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“America has turned into a raging dumpster fire… That’s why I’m out here in the desert. There’s nothing." For the second of our November cover stories, #Rebecca and #DeathOnTheNile star #ArmieHammer speaks openly to @jonathangq about the critical importance of conversation, his despair over American politics and his wildly differing experiences holed up in the Caymans and the Californian desert. LINK IN BIO to download. Photography by @ericraydavidson. Styling by @atvottero. Creative Direction by @paulsolomonsgq. // #GQ Editor @dylanjonesgq.
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Armie Hammer is the cover star on latest issue of British GQ where he’s promoting his roles in Rebecca and Death on the Nile. This is also his first big interview since he and Elizabeth Chambers announced their split over the summer. He talks about that a little bit, but the craziest sections of the interview are where he’s talking about Trump’s America and Joe Biden and stuff. It actually does sound like he and Elizabeth decided to split because they lived together in lockdown in really close quarters and they grew to hate each other. He tells the mag, “I felt like a wolf who got caught in a snare. A wolf who wanted to chew his own foot off. I was just like, ‘I can’t do this.’” RUDE! Anyway, this piece is A LOT. Some highlights:
In lockdown in the Cayman Islands: “We got stuck down there during quarantine. My dad lives out there with his new wife….The experience sucked so badly. The island itself handled the situation really efficiently, but they also handled it in a really intense way. It was a very draconian lockdown. They wouldn’t fly anywhere, or at least not to America. Everything was closed. I mean, everything – the gas stations, the grocery stores… Everyone just locked themselves in their house. If you’re out and they see you, you go to jail for a year. I am not kidding. One guy violated curfew by five minutes and they put them in jail for four months. They were not f–king around. I was in an apartment with my dad, his new wife, Elizabeth and our two kids. We’d be looking out at the ocean, but couldn’t go in the ocean; looking at the beach, but couldn’t go on the beach. We couldn’t leave the apartment, couldn’t go in the pool, couldn’t do anything. So it was a really concentrated family time, which is really great with the kids, but it was intense.
He didn’t handle the lockdown well: “It was a very complicated, intense situation, with big personalities all locked in a little tiny place. It was tough, man. I’d never dealt with anything like that before in my life, so I didn’t have the tools. It was just this thing that snuck up on everybody. I don’t think I handled it very well. I think, to be quite frank, I came very close to completely losing my mind. I just felt completely powerless. And I was on an island where the lockdown was so severe that mail couldn’t even come in.
He sought therapy: “I was more or less on my own, just trying to get through it. I knew I was not doing a very good job so I called my buddy in the States. I was like, “Hey, man, I know you work in mental health. Do you have someone I can talk to?” And I just started talking to a therapist, twice a week. It just sort of regulated everything and gave me the tools for dealing with things. It gave me a fresh perspective and it was incredibly helpful. I’ve been in therapy before, but this was a dire situation. And now I just think everyone needs to be in therapy, period, across the board. Everyone needs to be talking to someone and if you’re not, you’re doing something wrong.
On America in 2020: “America has turned into a raging dumpster fire. I don’t know how this happened, but at the same time I know we get what we deserve and we elect the president we deserve. So we got Trump; it wasn’t an accident… People here just aren’t paying attention to what needs to be done. In America, people don’t believe what they’re told and people don’t believe other people should be telling them what to do, because that somehow infringes on their freedom. So America is on a horse named “Freedom” and we’re riding full speed at a f–king precipice and there’s no slowing down. The CDC today just announced that if you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, you don’t have to get tested. I’m not even joking.
On BLM: “Look, we all have things we need to relearn in our lives that we were taught by a different generation. Anyone who simply says, “I’m not racist”? Just go. Period. Everybody has something that needs work. We all have work that we have to do as a country in a very big way. It’s interesting, because, you know, I’ve donated and I’ve supported causes and foundations and donated to families and done that.
He has experienced prejudice too! “I also grew up, you know, on an island [Hammer lived in the Cayman Islands from ages seven to 13] where I was one of the few white people in my class. My daughter right now is in school down there, [the one] that I went to, and she’s the only white girl in the class. I think that is very important, for me, in terms of shaping how I view racism and prejudice, because, you know, I was called “White Boy” and all that sh-t. Whenever I’d go to the movie theatre people would throw shit at the back of my head. I know this is nothing compared to what black people go through in America today but it’s a taste of something.
What he thinks of Joe Biden’s chances of becoming president: “Not good. If I was an optimist, I’d say it was 50/50. I mean, a lot can happen, but also a lot can happen in a bad way. Historically speaking, incumbent US presidents are almost always elected in times of war. So, I mean, look at everything that’s going on in the Middle East. If a war kicks off there… Also, if Biden wins I don’t know how different things will be. I guess it will no longer be socially acceptable to be racist… But remember, he’s the guy who claims he wrote the Patriot Act. Do you think Biden cares about these private military police kidnapping US citizens off the street? Doing extraordinary rendition on our own citizens? He doesn’t give a sh-t. By the way, Obama did exactly that same thing by sending shock troops up when we had the pipeline protests. They sent a load of troops to just go basically beat the sh-t out of a bunch of natives when we were encroaching on their land. Sure, we have to get Trump out, period, but I lost my faith in politicians long ago.
[From British GQ]
What the actual f–k is this interview. The first part, where he talked about how intense everything was during lockdown, I was like “okay, he’s actually coming across alright here.” But by the political sections (and there’s a ton more in the interview), he’s just fully insane. And privileged. And barely able to see beyond his own privilege. He really is saying that America is screwed up because Americans are screwed up (something I agree with) and that Donald Trump is the result we get… but also Joe Biden sucks and ALL politicians suck and why even buy into the system? Spoken like a guy who has lived within the system with an enormous amount of privilege his entire life.
Photos courtesy of British GQ Instagram, Backgrid and WENN.
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