Feature: Armie Hammer for British GQ!


Written by Mouza on September 30 2020

Armie Hammer wants you to pick up the phone and call a friend. Like, now

Why? Well, as a global pandemic runs alongside a Trump re-election campaign marred by overwhelming racial tension and violence, many, including Hammer, have been pushed to the brink of mental health crisis. Now, with his two latest films set for release, Armie Hammer speaks openly on the critical importance of conversation, his despair over American politics and his wildly differing experiences holed up in the Caymans and the Californian desert

It’s been a discombobulating few months for Armie Hammer: his country on fire, an industry kneecapped, the deep terror (as we all have had) of illness for friends and family and then, come July, he announced he and his wife, the mother of his two children, were separating after 13 years together. Wham! When one thinks of Armie Hammer – tall as a police horse, shoulders broad enough to carry your wife over a flowing river (I know you’d offer but she’d want Armie to carry her, trust me), a face that could ruin a nun’s conscience – one doesn’t think of a man crippled with anxiety and self-doubt. Yet, come the summer of Covid-19, there he was, his head in his hands, asking a friend for help. “I felt like a wolf who got caught in a snare,” he tells me, after emerging from the darkness somewhat at the end of August. “A wolf who wanted to chew his own foot off. I was just like, ‘I can’t do this.’”

Help for the 34-year-old actor came in the form of an urgent phone call. He called a buddy who worked in mental health, who got him to speak to a therapist. He’s had therapy previously – the sort you do if you’re told you need therapy but don’t actually believe you do – but not like this. This, as he tells me, was “crisis therapy”. Over the next few months he put the work in, made the time and it helped. He ironed out some of the worry, unpacked some of the baggage. He’s still doing it today and, naturally, he’s trying to pay the health benefits forward. Soon it was his turn to help. He picked up the phone to speak to a male friend in August and, after pushing his buddy to unload a little, it turned out his friend had been thinking about ending his own life all morning. “He was desperate. I just talked to him. I didn’t do anything anyone else wouldn’t have done. But it just goes to show: you need to ask people if they are OK. If they brush you off? Keep asking. Make time.”

This month you’ll see two projects that were the fruits of Hammer’s pre-Covid face pulling: Rebecca, a grown-up, well-crafted new adaptation of the chilling Daphne du Maurier novel directed by Ben Wheatley and costarring Lily James as Armie’s new wife who must wrestle with ghosts and Kristin Scott Thomas’ death stare; and Death On The Nile, Kenneth Branagh’s latest Hercule Poirot whodunnit, alongside Letitia Wright and Gal Gadot. Today, however, he’s holed up in the Californian desert, purposely miles from civilisation (or what is left of it in America), helping his buddy, Ashton, remodel an old motel. “Nothing better than sanding floors, planting cacti and taking a sledgehammer to a wall to get rid of your problems,” he tells me from the sun-dappled porch, a Stetson on his head and a dog at his boots. Take it from the handsome man with a soul: when in doubt, smash stuff up. Oh, and talk. A lot. [More at Source]

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