Photo: Rich Fury / Getty Images
If you’ve ever stepped into the world of Shondaland’s high drama, you know Regé-Jean Page as the Duke of Hastings, a smoldering Heathcliff-style romantic hero whose absence from last season Bridgerton is still a sore point for salty fans – e.g. Dionne Warwickwho tweeted to him after hearing the news of his departure: “YOU CAN’T leave me like that!”
Of course, Page has left us like that, and generally seems to be turning away from being a thing of your high school British anti-hero dreams: a rising action star, he stars alongside Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in an upcoming action thriller The Gray Man and in a film adaptation Dungeons and Dragons. But if you miss his face, you’re in luck. The 34-year-old British-born actor is the new face of Armani Code Parfum. Characterized by its distinctive woody aromas and aromatic top notes, the fragrance is a homage to the evolving contours of masculinity, and more importantly, it is closest to the bottle. Zooming in on a cloudy sunny afternoon in Los Angeles (Page enjoys a brief cloudiness, calling it “relief for the Englishman – you miss a little darkness, it’s in your soul, you know?”), Page and I talked about what it’s like to be ahead luxurious cologne, endless curiosity of acting and what question he hates to be asked in interviews.
What are your favorite scents?
I’m not exactly a nerd with scents, but the scents that appeal to me usually have an element of freshness. If it somehow evokes something outdoors, it catches me. These are some of the notes that attract me in the scent of Code: floral notes of iris, stronger notes of bergamot. It’s in my street, so it was a bit of a natural marriage there.
If you were to bottle your personal scent, how would it smell?
I think I would avoid that? No one wants to personally. It’s a scent you feel right after exercising. You do everything but bottle it. Take a shower.
What is it like to be the new face of Armani Code? Sounds luxurious. I see you at IG, with your Armani suits.
The best thing about good fashion is that it keeps you in charge. It just makes you more than yourself.
Besides suits, how do you like to dress?
The short answer is practical, but it can practically mean glamorous. It can support how confident I want to feel, or how comfortable and relaxed I want to feel. I dress for the occasion, but the occasion is a flexible concept.
How does good cologne change the way you wear it?
This is the beginning of a conversation with someone who meets you. It is your first expressive offer to them and they learn what they receive from you, whether it is strength or softness or sophistication and complexity. It’s not just about how you feel, but also about what you offer to the people you meet and how it opens up a conversation between the two of you.
You said you are not a nerd with scents, but I wonder: what do you like to feel on other people? Let’s say, maybe, you were in a crowded subway car.
Honestly, if I’m in a subway car with a bunch of people, you’ll win if I do don’t smell you. But if I do to have yes, I think the most important thing is that we have a two-spray rule in my house. Keep it subtly. Whatever I feel on you, I want to feel a hint of it and lean in, instead of getting a whole bunch and leaning out.
What excites you about being an actor?
A sense of curiosity is what really drives me about my job. You can learn things – that’s my favorite advantage. Whether it’s the characters of other performers or the research phase, every moment you go through the world as an actor is an opportunity to learn. You watch things, and then you go, What is interesting about that person? What is interesting in their experience or the way they behave and how can I somehow share it in my work – how can I present it? Also, everything you read while researching, whether it’s antique pieces or fantastic stuff. And there is always more. I think it’s very exciting. Not only can I feed; I can share outside. That is very grateful.
What is your dream role, if you have it in mind at the moment?
I don’t, but it’s the luxury of my job: my dream role is something I can’t even imagine yet. If something surprises and excites me in a way that is unexpected and creative, and I haven’t even thought about that possibility, I will.
Which question do you not want to be asked anymore? If I asked you, it’s okay, you can tell me.
“What’s your dream role?”
I tend to talk about how curiosity is the basis of what I do, so it’s never bad to ask a question. It’s more about having to keep discovering new answers to questions, and I think it’s a good thing to keep going.
That sounds difficult. All I have to do is ask questions. Anyway – tell me your favorite way to relax.
Sleep. It’s that simple. The best way to relax is to stop, close your eyes, focus, reset.
It’s a classic.
It is an underestimated activity. If you are rested, you will recover, you will look better, you will smell better, you will treat people better. Get some sleep.
Well, I’m sold. So what’s next for you?
A whole bunch of stuff. I’m currently working with Armani. We have The Gray Man comes out in just under a month, which is exciting, and it’s easily the biggest action movie I’ve ever watched. We went to a screening on Netflix and it literally shook me physically. That excites me to hell. Then I did Dungeons and Dragons comes out, which is a lot of fun and very funny. And then a lot of things I can’t talk about. But I’m generally excited. The future is bright.
Psst! The Cut and New York The magazine is conducting a survey on the issue. We want to know everything about your breakups, IDP connections, bad meetings and everything in between. Interested? Click here.