VANITY TEEN – Ben Hardy is a British actor whose career has been an exciting journey for him and the millions of fans he has around the globe. Among his most notable credits, we find him as Angel in the cult saga X-Men: Apocalypse, as the iconic Queen drummer Roger Taylor in the Academy Award-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody, or even as Seb in the fan-favorite sexy thriller The Voyeurs.
But, as Ben Hardy describes himself, he is a person who prefers being in the moment and enjoying the now. So, given that HBO Max recently released the hit show The Girl Before, we had a conversation to talk about this captivating TV Mini-Series, his career, and why he has chosen to be a voice for those who need our help.
Therefore, we invite you to read this inspiring exclusive interview of Ben Hardy for Vanity Teen.
Being in the moment
VT: How did you get into acting and then go from theater to a popular TV show to cinema?
BH: I started acting when I was around 15 years old. I had always been more of a sports guy, but when I injured my leg playing rugby, I all of a sudden had a load of free time on my hands and wanted to try something new. In hindsight playing sport and acting aren’t all that different. They’re both about being in the moment and handling pressure situations.
I went to drama school at 18 and then spent the first two years of my career working in theater, something I’d love to go back to, but it wasn’t as if that was the plan – I was on the hunt for jobs across all three mediums it’s just the way it transpired that it happened in that order.
VT: You have been part of great projects like X-Men: Apocalypse, Bohemian Rhapsody, 6 Underground, and more, but what I like the most about your career is that even when people try to draw attention to you or the way you look, you try to focus on giving back to society. So, how did that passion for others start in you?
BH: It’s all false modesty, I assure you.
Wait, that was a joke. Or was it? (laughs).
I loosely remember reading that there is no drug on this planet that gives as intense a high as the feeling of being kind to and helping another human being. And I think it’s true.
I forget that a lot, so Thank you for reminding me. Sometimes we get so lost in ourselves and forget the bigger picture. I find it’s a happier way to live trying to be considerate of others. It’s all selfish, I assure you.
VT: Thinking about your previous answer, how was it like to promote a Fundraising for Shelter? Can we still collaborate with this cause?
BH: Absolutely! Please set up a regular donation! They are such a fantastic charity.
I think it’s far too easy and convenient to see someone on the street and assume they are there of their own making or be offended if they are intoxicated etc.
There are x amount of homes and x amount of people. We are all a few wrong turns from being homeless, really, but I’d rather embrace that fact and try to help those who have fallen on hard times rather than turn a blind eye or vilify the homeless to feel guilt-free.
Sexy, exciting, dark, and twisted
VT: Please, let us talk about your recent projects. The Girl Before is out now, and people are becoming obsessed with this TV show. So, what would you like to tell us about this series?
BH: I want to tell you that it is potentially the work I’m proudest of. And that it’s a sexy, exciting, dark, twisted thriller, and I hope audiences love it as much as we enjoyed making it.
VT: Another of your projects is The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. So far, what can you share with us about it?
BH: I can tell you it’s a charming rom-com set around Christmas time and that I’m hoping it will be out in time for Xmas this year!
VT: Which other plans do you have for the future?
BH: I’m more of a moment-by-moment person. The future can be overwhelming. I just want to work on great scripts with great creatives. That’s the dream.
VT: How do you preserve your mental health?
BH: Exercise, meditation, Wim Hof Cold therapy. These are the three central cogs for me. Without those, I begin to fall apart.
VT: Picking up the conversation about your social commitment, what motivates you to stand up for minorities and promote diversity?
BH: I have a silly number of Instagram followers, and I just figured it surely would be a good thing to hand over my account to someone far more knowledgeable than I am on such matters to educate those who wished to listen, myself included.
But bear in mind, I just handed the keys to my account over to someone else. The work I did was very little.
VT: Which message would you like to share with those who want to get involved with social causes but might not know how to start?
BH: Oh, I feel under-qualified to answer that question. I’m an actor with a social media following who feels obliged to say something. I need to get more hands-on in my involvement with these causes too.
I’d say reach out to the charities involved and see how you can help! That’s what I need to do more.
VT: Anything else you would like to share with Vanity Teen?
BH: No, that’s it for now. I feel like I’ve overshared already.
Before we go
We have loved Ben Hardy for years, but after this interview, we have fallen for him even more because his honesty is captivating, and his will to do better motivates us to reach out and help others more.
If you have not yet streamed The Girl Before, it is a good time for you to do so, enjoy this hypnotic thriller, and catch up with Ben Hardy’s latest projects until The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is out around Christmas.
Finally, if we can learn a thing or two from Ben Hardy, let us remember to take care of our bodies, preserve our sanity and help others the best way we can.
Let us be kind!
THE BBC ONE SOAP OPERA EASTENDERS (2013-2015) LAUNCHED HIS ACTING CAREER, PLAYING PETER BEALE. IN 2016, HE HAD HIS FILM DEBUT IN X-MEN: APOCALYPSE AS “ANGEL” AND WENT ON TO APPEAR IN MORE FILMS WITH A NOTABLE ROLE AS ROGER TAYLOR, QUEEN’S DRUMMER IN BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER, HARDY HAS DEMONSTRATED HIS VERSATILITY AND PROWESS AS AN ACTOR WITHIN BOTH DRAMA AND SCI-FI SUPERHERO GENRES. HARDY’S CAREER, NOW APPROACHING ITS FIRST DECADE SINCE HIS FORAY INTO TELEVISION, IS NOT SLOWING DOWN.
