Will is featured in GQ Hype this week with yet another gorgeous photoshoot and a wonderful interview. I’ve added the photos to the gallery and you can read the article below!
Not for the first (or last) time today, Will Poulter has just tried to hug me. We are two of 60,247 fans inside London’s Emirates Stadium on Mother’s Day Sunday, and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has just scored his second goal of the game to make it 3-1 against Crystal Palace. In the heat of the moment, Poulter—a lifelong Arsenal fan—turns to me and commits to an embrace. But at the crucial juncture, his arms somehow freeze and instead we share some kind of bro-charged chest bump. Returning to our seats, we nod as if to say, “that was awks.”
This interaction is typical of Poulter, an actor who for more than a decade has been charming audiences with a certain full-hearted commitment laced with more than a hint of cringe—whether in comedies like We’re The Millers or this month’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3. “Anxious? Socially awkward?” Poulter says. “I’m your man.”
In truth, a cringe moment had been brewing. A polite fist pump at 1-0 quickly escalated into a double high five at 2-0. After spectacularly missing the mark with the hug for the third goal, a reversion to muted back slaps seems the acceptable thing to do when number four goes in.
Full time, 4-1 and another three points in the bag, we walk through Highbury Fields to find our driver on what has turned into a sunny spring afternoon. With it still being March, Poulter can’t help but believe the title race is on. He’s busy pinging off messages to his various Arsenal WhatsApp groups, “buzzing for [Arsenal center-back] Rob Holdinho,” as he affectionately calls him. Poulter has supported Arsenal all his life, although at times pondered giving up due to the “inexplicable amount of emotional baggage” that comes with it. The last time Arsenal men’s team won the Premier League, Poulter was 10, and while he can remember it, this season is without doubt the most exhilarating he’s experienced firsthand.
Poulter turned 30 years old a few months ago, and he’s trying to treat it like a new chapter. For the last decade-plus, the young actor has been steadily building up an impressive CV, from A24’s cult hit Midsommar to awards fodder like Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit and Amazon’s The Underground Railroad. More recently, his performance as Billy the OxyContin salesman in 2021’s Dopesick saw him take a beating from Michael Keaton and land an Emmy nomination. Now he’s fresh from landing the superhero part of a lifetime as Marvel fan favorite Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3. As a kid, Poulter loved Wolverine—initially from the comics and cartoons, then Hugh Jackman’s films—but he cites James Gunn’s comedic touch in the first two Guardians for rejuvenating his interest in the Marvel universe.
After bagging the role of a supposedly perfect human being, you could forgive another young actor for stunting on social—gym brags, red carpet flexes, on-set pranks, Comic Con selfies—but that’s not Poulter’s style. Instead his feeds are a regular stream of activism: standing up against bullying, sounding out economic insecurity and championing racial equality. Although conscious of sounding “worthy”, he likes to be something of a human billboard for good causes, naming individuals like Alex Holmes, of the charity Anti-Bullying Pro, or Lavinya Stennett, of The Black Curriculum, as people “who are actually doing the real work and affecting change in society.” Over a handful of conversations, at the game and afterwards, Poulter opened up about his next chapter.
GQ: How do you feel about turning 30?
Will Poulter: For the longest time, there was so much haziness around life beyond 30. It was scary because I thought, Oh, am I lacking in maturity? Am I literally not going to experience my 30s for some reason? And then when it came about, it was kind of nice. Someone pitched it to me as the start of a new chapter. I think my mental health struggles have been, if I’m entirely honest, the thing that’s maybe contributed to some of that haziness. And I’m really keen to try and manage my mental health in a way where I’m able to just enjoy life a little bit more.continue reading