Boyd Holbrook isn’t a household name — yet.
The Kentucky-born actor — who got his start modeling for big-name designers — has built a career on supporting roles in smart thrillers such as “Gone Girl” and “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” as well as a starring role in the Netflix series “Narcos.” And in 2018, he’ll be in the lead in the Shane Black reboot of “The Predator.”
But before that, on Friday, he’ll debut his highest-profile gig to date — playing Donald Pierce, the villain who takes on Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in the new “X-Men” spinoff “Logan.” The mechanically enhanced tough guy is out to capture the young enigmatic Laura (Dafne Keen), unless Wolverine can keep her safe.
amNewYork spoke with the 35-year-old actor, who lives up in the Catskills, about the film.
Did you know about Donald before this? Had you read any of the comics?
No, I wasn’t ever truly into comics. I had a wonderful script to go off of by [writer-director] James Mangold and [writer] Scott Frank, who I worked with before on “A Walk Among the Tombstones.” They just gave me a lot of privilege to try some stuff out, to develop the character the way I saw fit. I had great material to work off of.
There are some great fight scenes in “Logan.” What was it like watching a young girl beat up all those guys?
What a phenomenal performance from such a young, talented little girl, Dafne. Watching her in rehearsals, I was thinking if I should reconsider my line of work [laughs].
What was the training process?
We trained daily, training in the gym with Hugh in the morning, going on 5 a.m. runs. You got to stay fit, you got to stay sharp, you got to stay aware. I’d never been involved in anything this high-end, but it was definitely always something to learn.
Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have inhabited the roles of Wolverine and Professor Charles Xavier for years. What was it like working with them?
I was completely humbled. You walk on the set and you’re honored to be working with these people. A good actor’s job is to work and support the other actors you’re working with and make them give the best performance they can give. I think Hugh and Patrick Stewart, there’s a reason why they’ve been so successful, because they have the same mentality.
You’ve worked in the fine arts, doing photography and sculpting in New York City. Do you still work in those fields?
I worked for a great sculptor, Fernando Mastrangelo. He’s a great friend of mine, I think we’re going to collaborate together in the future on some pieces. I was an apprentice underneath him, had a couple solo shows, which anybody reading this in New York who is an artist knows is rough going sometimes out there. Once I started making a little bit of a living from acting, which is really a surge in the last two years, I’ve taken a break. But we’re going to come back and work on something next year.
What do you like to do when you’re in New York City?
All my friends are here. I’ve learned the ways of the world in New York, so it’s always exciting here, there’s always something to do. Nowadays, I enjoy spending more time at home, staying out of trouble, cooking.