Felix Mallard | The 'Ginny and Georgia' Star Discusses Pandemic Pressures and Toxic Masculinity

Written by

No items found.
Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-2.jpg ![Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-2.jpg](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4fa_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-2.jpeg) **SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO** top, pants, shoes, and bracelet. 23-year old Australian actor Felix Mallard has swiftly caught the attention of the Gen Z masses for his newest role as bad boy Marcus in Netflix’s _Ginny and Georgia_, a comedy-drama about the witty and dynamic mother-daughter pair Ginny and Georgia, who move north in search of a fresh beginning amidst a tumultuous past. What follows is a mixture of chaos, secret rendezvous, and necessary conversations on adolescent mental health. Mallard’s character, Marcus, is promptly revealed to encapsulate more than just his role as Ginny’s love interest, with an essential underlying storyline of his own that contrasts his outwardly tough and unfeeling facade. The show was just announced to be renewed for a second season. Making his acting debut in Australian soap opera _Neighbours,_ Mallard has since been known for his roles in _Happy Together_, _Locke & Key_, and most recently as Aiden in musical-comedy television show _Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist._   _Flaunt_ had the opportunity to chat with Mallard about his foray into acting, the insurmountable success of _Ginny and Georgia_, and his personal connection to Marcus.  DIOR MEN sweater, pants, and belt, and HERMÈS shoes. ![DIOR MEN sweater, pants, and belt, and HERMÈS shoes.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4fe_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-4.jpeg) **DIOR MEN** sweater, pants, and belt, and **HERMÈS** shoes. ALEXANDER MCQUEEN jacket, top, and pants. ![ALEXANDER MCQUEEN jacket, top, and pants.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4cd_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-1.jpeg) **ALEXANDER MCQUEEN** jacket, top, and pants. **How did you start acting and know this was what you wanted to pursue as a career?** I never did any drama through high school. I never really considered acting until I was about 14, when I was doing a little bit of modeling. I got scouted by a modeling agent, and through them they had a contact with _Neighbours_ who said they had an audition, and they told me I wouldn’t get it but I should go because it’s good to get out there and it’s networking. It was one scene, and I didn’t know my lines for the audition, and I was into it and lucky enough to get the part for a six-episode stint on the show. During those six episodes, there was a point where I was making fun of the character a bit. The storyline was that his father passed away and he was returning to that town, and I was a little bit confused as to why he was so upset about his dad passing, because he passed when he was two years old and he was fifteen now. I didn’t know why he was going through that grief all over again. So, the director pulled me aside and said “Look first off, you’re in a new town and it’s bringing up all these memories and trauma. Secondly, it’s your job to communicate with the 20,000 kids who are watching and communicate that it’s okay not to grow up with a dad and feel that.” That was when the penny dropped, and I realized this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was really that simple. This is the power that we have with television and film and what we can do with telling these stories. With any project, I want to try and strive to communicate those ideas. **What was your first impression of Marcus when you read the script?** I didn’t like him at the start. I first read the script, and I had only read the pilot. I thought “this guy’s mean, he’s a bit of a jerk, and he hides behind his insecurity and projects that onto other people.” Then, there was a point where I was like “ah I know so many guys like this. I can see them when I read this character. I know what it’s telling.” As I learnt more about the character, I fell in love with that character, because he’s showing young men you have to take responsibility for your actions and that even though you may be feeling insecure, it’s not an excuse to be an asshole. I don’t think that’s shown very often, and if it is, it’s celebrated with the macho jock. To be able to subvert that was quite challenging and rewarding. I loved portraying that and showing someone who does have a lot of walls and masks that is ultimately brought down by Ginny. So many young men have walls up and use that as a defense mechanism to not show their emotions.  ALEXANDER MCQUEEN jacket, top, and pants. ![ALEXANDER MCQUEEN jacket, top, and pants.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4b3_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-3.jpeg) **ALEXANDER MCQUEEN** jacket, top, and pants. FENDI jacket and SALVATORE FERRAGMO top. ![FENDI jacket and SALVATORE FERRAGMO top.