When you’re finding your way, a place to settle down isn’t always on the map. Sometimes that path needs to be followed all the way and further before you reach what you’re looking for. It may not be where you expected to find it, but when you feel it, you’ll know. When we last spoke with Australian actor Thomas Cocquerel he was on a set in his home town of Sydney, shooting Louis Vuitton’s celebrated AW 15 Menswear collection.
It only took a short exchange, on turtleneck jumpers, no less, to catch on to his charisma. It’s an anticipatory energy, as if he’s silently daring life to up the stakes. Lately, the universe seems to be answering. After starring roles in the romantic comedy Table 19 and Red Dog: True Blue – the prequel to 2011’s Red Dog – he’ll assume the titular role in the 2018 action film In Like Flynn, a biopic of actor Errol Flynn’s early years in Australia.
“I think when I’m working I feel like I’m at home. I feel like I’m meant to be where I’m meant to be, but when I’m chasing work, that’s when I feel homeless.”
Music, he says, is his greatest inspiration, and harnessing the right spirit is all-important to Cocquerel. “I struggled with photos for a while but I’ve done a couple of shoots now and they’re getting easier. Once you realise that you can play some characters out there it’s a bit more fun. It’s funny, you could put me on stage in front of hundreds of people in a play and there’s no nerves you know, I love it, but public speaking is still… once you have to be yourself it’s quite difficult. Naturally as an actor I feel more comfortable playing roles.”
Despite living in L.A., Houston, Texas, and Paris as a child (his father is French and Thomas speaks it), the connection to Australia is the one Cocquerel cherishes; the ultimate reason being that it still serves as a meeting point for him, his parents and his three younger sisters. “Especially travelling now I appreciate it more and more. We’re a big family – four kids – and we needed each other because we moved all around the world as kids.”
“Sometimes I’ll write music for a character, and it’s just for me, it just gets me in the mood. A piano song or a guitar song, to kind of find an entry point.”
PHOTOGRAPHY James Nelson @ Company 1
FASHION Billie Iveson
TALENT Thomas Cocquerel
HAIR Aiden Xydis @ Valonz using EVO
GROOMING Teneille Sorgiovanni @ Work Agency using Laura Mercier
PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT Jack Salkild
STYLIST’S ASSISTANTS Emma Westblade and Ellen Presbury