Culture

What does it take for Rege-Jean Page to look that good? Apparently, not much.

“Sleep. Water. Good Vibes,” the actor told ELLE.com, revealing his secret recipe on a Zoom call from L.A. Beaming in a blue and white striped sweater, the actor was rather convincing. After long days on set in Bridgerton or after hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time, all he’d need to recharge is simply…rest and hydrate?

But perhaps it’s that effortlessness that helped Page land his new role as the face of Armani Code Parfum, announced today. After all, the new fragrance is said to channel “the contemporary man,” one that is “strong yet sensitive” and values connection—who better embodies that than the actor who brought those very characteristics to the Duke of Hastings?

Page admits he wasn’t a big fragrance guy prior, but he’s game to trying new things. “I’m open to experiences and people introduce me to something new, and I’m like, ‘oh, that’s kind of cool’ and kind of stick with that for a while,” he says. “But it takes something special to hold my attention.”

That try everything approach applies to his career as well. “My favorite thing about this job is continuing to reserve space to surprise myself, to reserve space to excite myself. And I think the best way to do that is not to cement what you think you want,” he says. After starring in the 2016 Roots remake, ABC’s legal drama For the People, and of course, Bridgerton, Page will next star in Netflix’s supersized action flick The Gray Man alongside Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling, and Ana de Armas. And it’s by Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo.

When asked who he wants to work with next, Page’s answer is just as simple as his beauty routine: “Absolutely everyone.”

Here, the heartthrob chats with ELLE.com about where he’d wear Armani Code, his favorite book, and what’s in his classified files.

How would you describe the fragrance Armani Code?

I would describe it as multifaceted. I think one of the things that excites me about it most is that there is a very intense initial presence, kind of traditional strong notes like the bergamot and then beneath that, in concert with it, you have softer, more floral notes like the Iris that allow you to have a lot of different angles to experience the fragrance from. So as different as you are yesterday to today, to tomorrow, there are different assets, facets of this fragrance that you can discover from day to day with yourself, with your different moods, with the different versions of yourself, you know?

armani code

Courtesy Armani

I want to give you a scenario: You’re wearing Armani Code. Where are you going out to? What outfit are you wearing? Set the scene.

[Laughs] Honestly? The joy of this thing is I could be going kind of anywhere. Like, I could be going to the beach, I could be going to a dive bar. I could be going to the Met. And to be honest, I’ve worn it to all three of those occasions. So it links into the previous answer I gave—it’s the multifaceted nature of the thing that means that different notes will come out in different scenarios. The same way that different versions of myself will come out in different scenarios, in different places.

On the topic of beauty and fragrance, I’m also curious about self-care. What does your self-care routine look like?

It’s very simple. Sleep, water, good vibes.

That’s it? That’s all it takes?

That’s it. Those are the most… Sleep, water, good vibes, moisturize. There you go, I’ll give you that much.

Okay. I’m sure SPF too, probably somewhere in the mix.

SPF somewhere in the mix. I’m not very disciplined with that, but I’m gonna have to be.

Any routines for a wind-down after a long down set?

Sleep. Water. Good vibes. [Laughs heartily]

That’s all it is. The simple recipe.

No but genuinely, I’m something of a minimalist with this. I think: keep things simple, but do them well. And sleep is one of the most underrated things in the world. If you’re well hydrated and you’re well rested, then the good vibes kind of take care of themselves. If you feel good, you will look good. That’s both kind of weirdly holistic, but also biologically sound, like when you feel good, when you are rested, your body can take care of itself. You know?

I’m curious to hear about what you’re working on as well. You have The Gray Man coming up in a couple weeks. Can you tell us a little bit more about your role?

[Laughs] Kind of, maybe, not really? I can put out that this guy is the head of the CIA clandestine services. So there’s a lot of sophistication, a lot of power to this character. There’s a lot of shadow and contrast to this character, it’s something that I don’t think people have seen a lot of from me specifically before, which was great fun for me to play with. But beyond that, not a huge amount. These people live in the shadows, you kind of gotta discover them in the movie.

Definitely. What was your prep like? Did it require a lot of physical training?

