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Who is Josh O'Connor, the star of the movie Challengers?

From his portrayal of the young Prince Charles in The Crown to his friendship with Jonathan Anderson

Who is Josh O'Connor, the star of the movie Challengers? From his portrayal of the young Prince Charles in The Crown to his friendship with Jonathan Anderson

It was 2017 and the world of independent and low-budget film was just getting acquainted with Josh O'Connor, the star of God's Own Country, a romantic film about gay men directed by Francis Lee that screened at the Sundance Film Festival and received an explosive response from critics. Born in 1990, Josh O'Connor rose to fame gradually, almost too late by today's standards: first he received theatre training and a series of smaller roles in British and US productions such as Doctor Who (2013), Peaky Blinders (2014) and Cinderella (2015). Now, La Chimera by Alice Rorwacher and Challengers, directed by Luca Guadagnino and with Zendaya.

A good start

Slowly, with a series of smart choices and unafraid to play difficult (the sheep farmer Johnny Saxby in the aforementioned God's Own Country) or unsympathetic (the ingratiating Mr Elton in the 2020 version of Emma directed by Autumn de Wilde) roles, he has built a sterling reputation, even among colleagues. Francis Lee called him "a rare performer, a humble chameleon," and Olivia Colman said, "Fragility, brilliance, strength, doubt: it's all there in a second with him." In 2019, he landed the role that finally made him an established and well-known actor: that of the then Prince Charles in the third and fourth seasons of The Crown. His Charles, portrayed in one of the most difficult moments of his life, the ill-fated affair with Emma Corrin's wonderful and melancholic Diana, doomed from the start, managed to come across as obnoxious but also fragile, torn between two women, but also between two drives (that of his family and that of his will) that are in stark contrast, he is subject to forces greater than himself, and he is waiting for one thing, the coronation that would come a full 40 years later.

Josh O'Connor for italian cinema

Another step forward, another building block: the second appearance (this time in competition and not "just" for a premiere) at the Cannes Film Festival for La chimera, an Italian-French production. Directed by Alice Rohrwacher, the film is set in the 1980s and tells the story of the so-called "tomb raiders" and the young English archaeologist who becomes involved in the illegal trade in artefacts. In addition to O'Connor, the super cast also includes Carol Duarte, Isabella Rossellini and Alba Rohrwacher. Released and love in Italy, now the movie is out even internationally. As it deserves.

His style

His personal style seems to fit well with his choice of work. You could almost say that Loewe's creative director Jonathan Anderson discovered him. The collaboration with the Spanish fashion house began at the end of 2017, proved particularly fruitful and has never stopped. The two have become friends, and speculation about what the star of The Chimaera will wear to Cannes is close to zero: it will most likely be something that does not cross the Northern Irish creative's mind, just as it did at the Golden Globes and just as it did when he first appeared at the event, 2021 for Mothering Sunday. His pink suit has inspired more than one title. And for good reason: Josh wears Loewe clothes with naturalness and rare ease.

His life

What about his private life? Bad news for those who careƏ: the man who is not traditionally good-looking but has a delicate and distinctive masculine charm has been dating Margot Hauer-King, sister of Jonah Hauer-King, star of The Little Mermaid, for some time (there is no certainty about the timing; he is extremely careful about his privacy and private life). Margot, however, is not part of the star system, quite the opposite. She is involved in the development and growth of a British start-up.

His hobbies

The actor tends not to talk about his relationship life. He's all the more talkative for it when it comes to his political views (despite playing Charles, he's actually a Republican and supported Jeremy Corbyn in 2019) and his creative process and hobbies. These include photography and drawing. In short, a shy, charming and discreet superstar who uses his Instagram profile as a portfolio for his photos and where we can discover more than just things about him to admire his artistic sensibility and, with a little imagination, guess his movements and the background of his very select projects.