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4dc_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-8.jpeg) **FENDI** jacket and **SALVATORE FERRAGMO** top. **I was gonna ask about that actually. Because at first, Marcus seems like a bit of a douche, and then he is getting more vulnerable and complex. I think that’s why your character and the portrayal resonated with so many fans. Do you think traditional gender roles and toxic masculinity in television should be challenged moving forward?** Absolutely. I am only just a small part of that. My representation is the straight white male. But those roles should be challenged, and those heteronormative tropes have quite often been celebrated or built up in that traditional archetype. We are coming into an age where more and more voices are being heard, stories being told about the real world.  **Did you find that you connected with the character of Marcus personally? Did you find similarities between yourself and him?** Marcus is me at fourteen with the angst dialed up to twelve. There is so much to draw from there. My emotions were so turbulent at that time. I was so angry and emotional and everything was the end of the world. That’s what it feels like at that age, and that’s what Marcus feels. Marcus has more complex trauma, and, as an actor you take whatever is truthful to you and bring vulnerability and resonance to the character.  ALEXANDER MCQUEEN shirt and jacket. ![ALEXANDER MCQUEEN shirt and jacket.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec502_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-9.jpeg) **ALEXANDER MCQUEEN** shirt and jacket. ALEXANDER MCQUEEN shirt and jacket. ![ALEXANDER MCQUEEN shirt and jacket.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4af_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-5.jpeg) **ALEXANDER MCQUEEN** shirt and jacket. **One of my favorite scenes was when you and Ginny were in the shower and had that moment of openness with each other. What was your favorite scene from the show?** That was one of my favorite scenes. I think it’s because that was the moment when the penny drops between Marcus and Ginny. They both realize that they shared pain, and what they see in each other becomes quite clear. It’s the moment when Marcus knows he can’t live without her. It’s when all the masks are dropped and the first two episodes before that he’s deliberately messing with Ginny. In that scene, he’s truthful. Another one was that last scene in episode 10 when everything blows up. We’re all in the hallway, and everything comes out. Everyone on set just gave it their all. It had been months of telling the story, and those circumstances informed those scenes. It all unravels and me being Marcus and coming in at the end of that was so reflective of the rest of the story.  **I think the show could appeal to a wide range of audiences. What themes or messages do you think audiences should gain from the show?** I think the biggest thing is we want everyone to feel seen. We want audiences to watch it and feel seen in whatever capacity that may be. Marcus represents one story, Ginny represents one story, Georgia represents one story. It’s not just the mother and daughter storyline, but there’s something for everyone in that show. If they can watch it and feel heard, I think we’ve done what we set out to do. **Did you foresee the show becoming as popular as it did?**  You never know with popularity. I was obviously so proud of it and excited, but for it to have taken off as much as it did, I definitely didn’t foresee that. When we were shooting it, there was something special about it. It was a wonderful set to work on, it was an all women creative team. Everything just works better when women are in charge. It was great, and in shooting it, there was a feeling that it could be something really special. **What’s been your favorite part of seeing the fans’ reactions?** I genuinely don’t have a favorite. It’s too hard to choose from. The fact that people are getting really behind it and falling in love with these characters is more than what we could ever ask for. It’s a dream come true to be honest. There’s a huge discussion, and the opinions vary. People are on different sides, and the fact that it’s such a complex and fun show and people are getting behind different characters and there are different alliances makes it all real to me. Personally, I compartmentalize a lot of it, because I think “we made this television show and it’s there” but none of it feels real until I saw everything out there. It’s giving me permission to be proud of it and get behind something and show what we did create. Ginny and Marcus are such an anchor for each other and are the only thing that makes sense to each other, especially for Marcus. She’s the only thing he really cares about. Everything else makes him feel isolated and alone and misunderstood. It will be fun to explore where each of their mental health journeys take them. One of the things I loved about Marcus was that he is an advocate for mental health, and he recognizes he’s depressed and advocates for therapy.  SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO top, pants, shoes, and bracelet. ![SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO top, pants, shoes, and bracelet.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4d7_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-6.jpeg) **SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO** top, pants, shoes, and bracelet. SALVATORE FERRAGAMO top and pants and SCAROSSO shoes. ![SALVATORE FERRAGAMO top and pants and SCAROSSO shoes.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4d4_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-10.jpeg) **SALVATORE FERRAGAMO** top and pants and **SCAROSSO** shoes. **Speaking of therapy, I have seen you have been into music throughout your life. Has music been a major outlet in the pandemic? Do you notice yourself creating more during this time?** Yes and no. Music has been an incredible outlet and is a real way to process emotions. And there’s been a lot to process! During the pandemic, I try and keep busy and put out something creative. At the start of the pandemic, there was a pressure to do something with all of this free time. There was a point where I realized this is an incredibly traumatizing time for so many people. The downside of social media and of us seeing what everyone else is doing is that we all compare. Comparison is the opposite of joy. The fact that we, as a collective, have all gotten through this and come out the other side is all we can ask for. I have lost any sort of need to be creative during the pandemic because all I’ve focused on is getting through it. Music and writing are expressive wonderful outlets when I have the time and inspiration.  **How** **did you get involved with _Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist?_**  That was a really fortuitous turn of events. Anya Adams, the director, actually directed the first two episodes of _Ginny and Georgia_. She shot me a message, and it was deep within the pandemic. They sent through an audition, and I sang a couple of songs, and I got the part. I certainly felt a connection to it. When you get an audition, you learn to prepare for the best and plan for the worst. I saw the character and I thought “wow that’s not too much of a stretch.” Because he’s Australian, he’s musical, and it was a combination of drawing from myself and elevating it. Aiden is this comically laid-back go with the flow kind of guy. It was fun to take that element and bring that out. There’s that super light super easy kind of attitude that was fun on set.  **Obviously Marcus and Aiden are very different as characters. How did you notice the differences in preparing for each role?** That was a really important aspect to take on in making sure they are completely  different. I don’t ever want to be seen to be doing the same thing over and over again. I really always want to try and make a point to do that. Even down to the long hair with Aiden and short hair with Marcus, and look versus attitude as well. Marcus was such an introspective person and a complex story to tell, in what makes him tick. It lent itself to who he is as a character versus the stark difference Aiden provides. Playing Marcus before Aiden gave me an idea of what to play against. Especially leaning into that positive, confident, relaxed, laid back kind of guy that really isn’t Marcus. That’s what I strive for in my career, to do something different every time.  **What’s something about you that not many people know?** I used to really want to be a graphic designer. Before acting and modeling, I had an existential crisis at the age of fourteen. That was part of what I drew on for Marcus, in the anxiety of doing well in school. I was clinging on to any decision and I settled on graphic design. I wanted to do advertising, and then I found acting. Growing up, there was always an aspect of wanting to do something creative. At one point, I wanted to be a full-time musician at fifteen. It was always going to be something creative. I was so lucky that acting came along.  **What kind of roles do you see yourself playing in the future?** Going into that similar vein of always wanting to do something different, I think having a role that is dark and real is something I want to do next. I would love to do something quite raw and gritty.  ALEXANDER MCQUEEN jacket and top. ![ALEXANDER MCQUEEN jacket and top.](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3fbe9732d5cb72ec4c9_Flaunt-Felix-Mallard-11.jpeg) **ALEXANDER MCQUEEN** jacket and top. Photographer: [Jonny Marlow](https://www.instagram.com/jonnymarlow/) Stylist: [Monty Jackson](https://www.instagram.com/mrmontyjackson/) Groomer: [Barbara Guillaume](https://www.instagram.com/barbaraguillaume/) Flaunt Film: [Mason DePaco](https://www.instagram.com/masondepaco/)