IN MARCH 2021, HARDY LEARNED THAT HE BOOKED THE ROLE HE AUDITIONED FOR BACK IN DECEMBER 2020. “I HAD A ZOOM AUDITION IN DECEMBER THE YEAR BEFORE SO I THOUGHT IT WAS KIND OF DEAD AND BURIED. I JUST FINISHED FILMING SOMETHING ELSE SO I WAS PREPARING TO LIVE OFF THE LOCKDOWN THEN THANKFULLY I HAD THE GIRL BEFORE COME IN.” FILMING FOR THE FOUR-PART BBC ONE/HBO MAX LIMITED SERIES THE GIRL BEFORE, BASED ON JP DELANEY’S BESTSELLING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER NOVEL OF THE SAME TITLE, REACHED ITS CONCLUSION IN JULY. SUMMER CAME ALONG, THEN THE FILM THE VOYEUR WITH SYDNEY SWEENEY PREMIERED ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO.
WHILE ON HIS PRESS ROUND, I HAD A CHAT WITH BEN ABOUT THE GIRL BEFORE, HIS DESIRE TO STAR IN ANOTHER ACTION SCI-FI FILM LIKE X-MEN, HIS PROCESS AS AN ACTOR AND WHAT HE HAS LEARNED ABOUT HIMSELF DURING THIS GLOBAL PANDEMIC. “I SUPPOSE, I LEARNED THAT I LOVE PEOPLE. I WAS AND STILL AM AN INTROVERTED GUY. I DEFINITELY SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON MY OWN TO RECHARGE BUT HAVING BEEN FORCED TO SPEND ALL MY TIME ON MY OWN, I REALIZED THAT BEING AROUND OTHERS AND SOCIALIZING WITH OTHERS.”
Hi Ben, how are you?
I’m good. Thanks man
Are you in London?
Yes I am.
It is cold here back in New York.
Same here, It’s cold and crisp like autumn.
What are you busy with right now?
I’ve got this BBC/ HBO Max four part series called The Girl Before that comes out this December [in the UK], February 10 on HBO Max. We wrapped on that and I’m excited to see what people think of it and it’s something that I’m proud of.
I did like a little bit of research about you and I think it’s your return to TV and you haven’t done it since 2015. Is that correct?
Yeah you’re right it didn’t even cross my mind.
Head over to the A Book Of website to read the rest of the interview!
Even though Ben Hardy is one of British’s talented and charismatic established actors, he doesn’t take his accomplishments for granted. Since graduating from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, the actor from Dorset has spent years crafting his resume with a carefully chosen collection of varied roles. He started his career on stage in two West End plays, before making a major impression in the long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders, and eventually taking on Hollywood. Ambitious, soft-spoken and polite, Ben Hardy seems as though he is constantly focused on looking ahead and reaching new levels of fulfillment.
Ben Hardy and Gwilym Lee may have been fellow band members in the 2018 award-winning Queen biopic, but their friendship went beyond the big screen. Ben sat down with his former co-star to break down his first steps in the acting industry and his variety of performances through the years, including his work on EastEnders, X-Men: Apocalypse and Bohemian Rhapsody. His next project, The Girl Before, a four-part series which premiered on BBC One and will land on HBO Max next year, inspired the actor to take on new challenges. For Gwilym, his friend hadn’t been as passionate about a job in a long time.
On meeting each other back in 2017…
GWILYM LEE: Hi Ben! Thanks for asking me to do this. I’m very honored that you chose me. I know some friends of ours that would be quite upset that you didn’t choose them
BEN HARDY: Hi Gwil! Perhaps, but you were the first person I thought of.
GL: Bless you. So, we first met in 2017 when we were about to start filming Bohemian Rhapsody. We’ve remained good friends since then, and I’m very excited at the prospect of this interview because often when we have conversations, you’re very charming and disarming. I’d be asking you lots of questions and you would say, “Enough about me, what about you?” You always deflect so I hope you are prepared for going deep today.
BH: It’s probably easier to ask questions and receive information, you’re less exposed.
GL: You’re a very good listener and attentive. I’m always impressed [because] not only do you listen, you remember stuff. It’s one of your greatest qualities.
BH: That’s very kind of you. I think I do it because once someone told me, “You never listen, man.” It was actually an older actor in a play I was doing.
GL: Because I’m taking this very seriously, I made notes. Let’s start with the most important question I think people really want to know. What was your first impression of me when I walked into that room back in 2017?
BH: I was expecting a Welsh man, based upon the name. The accent wasn’t what I expected.
GL: Do you want to explain that little insult to the readers?
BH: Gwil is Welsh but was raised in Sutton Coldfield, in Birmingham. So, he has a very, very, very subtle accent, but let’s face it, largely just RP.
GL: What you’re trying to say is that I’m a phony plastic Welsh man, right?
BH: Yes, basically.
On growing up in Dorset and first steps in acting…
GL: Tell me all about your childhood.
BH: I grew up in Dorset [where] there was very little knowledge of how to get into the acting industry, and I didn’t know what drama school was [until] I started doing amateur dramatics when I was 15. The first thing I did was West Side Story, I played Riff. Before that, I thought I was going to be a rugby legend.
GL: You wouldn’t have stood a chance, mate. Because I was quite a successful rugby player in my days, we’ve talked before about who would have won a contest on the pitch. Why did you pick drama? Why wasn’t it another hobby?
BH: I had broken my leg playing rugby, so I had a lot more time on my hands, that’s when I got into [acting]. There was also the fact that I was the only teenager and there was attractive girls at the drama club. But then, I’ve always been obsessive, almost too obsessive. We were doing the school play where I thought I was a method actor — my teacher was trying to talk to me, and I was like, “Ben isn’t my name!” [Laughs] I think at that age, you’re still figuring yourself out. If you like a certain identity, you’re going to try and play that identity.
Head over to the Grumpy Magazine website to read the full excerpt and to buy yourself a print copy of the issue!