A perfect choice for Dorian Gray

Dorian gray is a story of a handsome young man in Victorian high society London who is encouraged to pursue a hedonistic lifestyle by family friend, Lord Henry Wotton. Blinded by narcissism after he sees an exceptionally beautiful portrait of himself, Dorian sells his soul to the devil in exchange for eternal youth and beauty. He was described as handsome, finely curved lips. There was something in his face that made one trust him at once.

Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ was already filmed more than a dozen time. “Dorian Gray telling Wilde’s morality tale about eternal youth, ageless beauty, self-indulgent, pleasure seeking and the pitfall you might fall into if you pursued them so relentlessly”, said the British-blood actor, Ben Barnes. “And it’s a greatest story ever told and hasn’t been told in a very long time. It deserved to be told”.

To portray Dorian Gray into a film would require an actor who has indisputably handsome face but able to convince a journey from a naive young man who sells his soul in return for remaining as beautiful as his painted image, to a man who jaded by a lecherously pleasure – seeking without happiness and return to his society, looks as young as he left 25 years before, finally repents his terrible behavior and looking for redemption.

But Barnaby Thompson’s – the producer of Dorian Gray – interest in Ben was more than just on his looks. It happened by chance one day between scenes on Easy Virtue. He saw in a moment, Ben’s expression switched. His brown eyed charm imperceptibly turning to something blacker, something deadly. “It was the Dorian Gray journey in a single look. He has matinee idol looks, he’s utterly charming, but he can go from sweet charm to steel in just a flick of head”.

Dorian Gray

Olivia Cole wrote on her report for London Evening Standard that, Ben Barnes’s Dorian Gray has a glint in his eyes that’s half charming and half psychotic. It starts to make Rolling Stones look like a kind of boys you’d like to take home for tea. And Francesca Scorcucchi confirmed it. “Ben Barnes has the looks as if he has done himself pact with the devil. Long hair, 3 days beard, light shadow under his eyes that made him even more charming. He has a face whom you can’t deny anything”.

Tall and aristocratic looking, Ben Barnes exudes an almost supernatural beauty and grace and being cast as Dorian Gray is like being told that he’s the ultimate in beauty, that people should sell their grandmothers to look like him. But that fact doesn’t give him so much confidence. “I don’t know. You still get these waves of doubt that come over you, for example, when you get a bad review or you accept a part and think, “Oh, God, what have I just accepted? I can’t do that.” I don’t think that’s something that will ever go away in me”. Though Barnes was worried about making a “hash” of it, but Dorian Gray “is still a great role that you can not refuse as an actor”, he said.

And that was what Oliver Parker was worry about. He wasn’t entirely convinced Ben Barnes could do the role of Dorian Gray until after Ben impressed him in the audition. Ben might be just a little too good looking to convince as a man who sells his soul for eternal youth and the undeniable pleasure of the flesh. “I thought, yeah he’s great looking guy, but is it boy band or is it a real talent? And the delight for me was to find that there is a real talent there. He could do the sweet, charming, innocent thing but believe me, there is a very bad boy in there. I’ve noticed a certain relish when he contributes ideas to his murkier scenes”.

Collin Firth, played as Lord Henry Wotton, Ben’s on-screen mentor, adds, “I didn’t have any concerns about him. My concerns for Ben are that there’s a rather Dorian-esque thing about being as beautiful as he is. He actually might get hired because he’s beautiful, but he’s got a lot to prove, because the world is skeptical of it. I think he has a real battle with public perception. I think he is a person of great substance. I think he’s an actor of great talent. He’s very, very bright. The assumption that I had when I met him was, “You’re just a pretty boy.” I think I did catch myself being surprised at how talented he was. He’s far than just a pretty boy, he’s not to be underestimated. He’s shaping up to be a rather formidable actor”.

For someone as handsome as Ben Barnes, he may be would have liked to remaining young and handsome before he took a part in the movie. But after having watching what happened to his character “I understood that it’s not so pleasant. We all live in a society that’s crazy about youth – all these Botox and cosmetic surgery, “yes-I-always-look-like-I’m-25” – but it leads to no good. At the end Dorian wants to kill himself to get rid of fake youth. “Pleasure has nothing in common with happiness”. Wilde’s novel is quite able to explain what one shouldn’t do to be happy – one should quit paying much attention to appearance”.

dorian gray

Ben Barnes has an analytical approach to create a required character for his role. This ability made him, the boy who never get a scratch, drinks and never looks hungover and generally lives a life of consequence free-debauchery, able to portray Dorian Gray convincingly. Ben Barnes, with his indisputably handsome look and real talent, was the perfect choice for Dorian Gray.

related posts:
Ben Barnes, the non – flavor of the month trends actor
Prince Caspian, a dream come true

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Ben Barnes, the non – flavor of the month trends actor

After his lead role in the blockbuster movie, Prince Caspian, the second installment of C. S. Lewis book, The Chronicles of Narnia, he put himself a chance to take a role in Noel Coward’s play called Easy Virtue, opposing Jessica Biel, Collin Firth and Kristin Scott – Thomas.

Easy Virtue

“I studied literature in school and I’d read a fair amount of Coward, but I had never heard of this play. Probably because it was so bad”, said doe-eyed Ben. “I was really skeptical about taking the part until I realized that they had changed basically everything”.

Ben was a little resistant in playing the character. “Originally because I thought he was weak and I thought he was a bit mama’s boy. I thought he was a bit unsympathetic and I thought he won’t care about the relationship”. He gets frustrated with John Whittaker, “ I want to shake him and slap him and teach him some street smarts”. But actually he thinks that’s the acting challenge.

