In a scene that could only be plucked from a movie, the tides of a glistening aquamarine Caribbean Sea recede to their furthest extent, then disappear, erratic but still in a predictable pattern. Elsewhere, kitesurfers are gliding in the waves of Pigeon Point, some venturing into secluded coves amongst the chattering of frigate birds and the lush of whitewood trees and papayas. In the midst of these ethereal Antigua surroundings, you can find 30-year-old British actor, Lucien Laviscount, marinating in the serenity of sandy shores and balmy breezes belonging to a place he not only calls home, but an essential place of solace.
Every place, tropical or otherwise, has something to offer for Laviscount. Consumed by wanderlust and the “cinematic” nature of Rome, where the photo shoot herein was staged, or the allure of empty cobblestone streets in lockdown-era Paris, Laviscount finds nuances in otherwise touristy destinations. Akin to his lust for exploration, his charming demeanor is contagious. It’s clear his life is wrought with chaos, whether it be engaged in long filming days or activations, yet he still manages to make everyone he meets the central focus.
Laviscount’s acting career started off at the mere age of ten, when he was scouted for a Marks & Spencer modeling gig while out with his mom in Manchester. He went on to film the brand photoshoot with none other than soccer legend David Beckham, who seemed to foreshadow young Laviscount’s career, telling him “You’re really funny, you should get into acting.”
From there, the rest was history. Laviscount’s career lurched forward with his start on BBC series Grange Hill, which followed the lives of children dealing with school-related issues and conflicts, the British equivalent of Degrassi. “It was one of those shows where you go to school, do your homework, and then Grange Hill comes on,” he says. “So it was like this amazing dream, and it was the coolest thing in the world growing up watching that show.” From there, he then went on to star in Coronation Street, Britain’s longest-running soap opera that covers an array of social and personal issues of working-class folk, and Waterloo Road, another British series surrounding a dramatic school setting. “Waterloo Road was really when I figured out that I wanted to pursue acting long-term,” he remarks. “I was like, ‘Yeah, I want to do this. This is something I love and if I can do this for the rest of my life, I’m a lucky son of a gun.’” Besides the aforementioned projects, Laviscount recently starred in post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller Last Sentinel, opposite Kate Bosworth.
Aside from these projects, the tipping point of Laviscount’s acting career can easily be identified by his recent stint as the unequivocally captivating Alfie on hit Netflix show Emily in Paris. The series follows Chicago marketing executive Emily Cooper’s (Lily Collins) trek to the City of Lights after she is tasked to bring in a fresh perspective to a French marketing firm. Alfie, who was first introduced in the second season of the show, is an emotionally-sheltered, sarcastic London banker who initially despises French culture until he falls for the adoring Emily, who seamlessly influences him to enjoy the fruits of Parisian living. His character evolves greatly in season three, becoming vulnerable to love and its many pitfalls.
The personal audition process for Laviscount was one that can only be described as kismet with the actor filming his audition tape for Alfie in a matter of hours, hopping on a Zoom call with creator Darren Star and Collins the next day, only to be offered the role a day later. “At that point, the imposter syndrome kicks in a little bit,” he stresses. “All I could think during that Zoom call was, ‘Try to remember your lines and not black out.’ And then after 45 minutes of chatting, Darren goes, ‘Great, see you later.’ And I was like ‘What, I don’t have to read?’ and he was like, ‘No, it’s all good.’” Laviscount laughs, “So apparently I should’ve listened more to what he was talking about.”
Laviscount recounts being “welcomed with open arms” to set from the Emily in Paris cast, the city eventually feeling like a second home to him, bursting with new friends and local hidden spots to inhabit. “I felt a responsibility for what they’d done for season one and just coming in on season two, I was only supposed to do two episodes,” he mentions. “And then I was asked to do seven more off the back of that and then asked to come back, and I was like, ‘Wow, okay cool.’ I feel like I live day to day and I might not get tomorrow so I’m going to make the most of it.”
In terms of his character, Laviscount says he wants to be more like Alfie—not succumbing to the pressures of a linear career pursuit and becoming stuck. “We all put that pressure on ourselves, and I feel like one thing Alfie does through the show is open things up where you can make choices, and you can change and do things differently.”
Despite his culminating success and radiating aura, growing up in the world of acting was not always an easy feat. “I’m really hard on myself,” Laviscount emphasizes. “I was in Coronation Street at the time, and I used to come home, and I was really down. My mom said to me, ‘Listen, why are you doing this? Why are you putting yourself through that kind of stress?’ And she said pick three reasons. And I was like, ‘Okay cool, I’ll come back to you.’”
He did come back, with three solid, unwavering reasons that he still swears by to this day: the appeal of the audition process, unmatched experience on set, and nerve-wracking but rewarding phone call post-audition. “I think that there’s something about being able to get into a room where you’re not necessarily the right look, but then you bring what you bring to the table and see people’s reaction and feed off of that,” he remarks on the audition process. “I love being the underdog in a situation for a part that was never written for me, but then you can put your twist on it and see people’s eyes open up. That’s an amazing feeling.”
In being a part of a set experience, Laviscount feels a great honor and responsibility towards the cast he works with, and doesn’t shy away from the fame that comes with being a star on an overwhelmingly popular streaming show. “Right now with where I’m at, I really appreciate the fact that people enjoy the work I do and the whole team does and it’s not just me in the media getting a picture. It’s also the caterers, the lighting guys, my drivers, and it’s everyone that’s part of the process. So I feel like that’s a great honor and responsibility I have for them and it feels almost like a superpower.” And still, Laviscount knows that the honor of what he does takes perseverance and managing expectations. Laviscount continues, “In acting, you’re never going to be right and you’re always going to be chasing something you’re never going to be able to obtain. You’re always going to be challenged, pushing and trying to figure things out. You change, and the world changes, and you grow older, and the roles change.”
He plays coy when I mention his name being thrown out there as a contender for the next James Bond, a feat that would likely yield long-term commitment to the next installation of the iconic 007 franchise. “James Bond is the ultimate,” he affirms. “I gravitate toward the role so much and we’ll see what happens, but fuckyeah, I’d love to do it.”
Outside of acting, Laviscount co-owns a bar in the Kensal Rise neighborhood of London called The Wealthy Beggar, an intimate venue that offers tapas, cocktails, and more. “It was more of a thing like, ‘What do I want when I go out? It’s a dive bar in the sense that you can just be whoever you want and no one bothers you, and everyone does their own thing. For me it was finding a place where I can let loose or disappear into a little hole in the wall.”
In terms of what’s next, Laviscount is currently filming rom-com, This Time Next Year, based on the book of the same name, but is unsure of what projects may lie ahead. “I think the beautiful thing about acting is that I don’t necessarily know what’s coming until it happens,” he contemplates. “You put a kid in a cardboard box with a pen and they can be in a spaceship, a rocket, race car, a truck, whatever that might be, and that’s what I do. That’s what my job is and I’m really blessed.”
Photographed by Federico De Angelis.
Written by Joshen Mantai.
Styled by Silvia Bergomi.
Groomer: Caroline Evans.
Barber: Wandy Hair Style.