her first acting gig, as young Beatrix in 2006’s Miss Potter. But it wasn’t until 2016’s Sing Street—from Once director John Carney—that she really found her groove. “Because I started at such a young age, I went in with a ‘take what comes, do what I’m told’ approach,” says Boynton, now 24. “Sing Street was the first time I’d worked so collaboratively. [Carney] would say, ‘I hate this scene—let’s rewrite the whole thing.’ The amount of control he gave the actors was amazing.” Boynton, who was born stateside to travel-writer parents and moved to the U.K. at age 5, calls those two films “bookmarks” in a résumé that also includes the BBC’s 2008 Sense & Sensibility miniseries and last year’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Present
This fall, Boynton stars opposite Rami Malek in the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. She plays Mary Austin, the Queen frontman’s longtime companion, confidante, and muse, whose place in Mercury’s story is often overlooked. “Their relationship was such an exquisite thing to explore—how deeply supportive they were of bringing out in each other the most honest and real versions of themselves,” Boynton says. Before Bohemian Rhapsody hits theaters, on November 2, Boynton portrays the daughter of an early-20th-century cult leader in the Netflix thriller Apostle, which starts streaming October 12. “The difference between the two demonstrates my favorite thing about this job,” she says. “You get to live so many lives.”

Future
Boynton’s Netflix run continues with The Politician, an upcoming comedy series that’s part of Ryan Murphy’s buzzed-about nine figure move to the streaming giant. (The series also stars Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt and, reportedly, Barbra Streisand and Gwyneth Paltrow.) “It’s kind of terrifying,” Boynton says with a laugh. “It’s impossible not to be aware of the Ryan Murphy empire, but he is so kind and funny, and you feel in such safe hands every day.” As for roles Boynton would love to tackle, there’s a when rather than a who on her bucket list. “It was a bit of a whirlwind year in terms of jumping in and out of different time periods, but I haven’t done anything in the Jazz Age,” she says. “I’d love to do that.”

THE BEAUTIFUL MIND SERIES – Actress, Lucy Boynton, on being a woman in film and embracing the darkness in alternative selves.

Stepping in and out of other selves
When you’re becoming another human, you have to find something in them that resonates with you. But it’s not that they have to be like you. In fact what excites me most are the characters that I don’t see in myself. In no other job do you get to step in and out of other selves like this.

Why I’m drawn to the dark
There’s something dark in actors. To be able to be so transient in identity there has to be a certain amount of yourself that is – empty is the wrong word – open. You have to be an open wound. I love the darker material because it is an extreme that I don’t experience in my own life. It quenches some kind of absence in me.

The darkest character I will ever have played…
Is one I’m going to play in Medusa, an upcoming film by Osgood Perkins. He’s the director I also worked with in The Blackcoat’s Daughter and I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House. The films Osgood writes are dark and devastating but also beautiful and rooted in grief and loss. Violet, my character, is dark but only in the sense of absence of light. There’s an innocence to her darkness.

The empowering feeling of instilling fear
Being brought up as a woman, you have a sense of vulnerability projected onto you, in the way you are taught to take care of yourself walking home at night and so on. But in this film, Violet is the one the others fear. For someone who looks like me, someone you might mistake as vulnerable, it’s empowering to instil fear in others.

Wow this is dark!

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GALLERY LINKS
Magazine Scans > 2017 > Crash UK (Fall)
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2017 > Session 017

CRASH – Fresh and talented young face Lucy Boynton is one of the most promising actresses of her generation. Playing in movies and TV series since the age of twelve, she stands head and shoulders above the rest for the precision of her acting. Recently on screen in John Carney’s “Sing Street,” she has portrayed her first lead role with grace and spontaneity.

What made you want to act in films?
When I was ten there was a new drama teacher at school, Helen Kaye, who was an actress herself, and must have been the first actress I’d met. She was so glamorous and taught us that acting isn’t about pretending to be someone else, but working to really feel like someone else, departing from your own instincts and idiosyncrasies to feel someone else’s. It was a pretty wild and inspiring thing to discover at such a young age. This is one of the few jobs that offers one the opportunity to live a thousand lives as a thousand different people, I don’t know how you could say no to that.

At twelve, you got your first role in Chris Noonan’s film titled “Miss Potter,” about the life of children’s author, Beatrix Potter. How did you live this experience at such a young age?
It was very intimidating but an utterly thrilling experience. I had grown up reading Beatrix Potter books so I was well aware of the reputation and the remarkable human I was portraying, so I felt pressure of course to do her justice. I had also never done anything like it before so I had no idea what to expect. But it was the most magical experience, and Chris Noonan was the kindest most nurturing leader. I feel incredibly lucky to have had that be my introduction to this industry.

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We’ve updated the gallery with another (stunning) photoshoot and this time, it’s for the Autumn issue of Wonderland magazine. Enjoy!

GALLERY LINKS
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2017 > Session 015

WONDERLAND – Like any actor (or slightly melodramatic child) worth their showbiz salt, Lucy Boynton practised crying in the mirror growing up. Obsessed with Anna Chlumsky’s character in 90s classic My Girl and “scandalised” by her talent and young age, Boynton tells me she’d pause and rewind the funeral scene, “I’d go up to the bathroom and play out her dialogue seeing if I could do what she did and make myself cry like her… It was a long summer.”

Arriving on screen at just 12 years old herself, alongside Renée Zellweger in Miss Potter, Boynton’s CV lists no cheesy rom-com blunders or sitcom shaped snatches at the limelight. Becoming one of Hollywood’s most watched and most wanted young talents, at 23 she’s carved a career from child stardom without ever once compromising her lmic integrity, climbing to her covetable position through a string of challenging roles. Plus, all those years of practise- weeping must mean she’s got crying on demand in the bag by now.

From playing a singing Irish rocker in Golden Globe nominated Sing Street, to perfecting her American twang as a prescription-pill popping teen in Netflix’s Gypsy — a skill she collected from a childhood parked in front of Sabrina the Teenage Witch — Boynton has defied conventions, refusing to be typecast on any terms. “It’s amazing how much your look, and for example, hair colour can affect [the roles you get],” she says, exasperated. “As soon as I dyed my hair blonde, I was auditioning for the same roles that I had when I had dark hair but it was suddenly like, ‘Oh okay, so you can play the ditzy girl!’ I’m trying to break away from that.”

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Scan from the September issue of W magazine featuring Lucy has been added to our gallery as well as two outtakes!