Here, the 25-year old British actress revealed about her life behind the scenes, standing up against the status quo, as well as her game plan beyond the silver screens.
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you how Lucy Boynton, she of Bohemian Rhapsody fame, and I almost walked into a men’s WC in a historic countryside estate just an hour away from Central London. But that’s exactly what happened, as we giggled our way through Monkey Island Estate’s regal corridors in the midst of this cover shoot. “Way to break the ice,” I thought to myself, embarrassed by my own inadvertence as I led her out for a quick outfit change. Thankfully for me, the 25-year old actress is nothing short of a good sport.
Having arrived on set in a pair of white combat boots, leather skirt, and casual jumper, the British actress couldn’t have embodied that jovial spirit any better. “Hello! I’m Lucy!” she said, all bright-eyed and cheerful, along with her mother Adriaane, a travel journalist who had, interestingly enough, spent most of her childhood years growing up in Malacca and Singapore. “I wish my mom would take me—I would love to come and visit Malaysia, she’s told me so much about it!” she quipped, sipping on freshly brewed English Breakfast tea in the midst of hair and make-up.
Her mother’s diverse childhood certainly says a lot about Lucy’s own worldliness. Born to travel journalists in New York and raised in London, the Copperhead and Sing Street actress is indeed no stranger to living life beyond borders, as evident by her slightly American-tinted accent—a result from living in her current base of New York. “It actually hasn’t been challenging for me splitting my life between New York and London,” she said as I slip her into our cover look by Bottega Veneta, which hugged her lithe figure like a glove. “My mom would always chaperone me when I was younger, so I’ve always had a strong sense of a centre point. It’s definitely helped me prepare for my life now on my own, and even though I’d be miles away from home, every time I come back things would always fall back into place as it had been before.”
Indeed, as a child actor whose first role as the young Beatrix Potter saw the rising star featured alongside Hollywood greats (think Rénee Zellweger and Ewen McGregor), Lucy’s trajectory into superstardom had already been in the stars from the very beginning.
“I’ve always been very aware of how lucky I am for the way my career started and how it was handled by all of the adults around me,” she continued, crediting not only her mother, but also her agent, Olivia Holman. “[They] were very specific about which scripts I saw and which projects I was aware of. For years, I was granted this very rose-tinted view of the industry—I thought all the films being made (at least with roles for children) must be as magical as the ones I was getting to be in. I’m very grateful for that because it meant that working at such a young age didn’t force me to grow up prematurely.”
It’s reminiscent of her own relationship with her current partner, Rami Malek, whose portrayal as the rock legend himself brought them both together. Always hand-in-hand on and off the red carpet (their most recent was just a few days after our shoot in Bray where the actress jetted off to Venice Film Festival for her upcoming film Glimpse alongside The Kingsman’s Taron Egerton), their relationship mirrors that of the love and support once shared by Freddie and Mary themselves. Case in point: when the Mr. Robot actor applauded his beau on-stage to accept his Best Actor Award at this year’s Academy Awards. “Lucy Boynton, you’re the heart of this film,” he professed, to millions of viewers worldwide. “You are beyond immensely talented. You have captured my heart.” Needless to say, the Internet exploded with news of the actor’s gratitude towards his IRL partner—some swooning over the 38-year old actor’s loving message, while others shifted their gaze towards Hollywood’s brightest import. She is, of course, grateful of the film’s success (nabbing four awards at the 91st Academy Awards is no easy feat), but beyond that also grateful for the life lessons it has taught her. “After seeing the reaction to Bohemian Rhapsody, I’m now realising what stories I want to tell,” she notes. “It felt really good to be a part of something that had such an uplifting message and positive impact. Even though I know I’ll always want to do a real mix of roles and projects, I think I’ll be more conscious of what kind of message or feeling it’s putting out there into the universe and if it’s something I can really stand behind.”Perhaps that is what prepared her for her breakthrough role as Bohemian Rhapsody’s Mary Austin, Freddie Mercury’s life partner, as well as confidante, throughout his life as the English rock legend. “It was a real privilege to get to play Mary!” she gushed. “Prior to the film, I think a lot of people felt very opinionated about her without actually knowing much about her at all. Because of the undefinable nature of her relationship with Freddie, people saw that as a negative,” Lucy explained. But while it might seem as a negative, her portrayal of the music icon’s companion had spun perspectives in a complete 180o angle. This is, after all, the woman whose name in British tabloids revolved around Mercury’s hedonistic life, all the while living in a limbo of platonic love. “What I hope the film shows is that the undefinable nature of their relationship is actually a real positive,” said Boynton. “You don’t have to define yourself for anyone. Their unrelenting love and support for each other and how that enabled their relationship to change and adapt over the years is what is important and significant, not what label they categorised that under. It was a really beautiful relationship to explore.”
It’s what led her to her latest role in Netflix’s latest series, The Politician, whose star-studded cast of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, and Zoey Deutch paints a cynical yet stylish portrait of ambition set in a Santa Barbara high school. Created by Ryan Murphy (the same mastermind behind FX’s American Horror Film, Glee, and Pose), the series sees Lucy cast as Astrid Sloan—whose coiffed, prep-school princess runs for president against an aspiring statesman portrayed by Pitch Perfect’s Ben Platt. For her, the role is indeed a refreshing one: “These characters stretch out the moulds of the stereotypes we’re too used to seeing,” she said, mentioning how even her own character defies social norms in her own, empowered way. “[Astrid] has such a sense of self-ownership and the value of expressing her opinion and taking up space. She never asks permission—she just goes out and gets what she wants,” said Boynton. “Although I don’t always entirely agree with her means and methods, it’s refreshing to see a young woman in this way is so unapologetic. It gave me a bit of a kick to be bolder in my own life.” Well then, don’t stop her now. g
Photographer: Lara Jade
Styling: Amy Yasmine
Makeup: Polly Osmond/Premier
Hair: Leigh Keates/Premier
Manicure: Robbie Tomkins/ Premier
Digital Technician: Clare Chong
Photographer’s Assistants: Oscar May and Will Corder
Retouching: Doctor Raw