If you’re a guy who has been bullied into watching Gossip Girl with your ladyfriend or seen photos of him online, then the Ed Westwick you think you know, is not Ed Westwick. After our interview with him it is clear that Westwick is nothing short of a gentleman and a professional; two all-important qualities many men leave behind in the great quest for sartorial glory.
Sure, sometimes Ed looks like he cares what face he is making in red carpet photos. You would too if every time you were caught blinking, it ended up on Perez Hilton with a crudely drawn pun (or dick) on your face.
Throughout our talk, Westwick discusses a multitude of different subjects, including his relationship with CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tommy Hilfiger, as well as what we can expect from his upcoming film adaption of Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet. Although we are still unsure if we’ll be seeing that flick unless held at gunpoint by a woman. BUT, what we learned from Ed is that there’s nothing wrong with that, because ultimately it just means more chicks for him. Well played, sir. Well played.
Grungy Gentleman sits down with Britain’s top export, Ed Westwick after the jump…
Grungy Gentleman: You are a big advocate of Tommy Hilfiger and on Monday he’ll be receiving the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. Can you explain your relationship with him and why you dig the brand?
Ed Westwick: Yeah I’ve formed a relationship with Tommy [Hilfiger] for quite a few years now. I think it is one of the major fashion houses and always has been so, which is absolutely incredible. Tommy personally is an amazing man and designer. It’s a huge achievement. Some of the other people who have won it are equally as fantastic, so I think it is very fitting for them to be awarding him this. When I think of the brand the first things that come to mind are that it’s a very classic brand, always with that very classic look with the suits and a lot of the other garments as well. So I’ve had the great pleasure of wearing the clothes to events or even kind of just wearing the clothes out in my private life to social things. So it’s been a fantastic relationship. I rock Tommy frequently.
EW: Yeah exactly that’s it, and that’s definitely reflected in the women.
GG: You have several tattoos. Do you have a favorite? You’re character on Gossip Girl is very clean and he’s very into his power suits. Does your personal style differ from that?
EW: Yeah absolutely. We couldn’t be more polar opposites. My favorite tattoo would have to be my American eagle feather on the back of my left arm. To me, it sort of represents Native American culture and spirituality, as well as American freedom. The guy who tatted me up, did it really, really well. But again as far as mine and [Chuck’s] style, I am much more free spirited. He is very meticulous and as you said, loves the power suit.
GG: When we watch your show we see how cool you look in your suits and see your street style photos all over GQ and such. But for a guy who wants to go out at night, how do you think he should dress to go out to a club? I think this is a real conundrum amongst men.
EW: I mean I am always pretty casual in my personal life. Look, it’s dependent on the weather, because you know how hot it gets in New York in the summer; it’s like 100 degrees. So you’re strictly going to be in like jeans and a tee shirt or some linen pants and a tee shirt. Try to keep it light and try to keep it cool. Otherwise, jeans are always a go-to. You’ve got to have like three pairs of cool jeans, so you can just throw on a tee shirt or top and go out. There has been times where I have done the suit and pulled that look off. But most of the time, I just look for some jeans and cool boots. Another go-to I think everyone should have is like a cool distressed leather jacket.
GG: Aside from acting, you perform in your band The Filthy Youth. What is the difference between dressing as a celebrity versus dressing as a rock star?
EW: Well I haven’t been doing the band thing for a little bit now, but I’ve always been heavily involved with music. I love music! I think there are two very different cultures if you will, a very kind of rock & roll specific type of culture, as opposed to when you’re going to a formal event for a movie premiere or the Met Ball. It requires something very traditional or classical as opposed to something rock & roll. When I’m performing with the band, I would wear something that is more that side of my personality and that side of my life. Where they differ is that for [the band] it’s not just about me, it’s about the band and that side of expression, so they’re two different things in that way.
GG: If you had your choice, how would you want Gossip Girl to conclude?
EW: Ah man that’s the billion dollar question, isn’t it? We have had so many cliffhangers at the end of seasons with like, ‘Will Chuck and Blair get together, won’t they?’ and obviously they haven’t. I mean I’m sure they’re going to give it the fairy tale ending the series deserves. Hopefully, Blair and Chuck will end up together. I would like it to end that way. But as to how, I am not sure how I want to see it happen.
GG: What types of projects are you looking forward to most after finishing Gossip Girl? Do you have any dream roles?
EW: Well sure you can dream and say you want to play James Bond one day. But for me it’s just about doing a range of genres, a range of projects, and they have to be great stories. That’s what you want to do you; work with great stories and with great filmmakers. It all comes down to the story. You feel attached to something, you feel buzzed by something and that’s when you can kind of move forward with that. But for me, I think I am very much just at the start of my career, so I just want to play a range of different things and try my hand at anything.
GG: How does your upcoming movie, Romeo & Juliet, differ from previous versions of the story and do you have any good stories from the set?
EW: Well our version was adapted by Julian Fellowes, who everybody knows is an amazing talent. So to have the opportunity to work on something that Julian had worked on was a great privilege. So our version differs in the fact that we’ve added some scenes and altered the dialogue. I wouldn’t call it a facelift because I don’t think the play needed a facelift in any way because it’s a classic. But we’ve sort of just added our own unique angle on things and I think people will be very pleased with the result. I have not really seen anything yet, so I’m equally as excited and equally as clueless. But it was an amazing experience. I think as far as stories from the set, it’s kind of not so much stories, as much as just how important Romeo & Juliet is as a story to Verona, Italy. It’s something you really feel. You know that you can go to Juliet’s balcony and it’s a huge tourist attraction for lovers and people who just want to go see it. In general for us, our whole experience of the film was a wonderful thing.
GG: I hear you’re a Chelsea FC fan. Do you attend games and keep up with the squad? Do you follow any other sports and have other favorite teams?
EW: I do follow the games. Obviously most of the year I am in New York so I can’t really get to the games. But I am a huge fan and recently we won the European Cup, which was a massive deal. Whenever I’m back and the season is going on, I try to get to a game but it’s been a little wild. I’m going to have to make time next season to get to one. Being in the states has made me kind of start to understand American football. I’ve been a fan of everything but it’s helped me appreciate it a lot more. I’m a big fan of basketball, and I try to get to Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks play. Although now I’m a bit disappointed that they lost in the first round of the playoffs. And now we have the new Brooklyn Nets kicking off and I’m really looking forward to that. I love to get my hands wet in all sports.
GG: Are you involved in any charity work?
EW: There is one charity I am trying to get involved in, Men’s Health Forum I New York. It raises cancer awareness for men. They are holding an event on Father’s Day weekend in New York. Unfortunately I am not going to be in New York that weekend, otherwise I would definitely be going. I think something like that is important. Anything I can do to help with treatment and awareness of that disease, I think is a great thing.
GG: What is your wildest story from Gossip Girl?
EW: I think my wildest one was when one of our directors, while we were shooting at The Plaza Hotel, fell down the stairs, smashed his face, and completely broke his nose. It caused a bit of a panic. Luckily he was okay, but we were kind of left without someone at the helm. So the producers, who are very good at their job, but don’t really have any experience directing, had to kind of scramble around and put together a plan to try and get us through the day. And to their credit, they were able to pull it off effectively. But it was quite crazy and panicked for a moment. In one second, our director was just walking along and falls down some stairs and breaks his face…so that’s one that comes out when I think about it right now.
GG: What can we expect next from Ed Westwick?
EW: I don’t really have anything to announce right now. I’m just going to go back to chilling and then preparing to get back to work. Hopefully I’ll have some big, interesting things to announce really soon.