THE DISCREET CHARM OF
After turning heads last summer in Oppenheimer, Alden Ehrenreich is poised for a breakout fall. This month, the L.A. native will be heating up Netflix in Fair Play, a romantic thriller set in a hedge fund. Since being discovered in 2009, the 34-year-old has worked steadily with an enviable list of Academy Award-winning directors, including Francis Ford Coppola (Tetro), the Coen Brothers (Hail, Caesar!) and Ron Howard (Solo: A Star Wars Story).
We caught up with him in L.A. during the Screen Actors Guild strike, so he was unable to talk about his current projects — but he was more than happy to show us a few style moves.
Did you have favorite actors or eras of moviemaking growing up?
I was really drawn to a few periods– the movies that were made right after World War II and in The Seventies. So... On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Ace In The Hole and Sunset Boulevard–these kinds of dark, dramatic morality tales with characters who somehow spoke to the national mood of the time. From the 1950s and 1960s, I loved anything with Paul Newman in it...and then from the 1970s Midnight Cowboy, And of course, The Godfather. I saw it when I was 12-years-old, and it was a huge deal.
By the time you were a senior in high school, you were working with that film's director, Francis Ford Coppola, on Tetro. What was the experience like?
So, I was 17, living on my own for the first time. In Buenos Aires. Working for the man who directed Marlon Brando in The Godfather. And he could not have been more generous. He created this sense of a company on the set. We spent two weeks rehearsing with a lot of improv. We ate together as a cast. And he became a sort of father figure to me. His spirit, his idealism and his risk-taking have been an inspiration to me for my career.
Are there places in L.A. that you loved as a kid that you still love and go back to?
I’m a recovering Old Hollywood romantic, so I love Musso & Frank’s. There’s this vibe of a very classy restaurant without feeling stuffy or a place to be seen. I’m also a big fan of Dan Tana’s, which is like Musso & Frank’s drunk little brother. It’s great how the dishes are named after…
…These industry veterans who were regulars? Veal Scallopini alla Karl Malden. I mean the 18oz steak is called The Dabney Coleman. What would your last meal be?
Ice cream and mushroom pizza from this place in Paris called BigLove. I know that saying “pizza” and “Paris” sounds pretentious, but trust me on this one.
Alden’s directorial debut, the short film Shadow Brother Sunday, had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last summer.