Colin Firth, who played Jim Whittaker, John’s sad-eyed father, thought Ben was a very nice guy when he met him for the first time. “You think pretty boys like that cannot possibly have any substance”. When Ben started acting, Collin thought it was a fluke. It sounded real. He had this resonant, confident, easy-type delivery. “Oh, he’s probably having a little moment.” And he did it again. “It was him acting. He took what could have been the most chinless role in the world, unsympathetic and dull, because there are so many wicked characters in this story, and he really isn’t one of them. Ben is a very funny guy, and it was painful for him to play a rather stuck-up, troubled kid, but I think he gave it flair that very few people could’ve done. He had a confidence and grace, which doesn’t come that easily”.

His decision to take the role in Easy Virtue not only gave him an acting challenge. In the original script, his character, John Whittaker didn’t sing much but once Stephen Elliot, the director learned of his lead’s vocal proficiency, it became a prominent part of proceedings. Elliot remembers how he decided that Barnes should sing in the movie, “After a few glasses of Ealing [Studios’] cheekiest chardonnay, Ben Barnes began to serenade a lovely waitress and accidentally let out his dirty little secret. He’s got one hell of a set of lungs on him”.

Really Mr. Barnes? You serenade the lovely waitress? I wonder what you sang for her ^_^

His excellent singing voice has also been confirmed by Carla Hay, in her report for Examiner. “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. Ben Barnes 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”.

As for myself, his baritone voice singing for the soundtracks, delighting my heart and made me dance every time I hear it.

Easy Virtue was not a cheesy piece of drama movie, the movie got positive reviews including from the Noel Coward’s society and won Audience Prize at 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

The road to a great acting career is often paved with the classics — and that’s a path that’s working so far for Ben Barnes, It doesn’t mean he won’t do films that aren’t based on previously written literary works, but his choice indicates that quality stories are a top priority for him as an actor, rather than taking the easier route of doing hack work that cashes in “flavor of the month” trends.

I write so I can share what I see through my heart, my personal point of view and my own analysis.

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Piece of my heart for Robert Pattinson & Ben Barnes

I might not one of the devoted fans or the fanatics, but about these two alluring British actors, I am curious about the future of their career. Because they’re both British, multi-talented, have the look that could captivate much attention and entering the world of fame through the same door, movie adaptation from novel. Not saying that I would have a chance to tell them my opinions personally, but this part is only my wish to their life and career.

I knew, this last part might piss some of Robert fans off. But I wrote this because I see things that according to my mature opinion, could impact Robert’s career in the future. My opinion here is sincere and came from pure heart. I do care about his career.

I am fully aware that, even though Robert started his acting career earlier than Ben, he was not that ready to be catapulted to a sudden fame after his role in Twilight. Rob was already very famous at age of 22, when Ben entered his fame at the age of 26 and not catapulted as bad as Rob. But I must admit too, by the age of 26, Ben was mature enough to manage his personal life and to face the crazy world of fame.


Ben admitted, though the role as strikingly handsome narcissist Dorian Gray was seriously hot, he hasn’t got it half as bad as poor old Robert Pattinson as drop-dead gorgeous Edward Cullen. Ben gets off pretty lightly.

After the catapulted stardom, Rob started to lose his personal life. I didn’t know was it because of his shy character or because he’s fed up with the situation, it was rare opportunity to see him laugh or smile during public appearance. While Ben, who was older and I believe more mature too, found no difficulties to laugh anytime a camera caught his expression. (Actually, it was difficult for me to find Ben’s picture without his smile during public appearances)


— Both pictures were taken on September 2009 —

My wish for Robert Pattinson, he could reach his maturity in time. It would be necessary to balance his professional and personal life. He will need all supports from his family and friends.

I have seen both of them smoking for their role in Little Ashes and Bigga than Ben, probably also for their role in other movies. But smoking was one of Rob’s habits that really made me worry. It was common to see Rob with his cigarette. To make it fair enough, I tried to dig more pictures of Ben off screen, but it seems like smoking was not his off-screen habits, or probably he’s good in hiding it ^_*. There were still possibilities in the next few days, I would see a picture of Ben Barnes smoking or even drunk at public area. Who knows 😀

Though I wrote once that Rob’s chiseled jaw line could make smoking and sipping beer look sexy, but combination of smoking and alcohol was not a good habits. It was a common knowledge that smoking and alcohol could ruin the beauty of your skin. Not to mentioned its impact to your health.

I don’t really know. Is it really because Ben lives healthier life than Rob, or because he has that “genes” to look younger than his age, but with 5 years of age difference, Ben looks almost as same age as Rob. Again, no offense, this is purely my personal opinion


Another wish for Robert Pattinson, he must quit his smoking habits to gain healthier life so he could stay longer and focus to his career.

I could not tell the length of time of their career or their captivating looks would be enough for their career or not. But for long-life acting career, they need more than just perfect good looks. Most of the Oscar winner actors like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, don’t have “the amazingly stunning look”. But they’re high-class actors, the award-winning actors. Their names are guarantee to a quality movie. That make them exist till today.

My hope on Rob’s career remain the same. Rob is still 23 years old, still has long way to go. If he could manage to use his time properly, not letting all the fame go to his head, balancing his professional and personal life, carefully choose his roles, he could explore more. He could even achieve higher success and stay longer in this business.

Ben, although he is grateful for the career boost, was worried about becoming famous for his good looks and not his acting skills. I knew that Ben must also explore and carefully choose his role, so he can keep his career as long as possible. But I also knew that he’s more ready than Rob, he’s older, mature and more equipped by his acting background. If he kept his track like before, he could gain his ultimate career in the following years.

I wouldn’t know what will happen to both of these British multi-talented actors in the following months. I might be surprised by their news, but for now I would be happy to follow the news on their acting career and wish the best for them.

I write so I can share what I see through my heart, my personal point of view and my own analysisThank you for following my blogs and spent your time to read it.

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