Lucien Laviscount is taking off his shirt, and I’m not entirely sure how to react. I’ve just popped onto his screen; he’s far away from the camera in his hotel room in London, England. At first, all I see is a flurry of activity. Running a little late for our interview, Laviscount is a chaotic blur, rushing to change. As he rips off his hoodie, I get a glimpse of his six-pack (or is it eight?) before he adjusts his white undershirt.
“Hello?” I stammer, my face redder than a tomato during peak summer season. Slightly startled, he saunters over and says an enthusiastic hello. After I apologize profusely for catching him in a somewhat private moment, he begins to laugh. “I call bullsh*t,” he exclaims, smiling cheekily. “You’re not sorry. You’re not sorry one bit!” And he’s right —I’m not.
Laviscount currently holds the coveted title of “the Internet’s Boyfriend.” While Brits might be quick to clock him for his early roles on the long-running soap opera Coronation Street or the BBC teen drama Waterloo Road, he didn’t puncture the North American pop-culture bubble until 2021, when he joined season two of Netflix’s Emily in Paris. His character, Alfie — the suit-sporting banker with a heart of gold — was originally supposed to have more of a supporting role as the third person in a love triangle with Lily Collins’s Emily and Lucas Bravo’s Gabriel. But he quickly became a fan favourite and was promoted to a series regular for season three, although it’s unclear if we’ll see him in the upcoming fourth season.
While the actor can’t comment (this interview took place during the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike), Alfie supporters are collectively crossing their fingers, and I can see why. It’s really hard not to fall in love with Laviscount. Let’s put aside for a second his giant smile, chiselled jaw and bulging biceps. And let’s ignore the British accent and the way he refers to me as “luv” throughout our conversation. Behind all that, he’s a playful puck who quotes Cool Runnings, radiates positivity and loves to talk about his feelings. Swoon. To Laviscount, everything is amazing. Living in Antigua is amazing! Owning a bar in London is amazing! His fans are amazing! He even interrupts my questioning to show me how amazing the London sunset is. “I wish you were here to see it,” he says. Double swoon.
That’s what makes Laviscount such a great heartthrob for now. Like his counterparts Timothée Chalamet, Pedro Pascal and Paul Mescal, he has found the golden ratio of sensitivity and silliness, paired with a perfect physique and a fashion-forward sensibility. That’s not to say he’s immune from the pressures that come with being one of the internet’s boyfriends or the child of two bodybuilders. But he assures me that his parents never forced him down any particular path. Instead, his British mom and Antiguan dad drilled into him the importance of hard work and passion and taught him to love himself. “I grew up in Burnley, one of the most racist places in England,” he explains. “No one was going to pat me on the back. No one was going to help me out. What am I going to do? Wallow? No. My parents taught me that I have to be better — be more. And if you’re going to do something, do it with your whole heart.”
Laviscount says he finds there’s nothing sexier than when someone shares that same outlook on life and unapologetically owns who they are. I ask if he’s currently in love, and it’s the only time he pauses in our hour-long conversation. I can see him searching for the right words and trying to decide how much of himself he wants to reveal — he’s notoriously private about his personal life, especially when it comes to dating. “I have my family, my friends and the people who are closest to me whom I love very, very dearly,” he begins rather coyly. “I think people put a lot of pressure on one person to be their person, but it’s impossible for one human to tick every box. A beautiful bird finds you and lands on your shoulder and you want to put it in a cage? No, no, no! I just want to open the world to that person even more. They should make you feel weirder, crazier, more ambitious, more loved and freer than you did before.”
Another pause. “But do I have that person in my life? I have people in my life,” he says, carefully dodging the question. Sorry, everyone — I tried my best.
While he’s cagey about who he’s currently courting, there’s no hiding the fact that Laviscount is a romantic at heart. Growing up, the actor admits he was a “cocky little kid.” He was discovered at the age of 10, when he was shopping with his mom. Enamoured with a teenage shop attendant, Laviscount fearlessly approached her and asked if she’d like to go out. While he didn’t get a date, he did end up getting a gig, as a casting agent overheard the exchange and was impressed with his confidence. His first job? Modelling for David Beckham’s kids clothing line. After that, acting came quite naturally.
But, to be fair, his mom deserves some credit. “She is the most wonderful, wonderful woman,” Laviscount begins, getting a little emotional. “Every night, my mom would climb into bed with my brother and me and read us bedtime stories until we fell asleep. That had a massive impact on me, because now, all I want to do is tell stories in whatever format I can, whether it be through art, music, acting or whatever.”
When I ask if he considers fashion a form of storytelling, I’m met with a loud “F*ck yeah!” He describes his red-carpet clothing as a persona of sorts, one that he “can put on or take off” when he wants to. “It’s about how I’m feeling and what message I want to put out that day, luv.”
Sometimes that means rocking an orange leather ’70s-inspired jacket with a psychedelic silk scarf. Other days it’s a classic James Bond-esque suit. (Rumours have been swirling that he might be in the running.) Or, in the case of his viral look from the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars Party, it’s about playing with gender tropes. “I wanted to look like Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Black Panther’s Wakanda on top,” he jokes. “But it’s crazy how much you can offend people with what you wear.”
Laviscount reveals that the velvet Dolce & Gabbana jumpsuit he wore — which he and his stylist, Danyul Brown, accessorized with a corset, long gloves and a statement collar necklace — earned him some backlash. “I feel sorry for a lot of men,” he says, reflecting on the conservative constraints of masculinity. “I f*cking love wearing a suit, but there’s a lot more fun that you can have.”
Ever the optimist, Laviscount says his takeaway from the experience is that, like acting, fashion is a powerful form of expression. “A song can change your day, an album can change your month, a movie can change your year, but a look can change your life,” he explains. “If you feel empowered wearing that outfit on that day, it can change every decision you make.”
But Laviscount isn’t in the habit of looking back — he’s firmly and happily in the present. And presently he has to rush to catch a plane back to his home in Antigua. “Three hundred and sixty-five beaches, luv,” he says with a wink. “You can come visit whenever you want.” I accuse him of being a flirt, and he laughs and gives me the same reaction he had when I caught him changing.
Before he signs off, we somehow find ourselves discussing the TikTok trend “What is the equivalent of flowers for guys?”— a series of videos in which male content creators weigh in on what they’d like to receive as a romantic gesture. “I am so simple and so easy to please,” he shares. “Just look me in the eyes and tell me you got me.” I do look at him, but rather skeptically. “It’s really that simple?” I ask. He nods. “That’s the root of everything. That’s all I need. I think many people say they love you too lightly. When I love you, I love you. And to me, that’s forever.” Swoon.