marie claire talks to Luke Bracey, Hollywood star and global face of Ralph Lauren Polo Red Fragrances, about his trip home to Australia for Christmas, his friendship with Chris Hemsworth and that tattoo.
Marie Claire: Welcome home! You’re living in L.A now. What is the first thing you do when you get back to Australia?.
Luke Bracey: I’m from the Northern Beaches so the first thing I do is go for a swim and then I eat a meat pie. Literally, every time. Straight in the water no matter what time of the year and then straight down to the local bakery.
MC: What is it that you love about Sydney?
LB: I was actually saying before – I’m from this city and caught the Manly ferry to and from Circular Quay so many times in my life. I’ve seen [the Sydney Harbour] views so many times and it’s just…it’s such a special place. I’m blown away every time.
MC: You’re the face of Ralph Lauren Polo Red Fragrances and in Sydney to launch the new Polo Red Extreme. Have you always been a fragrance kind of guy?
LB: No, I mean every man at his 16th or 17th birthday [will receive] a fragrance at Christmas or something like that. That’s what happened to me and you hold onto that for a bit. Then you grow up and leave school and you try to find out what being a man is; try to find yourself. Polo Red Extreme is the perfect balance between youthful exuberance and the more mature muskier scents. It’s exciting, it’s fresh, it’s bold and it’s got a real kick to it.
MC: What do you think of this new fragrance?
LB: I really connect with this fragrance. The idea of it is to take life on and take risks; if you make a mistake, that’s okay, you can learn for it, keep going and just making sure, whatever you do, you do with passion. Coming back home and getting this moment of realisation of where I come from, and having my parents see me do this stuff [as an ambassador], it’s pretty special.
MC: What are you doing for Christmas? Are you going to be with your family?
LB: I’ll be in Sydney for Christmas, with the family. I’ll hang out with my sisters, mum, dad, nieces and nephews. Then I’m off to a mate’s farm, just outside of Tamworth for New Year’s Eve. That’s kind of what we do… drinking beers and telling lies!
MC: What are you going give your mum and dad for Christmas?
LB: I’ll get dad some of this stuff [Polo Red Extreme] actually. And mum, I’m not actually sure about mum yet! My family actually does like a Kris Kringle. There’s a few of us… but I always give them like a box of choccies or something on Christmas day. And a big hug.
MC: What’s been your favourite film so far?
LB: I’m really proud of completing Point Break. It was such a crazy, difficult thing. I don’t think I’ll ever do something as wild and as crazy as that [again]. I mean that was like six months working, six days per week in 10 different countries in front of a camera. I was 24 when I did it. It’s a good life lesson; I learned a lot about myself and how to take on life and how to see it. I’m also extremely proud of Hacksaw Ridge. It’s such a beautiful, amazing story. And to work with people like Andrew Garfield, Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington. I just hoped I’d be in a movie of that stature and quality once in my career and for it to happen when it did, a little earlier in my career, I was just over the moon; I had to pinch myself that I was involved. And the fact that we won two Oscars... It really was a special movie that people will remember for a long time.
MC: Do you have to work out in the lead up to a movie?
LB: You film these movies for 4 or 6 months sometimes and you can’t get sick. So working out and getting ready for it is just preparing your body for [the role] and taking on that responsibility. When it comes to what you have to do specifically for each job, it changes because each character is very different. I’ll eat well and make sure I’m nice and fit. Not drinking too many beers! But you’ve got to have your time off too. It’s a balance.
MC: You used to be flatmates with Chris Hemsworth. Is that right?
LB: Not flatmates but we had the same manager in the States. He lived at our manager’s house when he was starting out. And Liam [Hemsworth], his brother lived there too. I was the third person to live there. After I did Point Break he kind of shut the house and went, ‘good the house is done now; no more guests’ kind of thing. So we weren’t really flatmates but I guess we’re both part of a small little legacy that Chris started.
MC: Chris Hemsworth has done so well…
LB: All of us young blokes [in LA] trying to get into the business and get started are really proud of Chris. He’s a great bloke. He’s a hard worker, he’s super talented and I think we’re all very proud of him as an ambassador for Australia all around the world.
MC: And you’re hot on his heels…!
LB: Yeah, I’m trying. To be mentioned in the same sentence as him is pretty flattering. You know, he’s really going gangbusters. If I can follow his trail that he’s blazing, I’ll be pretty happy.
MC: Can you tell us about your tattoo?
LB: I have one tattoo. It’s a sunrise.
MC: What does it symbolise?
LB: It’s just growing up in Sydney. The amount of times I went surfing, the sun rising at dawn over the water and that kind of idea that every day is a new day so keep going. I’d had a beautiful day with some friends by the beach and I drew it [on paper] and thought ‘that’s kind of cool’, I put it in my pocket and woke up in the morning and thought ‘that could be a cool tattoo’. I was 18 or 19 and I ended up drawing it on with a sharpie for three months. It would wash off every two weeks and I’d re-do it. Eventually I was like ‘yeah I want this’. I think my parents were really annoyed at the fact they couldn’t be annoyed at me. You know, I think they wish I just went out and got a tattoo so they could say you’re an idiot.
MC: So what can we expect from you in 2018?
LB: I’ve just finished a movie we filmed in Toronto, directed by Roger Avery. He co-wrote Pulp Fiction and he’s an amazingly talented guy. So that will probably coming out next year. Then around end of March I’ll start shooting an Australian film in Tasmania. I’ve been wanting to do an Australian movie and an Australian story for a long time so I’m really fortunate this came my way this year. Australia is so full of amazing stories so I’m really excited to come back home and make these movies.