My mum was raised Jewish, my dad is very scientifically minded, and my school was vaguely Christian. We sang hymns in school. I liked the hymns bit, but apart from that, I can take it or leave it. So I had lots of different influences when I was younger.
What kind of student were you in high…
The first thing you need to know if you’re sitting in a hotel room with Ben Barnes is that you might need to find some aspirin nearby, after your sides start hurting from all the laughing you’ll end up doing. That’s because this talented British actor is completelyhilarious and never boring.
And if you’re really lucky, Barnes will start singing while he’s having a conversation with you — like he did several times when I was talking with him in this one-on-one interview. (Trust me: I didn’t ask him to sing; he just spontaneously broke into song.) And if you hear him sing, there’s no need to cover your ears, since he really does have great vocal chops that match his versatile acting. Barnes — who was recently in New York City to promote his 1920s period comedy “Easy Virtue” — sings a few jazzy tunes on the “Easy Virtue” soundtrack, but in real life, his vocal style is more akin to the soulful pop of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, two of his musical heroes.
In this exclusive interview, Barnes opens up about the naked risks he took in the horror-styled hedonistic drama “Dorian Gray” (and why scenes from the movie had to be cut), what he finds the most annoying about dealing with the media, and why he thinks his “Easy Virtue” and “Dorian Gray” co-star Colin Firth is a “terrible mentor.” (Full disclosure: The 1984 mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap” is one of my all-time favorite movies, and Barnes happens to be a big “Spinal Tap” fan as well. So be warned that are many references to “Spinal Tap” in this interview. If you’re not familiar with the movie, you may not get some of the jokes.)