There was some. [Laughs] It’s all in the classified file.

the gray man 2022 rege jean page as carmichael cr paul abellnetflix © 2022

Regé-Jean Page in The Gray Man.

Netflix

Got it. Did it feel bigger than any previous project you’d done in the past? The Russo brothers are attached and it’s a huge Netflix film.

I mean, the scope of the thing is insane. I think the Russos have talked about that publicly in terms of how many set pieces they have going, in terms of the size of their ambition for this project. When I watched this thing in a screening room, it physically shook me. So I don’t think that there’s any limits to how big this is. This is the biggest action movie that I’ve ever seen. And everyone just had such a ball of a time making it that I think that’ll translate pretty well. Also the fun thing about the Russos, they are such masters of genre that they can kind of turn on a dime between an absolute white knuckle adrenaline ride, and then this kind of [snaps] community-esque wink at the camera where everything is actually very funny, straight back into white knuckle action, you know? I think the way that they’re able to play with genre like that and make sure that everyone’s having this compelling, enjoyable experience through a movie with such weight is really quite special.

You have this and you have a Noah Hawley project in the works, that’s produced by by the Russo brothers. What are some things you’ve taken away from working with them?

They’ve imparted a lot of wisdom, actually. We got on really well. We had a couple of great productive, long conversations about business in general, about what they wanna make, what I wanna make. Out of that has come the collaboration with Noah, which is super exciting, which I can say absolutely nothing about. But I mean, you can’t get a better billing than that, between Noah Hawley and the Russos you’re in such incredibly good company.

But what’s almost more exciting is how that work comes about because the Russos are so generous with their time and with their creativity that, that project wouldn’t have come about. If we hadn’t been able to talk so freely and if they hadn’t taken the time to be interested and say, “Hey, that’s super interesting. We can run with that.” And so we are and so it’s a wonderful relationship to have and I’m looking forward to sharing more and more of the creative stuff we have coming out there because it certainly excites me.

“My dream role is the one that I don’t even have the capability of imagining yet.”

That’s amazing. In The Gray Man, you’re sharing the screen with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. What was it like working with them?

Inspiring. Much like the Russos, these are guys at the top of their game, who’ve seen it and done it and they’re doing it again but better, you know? And so being able to have a front row seat with that, being able to interact with guys who are working at this level is hugely inspiring. It’s a free master class every single day. And again, they’re very, very generous artists. They’re people who will give you their time, who will give you absolutely everything in moments of performance and moments off performance. So it’s a privilege.

Any specific pieces of advice they’ve given you as well?

You’ve wandered back into the classified file. [Laughs]

What does your dream role look like?

My dream role is the one that I don’t even have the capability of imagining yet. If that makes sense. Do you see what I mean?

Yeah. And you’ll know it when you find it.

When you see it, it’ll be something new, it’ll be something unexpected. That’s the dream.

Totally. It’s been a joy watching your career grow and evolve in the past few years. As you continue to rise and continue to put your work out there, what’s something that you want people to take away from you?

To take away from me? Man, ticket stubs? I don’t know. [Laughs] I hope that folks enjoy the work you put out. It’s something that you do that the joy of this job is that you do it to be observed. The things that you make are not made in private, it’s made to be made and then shared. And so you hope that people find something relatable. I was describing earlier in another interview, someone was asking which character I related to most. And I was saying, it’s kind of all of them because I find pieces of myself in different characters and discover those pieces of myself so that I know myself better. And then if you do the job right, you take all those pieces and you share them outwards in the performance, being that hopefully when you are in the theater, when you are sitting at home watching TV, you are looking at that and going and finding pieces of yourself and going, “Oh! I’m a little bit like that. Well, I never quite understood this about myself, but that makes [me feel understood].” I always feel like that. I suddenly feel slightly less alone because I see a piece of the world that I recognize in the work. And the more often that I can help give people that feeling that you have after you’ve read a good book and you feel just that little bit less alone in the world. You feel just more yourself. That’s the goal.

On the reverse of that, is there anything that you’ve watched or read recently that made you feel that way?

Ooh. I reread The Little Prince every couple of years, but I think that there are little pieces of that that always resonate differently each time I come back to it.

The Little Prince

bookshop.org

$11.03

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

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