but there’s someone underneath the charismatic comedian who doesn’t show himself as much. in the Face to Grace interview, with former model and family friend Grace Coddington, we get a glimpse of who that is.
“I’m realizing that I need to go back to the way I used to write when I was younger, which is just like a pure way of writing. I remember in 9th grade I took a creative writing class and I wrote something and the teacher told me it didn’t make any sense, but I remember it making plenty of sense to me, and then I had to change the way that I wrote and that was a huge mistake”
They talk of childhood innocence, how creativity is hindered when it comes with a set of rules,
“what happens is that you start to over think things and people start to tell you ‘well actually let’s look at these artists, let’s see how they did it’ and it’s not pure anymore. creativity isn’t something that’s supposed to be overly critiqued and overly managed”
if his music career will overtake his acting one,
“it feels good to just allow yourself to be artistic and to do it on your own terms”
and how the darkness that consumed him while embodying his upcoming Goldfinch character made him not eager to repeat the experience anytime soon.
“playing a drug addict…it takes a serious toll on you. I lost a lot of weight for the role. not only was I depressed playing this guy, but I was also starving! I was in a terrible mood on set. I did my work but, I don’t think I was a nice guy. I think I was a horrid person…I don’t know if I ever will do this again. it’s been tough to get back”
Through recollected stories of young Ansel accompanying his photographer father on exotic fashion shoots, to how he was bullied in Middle School for being too silly, and even the functionality of his iconic rings,
this interview reveals the struggle going on underneath the pretty face- to grow up and be taken more seriously or stay youthful but restrict your career choices.
“I think we go through an awkward phase in life, as creators…you go through this learning period where you get serious and start to doubt yourself and everyone tells you ‘grow up’. a lot of people get out of being creative and they never become creative again…people are going to tell you to stop being a kid, people are going to tell you to grow up, but as an artist that’s the worst thing you could possibly do”
I hope he’s able to keep the kind of freedom that let’s him express himself in spontaneous ways,
while also nurturing the sophisticated air that made that sleek velvet suit look so alluring.
I hope he’s able to channel his energy and drive into engaging indie roles like Jonathan, while also putting those heavenly pipes to use for higher profile projects like the West Side Story remake. I hope he’s able to nourish his passion for music and to never again feel like he’s selling out.
I hope he’s able to stay fearless, fearless and wild.
there was a phone call where everybody spoke about how I needed to start dressing for Baby Driver, as myself, because I wore stuff that was too wild. if we wanted middle america to embrace Ansel Elgort …it’s tough because now there’s a lot more at stake, right? there’s money at stake and success…every successful wealthy person I know is pretty miserable.
One of the reasons fangirls get a bad reputation is because we tend to go on and on about our guys, a lot. we relate everything to ‘him’ in some way. if we’re not talking about him directly, then we’re talking about him indirectly. we need it to be known how great we think he is and why. he’s captured our attention so completely, nothing exists if it can’t be related to him.
someone says their name, and I am there, inserting myself into the conversation. because I know things, I have knowledge. was the guy who was in that Irish serial killer show Christian Grey? why yes, yes he was. his name is Jamie. that really is his accent. oh, you couldn’t understand it? here, let me give you a run down of every scene he spoke in.
I used to have a picture of Richard Armitage on my key chain. when I would meet new friends for lunch, I’d make sure that key chain was visible on the table. if they didn’t know about Richard, I’d enlighten them. if they already knew, then maybe it would entice them to ask about his new movie or television show. you scoff, but it works! I had many a conversation about Richard because of that key chain.
I cannot have a conversation about Batman, without mentioning Christian Bale. Oscar acceptance speeches? please! Christian called his wife the mast that gets him through the storms of life and said his daughter teaches him more than he could ever teach her *swoon*. did you know Christian’s daughter has the same name as my niece? I’m the only one in the family who can remember how to spell her name. I had a dream once that my Grandma was showing me pictures of long lost relatives and Christian was in one. my ancestor’s are from England, wouldn’t that be funny if we were related…
When I’m with her I’m confused,
out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather, she’s as flighty as a feather
She’s a darling! she’s a demon! she’s a lamb!
I don’t mean to overpower people with info or images but there’s this NEED to let everyone know it’s him. I’m a Dan Stevens fan. I fan Dan Stevens. you know, that guy who used to be on Downton Abbey, Matthew? yeah, him. he’s also that guy in that weird superhero show Legion. and Beauty and The Beast! he was the beast. he actually was, like all the facial movements and stuff were his, not CGI.
other times I try to play it low key, “adoption? oh, an actor I like was adopted. he finds it ridiculous when people ask him what his life would have been like if he wasn’t adopted. like, what would your life have been like if you were? we can’t possibly know the answer to that!” I’m like one of those pet parents who compare their animal to your baby.
She’d out pester any pest, drive a hornet from it’s nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! she is wild! she’s a riddle! she’s a child!
She’s a headache! she’s an angel! she’s a (fan)girl!
Sometimes I don’t really have anything to say but I need to make sure my social media reflects that Dan Stevens is my movie boyfriend of choice. so I post a random picture of him. maybe I include a sunshine emoji, because he brightens my world.
I was looking back through the chats of a fan forum I used to spend time on, when I came across me talking about Dan. I got side tracked then, sifting through the conversations to see what I had said about him at the beginning of my crush. my memory isn’t always the greatest, especially when dealing with dates, so I often mix up the timeline of events.
