Actor Hugh Dancy has already been referred to as the next British It Boy, but the 32-year-old refuses to be sized up so simply. Although, he does seem to be playing a lot of drunks lately. "I'm suddenly playing back-to-back drunk people at the end of their tether," Dancy concedes, referring to his two current roles. "But one of them is [an] English [soldier] in 1918, and the other is an American in 1953. They are from two opposite ends of the world," he says, quick to assure that, "every time I think I'm getting stuck in one area, something happens or something [different] comes along." His turns in the current Broadway revival of R.C. Sherriff's World War I drama Journey's End and the eagerly anticipated Evening, based on the Susan Minot novel with a screenplay by Michael Cunningham (The Hours), are certainly two such somethings that have come along.
In March's Beyond the Gates, the Oxford graduate plays up his serious side as a naÃ¯f schoolteacher at Ãcole Technique Officielle, where the UN abandoned thousands of Tutsi refugees during the Rwandan genocide. Dancy said he was most intrigued by Gates because it was like nothing he'd ever done before. "I felt like I had to do [Beyond the Gates] just because I was really scared of it," he says.
But being scared isn't always a prerequisite for Dancy; he just finished filming The Jane Austin Book Club, a blithe romantic drama with Maria Bello and Emily Blunt. ("[An] intelligent, funny, light script with some classy actresses," Dancy says.) Even as the roles seem to keep coming along (he will also appear in Savage Grace with Julianne Moore this fall), Dancy says for now he's happy just going to work (onstage) every night. "Some actors hate it. They don't understand the appeal of it. But I love it. I love the stability of it, and I haven't lived in one city for this long for ages."
Fragrance: Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Male