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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

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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Ben Barnes, the aristocratic handsome with strong personality

He’s not an actor who’s been catapulted into stardom in one single night. Don’t call him an overnight success, he will get irritated. He’s been working quite hard for the past 10 years. Been on stage since he was 16 years old, he slowly paved his path to become an actor through the small but pivotal role of young Dunstan in Stardust before finally entered the hall of fame as Prince Caspian in 2007.

Ben Barnes might be one of the most gorgeous men you’ll ever see on screen or off,

the Prince

but don’t let that pretty face fool you. He become one of the hottest young British actor without posing for paparazzi outside dodgy night clubs. He rarely finding himself in gossip magazine, much to his relief. “maybe it’s just because I’ve been private about private life or perhaps I am just not that popular”. Ben prefers a night at the cinema or a gig, over what he calls “the gossip mag-lifestyle” and not envy anybody who has that lifestyle.

Along with his dashing handsome face, comes his strong personality.

Ben was the first actor in his Brit family, because (according to him) he’s the crazy one. His professor of psychiatry father and psychotherapist mother were the most important influences. He’s very much attaching to his family. His parents taught him to think about his reactions. The way they treated him as the first child in the family, made him warm, obliging and usually open about his feelings. In most of his interviews, Ben showed that he is articulate, versatile and charismatic. The way he replied questions were smart but mundane and sincere. He has the sense of genuineness and frankness.

Ben is mature and very well prepared person. He’s no fragile soul. He hides it well. It’s in private. “You should doubt in private”. Though he was facing the craziest moment of having 90 interviews on Prince Caspian in one day, woke up the next morning with no voice, dosed up on a cocktail of vitamin C, honey and lemon and Chinese potion, and realized that he had to face another 60, he’s not complaining. He realized that he has no choice, the film called Prince Caspian, so he has no where to hide.

The 10-storeys poster of Prince Caspian smoldering down the blade of his sword might cause even asexual protozoa to spontaneously divide,

the Prince

but for Ben it was surreal and also terrifying. Prince Caspian, brought him to his new heartthrob status, but it didn’t jeopardize his life. It was embarrassing, but it brought smile to his face. He is not letting success go to his crown. His parents and brother would slap him if it were ever required.

Though his face was on the bus all over London, it seems like Ben after his role as the timeless gorgeous Dorian, has a better sense on how to operate below radar. Even if Dorian Gray marketed as well as the box office movie, Twilight, it wouldn’t be necessary for him in hiding like Robert Pattinson or surrounded by bodyguards.

No denying that his remarkable aristocratic handsome face and a heart-melting smile could charm any woman around the globe,


But in the world of Botox – injected society that is obsessed with youth and celebrity and cheating clocks also his role as the timeless narcissist Dorian Gray, he has his own heart-thrilling answer, “Never, not even Botox. As an actor you want your face to have it’s full flexibility potential. You want to be able to raise and eyebrow”.

Ben Barnes is intelligent, educated and savvy. In taking roles, he chooses roles that fascinates him, not the ones that make him charming. “Almost every script that I’ve gotten has been for sort of the generic Hollywood type. I haven’t chosen them. All the ones I have chosen are because I’ve been fascinated with the source material or because of the script. And the variety is interesting”. His choices indicate that quality stories are a top priority for him as an actor, rather than taking the easier route of doing work that cashes in “flavor of the month” trends. He just passionate and fascinated with what he does. He wanted to have as many opportunities to play as many different parts as possible. He wanted every experience to be of value.

He is also seeing his working opportunity in clever way. “Even all the big stars, you read their autobiographies and there always seems to be a point where they were penniless and starving. To be working actor at this point in my life is just a tremendous privilege”. With “Carpe diem” as his life motto, he tried to look at things in perspective, trying hard to never forget how lucky he was. He doesn’t want to sound maudlin, but he thinks “it’s very important to be aware of what we have”.

Ben Barnes is a rising and undeniably talented star. He’s working very serious as an actor but if you ask him to choose between a family full of children or an Oscar, he would give a clear statement, “Why not? But if I have to choose between the Oscar or a family full of children, I prefer the second one”. He chose a family full of children more than an Oscar, endearing isn’t it? But it’s also very obvious, the strong combination of classic medieval looks, multi-talents and strong personality could make him the world class award-winning actor. Not just a showcasing star.

Physically he’s the object of embarrassing drool, but in person he’s an affable chap with strikingly strong personality and wisdom. He’s positively fabulous.

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

Disclaimer: All photographs used in this blog are belongs to their rightful owners, benbarnesonline, benbarnessource and benbarnesfan No copyright infringement intended.