ARTICLE MELANIE RICKEY
PHOTOGRAPHY MARK ABRAHAMS
STYLIST AKARI ENDO-GAUT
As Kate Winslet drolly noted on an episode of Extras a few years ago, the surest path to an Oscar is to play a “mental,” as she alarmingly put it. So Hugh Dancy knew he had to be motivated by something more than what he calls “foolish ambition” when he accepted the title role in Adam, about a man with Asperger’s, a mild form of autism that has been associated with people like Albert Einstein. “If you think you’re doing it because it’s going to be a big step for you or shows some side of you as an actor,” the 33-year-old says with a laugh, “then you’re destined for disaster.” A prize-winner at Sundance, the film looks to be quite the opposite of a disaster. In fact, it may, in keeping with the cliché, help Dancy transcend his status as a chick-flick favorite (see The Jane Austen Book Club and Confessions of a Shopaholic) and gain recognition for his considerable acting chops in addition to his distractingly good looks.
The first feature by long-time theater director Max Mayer, Adam follows Dancy’s character in an unlikely love story with costar Rose Byrne. Even Dancy was surprised by the way the film ultimately came together. “Because of the nature of who Adam is, I was quite locked inside myself while filming. My experience was inside a bubble. Then I saw it and realized it’s a movie about connections, and it’s very accessible in that way. Adam’s oddnesses only serve as a metaphor for all of us trying to make contact, all of us trying to reach out to another human being.”
The Brit, who is engaged to Claire Danes and splits his time between London and New York, has an obvious knack for connecting. Asked about his relationship, he responds with a characteristic wrinkling of the eyebrows and a friendly smile, then says, “It’s going very well, thank you.” Even when stonewalling, he can’t help but be utterly charming.
grooming Kumi Craig (exclusive artist)