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Reclining
&
shining

Photographs by Danny Kasirye
Styled by Rose Forde

Kingsley Ben-Adir’s portrayal of Malcolm X in One Night In Miami has had the critics raving — and the Oscars buzz is growing increasingly louder. Not too shabby for a boy from Kentish Town. Samuel Fishwick meets Hollywood’s new favourite Brit

Kingsley Ben-Adir has that useful knack of looking great in whatever clothes you care to throw at him. This morning the 35-year-old sat — coat on, shirt off, whatever — for what he describes as ‘four or five hundred’ photos at ES’s socially distanced Soho photo shoot without ever losing the twinkle in his bottomless brown eyes (onlookers were disappointed to learn he has a fiancée).

Clearly, though, he’s happiest in his civvies. ‘Label free like a tramp, a real scruffbag,’ he laughs later as he settles down in his flat(via Zoom,
of course), trying not to spill a Leon fish sandwich, chicken satay box and ‘cheeky Ting’ down his black roll neck jumper.

That Ben-Adir is quite the chameleon — and a 6ft 3in, effortlessly charismatic one at that — has helped with rapidly making a name for himself as one of the finest character actors in Hollywood. His stellar turn as civil rights leader Malcolm X in One Night In Miami, which dropped on Amazon Prime on Christmas Day, is generating wild Oscars buzz and has already bagged three Golden Globe nominations.

Ami coat, POA . Tom Ford shirt, £340; Rubinacci tie, £175. Gucci flower brooch, £348; metal brooch, £580

“the leaning [on others for help], and the worrying, and the not being sure — I have never been afforded that luxury”

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Fendi shirt, £3,250. Mr P trousers, £395. Tods loafers, £450. Falke socks, £14

“I don’t feel like my politics is anyone’s business, no offence. I don’t have any of the answers. None of them”

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Prada jacket, £3,350; trousers, £715; loafers, £685. Falke socks, £14

“Brotherhood for all men? Sounds pretty good to me. I don’t know how realistic it is…”

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Bode shirt, £360; trousers, £760. Malone Souliers shoes, £425. Falke socks, £14

“I think [acting] is much more connected to the idea of wanting to be accepted, and feeling love, and finding a way into other human beings”

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Grooming: Liz Taw at The Wall Group using upcirclebeauty.com. Photographer’s assistant: Jamie Sinclair. Stylist’s assistant: Shannon Clayworth. Set designer: Ian CY Hau. Set designer’s assistant: Susie Peng. Producer: Zoe Rose-Davies