It was informative to see what I had said about Dan, as a complete newbie, and how specific roles and interviews influenced what I sought out next. what follows are excerpts from those posts (and a few e-mails too).
April 3, 2017- I’ve recently found a new rabbit hole to fall into: Dan Stevens. Downton Abbey fans know him as Matthew (I’ve still not seen any of that show, not one episode. or even clips from it, just screen captures) but I just discovered him through the FX show Legion. I had no idea he was British before I clicked on an interview for Beauty and The Beast! his voice is delicious. I just started looking into him a few days ago, so who knows how deep into the rabbit hole I’ll actually fall. it’s nice to get excited for someone new now & then though, to supplement my other obsessions 😉
April 4, 2017- [friend mentions how Dan lost a lot of weight to become an ‘american star’ and that she misses Cousin Matthew’s cheeks] wow, he did lose a lot of weight! I like his angular face tho. the jaw and the adam’s apple and those lanky limbs…
[I complain about Photobucket not working. friend tells me to quit screwing around and watch Downton Abbey instead] I did just watch a trailer thing for it, so now I can at least say I’ve watched some of it 😉 it showed Matthew & his mom coming to the estate for the first time. Matthew talked about his job & that it wouldn’t be a problem b/c he’d still help run the estate, even on the weekend. then Maggie’s character asked what a weekend was.
April 6, 2017- Photobucket is still not working for me. they did send an e-mail to say that they’re aware of the problem & are working on it. do they not care that I’m in the midst of a new crush? I.need.to.post.all.the.pictures! 😛
Interviewer: right now, when you think about your fans, who are they? for example, my mom is a really big fan.
Dan Stevens: there you go! your mom. I’ve always wanted that to be an answer to a question. Your mom.
April 10, 2017- [friend asked if Legion was any good. she also said to watch The Guest, which she claimed wasn’t good but worth it for the eye candy] yes, Legion is how I first found him. the season is over now but it’s been renewed for a 2nd, so I’m really happy about that! the first episode was kinda weird, artsy, and you really weren’t sure what was going on. after that though, it pulls you in; you’re still confused but you want to stick with it to find out what’s actually happening. as it goes along it gets creepy and fun and more weird- I really liked it. I haven’t looked that forward to watching a show since Lost ended 😎
The Guest– I’ve seen a lot of press for that one (I’ve been spending an embarrassing amount of time on youtube watching interviews b/c I love his voice & facial expressions) it looks good, in a ‘don’t expect too much plot but have fun watching me beat people up’ kind of way, and I’m all for that 😛
I also took my daughter to see Beauty and The Beast this weekend. it was really good! I was never all that attached to the animated version. I watched it, of course, but we were what, 16-17 when it came out? but seeing it look so real was impressive.
April 11, 2017- just popping in again to say I watched the movie [The Guest] this morning & I LOVED IT, LOL! it had a very 1980s feel to it, I miss those cheesy movies 😎 I love when bad guys skip the monologuing & just shoot people. it’s unexpected, and then I laugh at myself for my vocal reactions 😛 so now I can add twisted sense of humor to the ‘things to know about Dan’ list 😉
April 19, 2017- I just discovered the Carte Noire series, where Dan Stevens reads excerpts from classic books. Holy Shit! 😯 his voice, his facial expressions, his eyes… “are you sitting comfortably? then I’ll begin”
May 5, 2017- it’s hard to connect with other fans when you’re in a different place, fan wise, then they are. and yet it’s really exciting when you find fans that you know through one crush who also share your crush on someone else…so you need to look into Dan Stevens. I’ll wait. *plays outdated muzak*
May 23, 2017- Dan checks off all the boxes and fits in a way I didn’t expect. serendipity.
June 7, 2017- I’m crushing HARD on Dan Stevens. I’d apologize for not having a thought in my head that doesn’t concern him, but I’m not sorry. here’s a random vid, b/c I’m in love w/his eyes:
September 20, 2017- well, I’ve gone and done it. I’m watching Downton Abbey for the first time 😯 I’m two episodes in, and I love it already. damn it!
September 21, 2017- I watched the whole first season in one day 🙄 I get it now. I understand the Matthew love. as I was watching the scene where Mary & Matthew make out at the dinner table, my son and husband were carrying on a conversation in the same room as me, talking to each other across the room from each other. I didn’t want to miss any part of that scene, so I backed it up and watched it again…twice. son was affronted, and I said, “but they finally kiss!! I CANNOT miss that. it’s really important” 😆 I knew that I’d love Matthew but I did not expect to love all the other characters too. well, except for Thomas. he was horrible.
I know that Matthew eventually joins the war & gets injured, so I’m curious to see that. I was surprised to learn that Dan himself had a back injury and lost the use of his legs for a time, due to a sports accident. so when people were saying that Matthew walking again was far fetched & not possible, he was like, yes it is! b/c it happened to me 😎
November 27, 2017- [friend asks if I’ve finished Downton Abbey] I watched the first season, but I’m afraid to continue! I’ve gobbled up enough fanfic to know the storyline, and I’m just not sure I want to put myself through the heartache (Lavinia, unrequited love, wounded Matthew).
December 17, 2017- I just read an interview with Dan where he said he saved the hubcap of the car that killed Matthew Crawley, “is that weird? it’s a memorial” 😀
I still haven’t seen seasons 2 and 3 of Downton Abbey. I’m not really sure why. maybe I like the distinction of being a Dan Stevens fan who wasn’t a Downton fan first.