BELLO IT GUY: ALEX ROE

Featured in BELLO issue #162.

ALEX ROE: OF KING & COUNTRY

You don’t often hear the words ‘country superstar’ and ‘London, England’ in the same breath, but Alex Roe is about to change that in a big way. In his upcoming romantic drama, Forever My Girl, the 27-year-old London-born actor stars as a country superstar trying to reconcile his massive fame with the rekindled love he left behind a decade ago. BELLO recently caught up with Alex, who is this issue’s IT GUY, and we covered everything from his newfound love of singing, his definition of a dream weekend, and his lifelong love of the King: Elvis Presley.
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BELLO: You live in Silver Lake now, but spent a lot of time living in Venice Beach. How did you enjoy that?

ALEX: I loved living in Venice Beach. I’m sure my agent and manager didn’t enjoy it too much because I was often unavailable since I was in the water all the time (laughing). My favorite Venice memory happened about three months after I moved there when a few of us woke up around six in the morning to go for a surf. I’d never been in the water with any large fish or marine mammals before, and I suddenly saw a fin swimming past me. I obviously freaked out — being a London boy who had never really seen a fin in the water any bigger than a goldfish. I made sure my whole body was on the board and everybody else was looking at me like I was crazy. But then this dolphin emerged from the water and jumped up and back in again. It was probably the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

BELLO: You play a country star in movie. Were you ever into country music before?

ALEX: I had to wrap my brain around where the inspiration came from, and I was obsessed with Elvis Presley when I was around nine- to eleven-years-old, and even a little beyond that. I remember whenever my birthday or Christmas would come up, my gifts would always be a new Elvis LP, the Elvis Presley Fan Club, an Elvis movie, or something like that. I really wanted to be Elvis Presley when I was young. So when this came up as an opportunity, I had never sung for an audition before. Actually, I had never sang full-stop before, but I thought I’d give it a try. So I was quite surprised when Stephanie and the producers were actually willing to allow this English guy, who had never sung before, play a country superstar. I’m so glad that they did. They used my singing voice for all of it. I trained every day with a guy called Brett Boyett, and we went through all the songs. He told me artists to listen to, and which country stations to listen to (all day long), and I learned the songs on the guitar. And anybody who was into singing or the guitar, I would go over to their house and we would practice the songs. I really worked hard on it.

BELLO: Did you ever do intimate surprise shows while shooting in Atlanta?

ALEX: We did, but moreso in Los Angeles during pre-production. We had a rehearsal room and a band, and would invite people to come in and be the audience. It really helped and was definitely worthwhile because on set there were 500+ extras and I could have completely frozen, but all that practice paid off and helped keep me calm as I performed.

  

BELLO: Will you keep singing?

ALEX: Well, Gibson gave me an incredible guitar so I can keep playing now. I feel lucky as an actor that I can venture into these different people’s lives and get as deep into them as I possibly can, then move onto the next thing. I’m a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades in that respect I guess, and a master of none. I look at these roles as a way to jump into somebody else’s life, and I probably do that too much with different characters because I work hard to figure out what it is to be that person. For example, for this role, I was lucky enough to attend a huge country music festival, and even meet many country music icons and talk to them as soon as they came off stage from performing for 50,000 people. I spoke with them about many things, including how to maintain a superstardom-family balance, which my character struggles with. My character is definitely swallowed up by fame, so to be able to talk in depth with these superstars about these things was really fortunate. That’s the great thing about being an actor, is that people open up to you more intimately about these things I think.

BELLO: Does country music have a special way of communicating things musically?

ALEX: The lyrics in country music are incredibly important, and it’s all about the story. I think it is an amazing opportunity for people to get a little bit emotional and hear a story that they can relate to. Some people can hear that story and it can put into words what they cannot do on their own. That happens to me often, where I’m listening to a song and it perfectly resonates with what I’m feeling at the time, and it helps you put things into perspective. Country music, especially, has a way of helping your understand your place in the collective human experience.

BELLO: The Golden Globes took place a couple of days ago. How do you feel about awards season in general?

ALEX: I think I enjoy it for what it is. They can provide a great opportunity for to help solidify a social message, such as the Me Too movement. Also, I was also lucky enough to work with my friend Timothée Chalamet who was nominated for his performance in Call Me By Your Name. Seeing someone that you know and respect, and seeing his face come on screen alongside Denzel Washington and Daniel Day Lewis because of an amazing performance he gave in a small independent movie, it really restores your faith in the Golden Globes.

BELLO: What did you learn about country music while making Forever My Girl that you didn’t know before?

ALEX: I discovered a really honesty that exists within the country music industry. And I think that country fans really jump onto artists that they can really relate to. Integrity seems to be a really important factor in the hearts of country fans. And also, there are so many amazing songwriters and musicians that are working for other artists and on albums other than their own. They go unmentioned so often, and they really don’t mind. They are in it because they love it, and I find that really inspiring.

BELLO: What did you do for New Year’s? 

ALEX: I went to San Pedro outside of Malaga, Spain, where my dad lives, and we started at the house where we watched the Spanish countdown, then we all went out as a family to celebrate in town. My dad is 72 and he was dancing like nobody’s business. I was being inspired by my dad’s ability to still wreck it up, even at 72!

BELLO: What are you most excited about in 2018?

ALEX: Career-wise, I’m really excited for people to see Forever My Girl, and I’ve also got some other things coming out like a TV show called Siren. Personally-wise, I’m really excited to see things evolving socially, like the way things are with the Me Too movement.

BELLO: Were there any moments off-camera during shooting that were extra special for you?ALEX: I’d say getting to know Jessica Rothe (Josie) and Abby Ryder Fortson (Billy) was really amazing. Abby is such a hilarious genius, and Jessica is such an incredible woman. Jess and I went to a bunch of baseball games together, and we were kind of thrown into Atlanta together and our strong friendship off-screen made our on-screen chemistry so much more authentic. And just horsing around with Abby was hilarious because we would have a laugh and a joke whenever we could. I think sometimes when you’re working on a movie, you leave with some really close friendships. I’m so grateful to have met these two crazy amazing people.

  

Photography FILBERT D. KUNG & ARIEL HOWARD

Styling LUKE FUNTECHA

Grooming JOE SEBASTIAN

Interview BRENT LAMBERT

Production ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC –  MAISON PRIVÉE X BELLO MEDIA GROUP LOS ANGELES

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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