Finn Wittrock is featuring the new issue of Esquire Magazine (February 2017) and there’s a new photoshoot and interview. He talks about his projects in the past years and what’s coming next. Read it bellow:
IT’S 11:00 A.M. and Finn Wittrock has good reason to be hungry. He’s fresh off his first performance of Othello, in which he wrestles and bench-presses and does one very convincing keg stand onstage. So when we meet at a bustling Ukrainian diner on New York’s Second Avenue—where he’s enough of a regular that a waiter gives a small salute as we pass by who am I to tell him it’s a little early for kielbasa and pierogi?
It took me a moment to recognize the 32-yearold actor, who’s traded his usual swoop of hair for a high-and-tight cut in order to play Cassio opposite Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo in the modern, Marines-themed production. Wittrock has been chipping away at mainstream fame for years, with supporting roles in The Big Short, Noah, and Unbroken, but has so far resisted any efforts to pigeonhole him. He earned a sizable fan base (and an Emmy nomination), for example, for his role as American Horror Story: Freak Show’s Dandy Mott, a bloodthirsty
man-child who drinks cognac from a baby bottle and makes puppets from the corpses of his victims. “I enjoy the athleticism of jumping from one very different thing to another,” he says of his knack for shape-shifting
between psychopath and golden boy.
He hopes to screen a few films on the festival circuit in 2017—most notably Landline, alongside John Turturro and Jenny Slate—but the immediacy of live performance keeps luring him back to the theater. That’s why he decided to do back-toback productions of Othello and The Glass Menagerie. It all reminds him of something “Phil Hoffman”—as he calls him, dropping the “Seymour”—told him during their acclaimed 2012 run of Death of a Salesman: “Once the play’s done, it becomes myth.” The deaths of Hoffman and, shortly thereafter, the show’s director, Mike Nichols, provided a haunting affirmation of those words. “That’s the beautiful tragedy of theater,” says Wittrock. “It’s the most amazing experience, but then it’s freed and gone.”
But that doesn’t mean that the actor believes the power of art is fleeting. More than ever, he feels that it has an important role to play in today’s culture, as voices like Shakespeare’s “can be instructive” and theater can help you “heal and elucidate what you’re feeling.”
He was disappointed with Donald Trump’s decision to chastise the cast of Hamilton for reading a political statement to audience member Mike Pence. “It was such an opportunity to say, ‘How great that we live in a country where you can express yourself.’ [But] he just made it another fight. He can’t help getting in the ring.”
When I find Wittrock by the stage door after Othello’s Sunday matinee, his eyes widen with guilt. “I thought you were coming tonight!” he says, apologizing for his tight schedule. But his performance has already given me plenty to think about, so I send him off to go restock on calories before the evening show two hours from now, when he’ll begin to rebuild the myth from the ground up.
You can also check our gallery to find the photoshoot and scans:
PHOTOSHOOTS & PORTRAIT SESSIONS > 2017 > 001. ALEXIE HAY (ESQUIRE)
MAGAZINE SCANS > 015. ESQUIRE MAGAZINE (FEBRUARY 2017)