Glen Powell is quickly on his way up the Hollywood ladder, especially with a feature film like "The Expendables 3" out on Friday. We caught up with him in his beautiful Los Angeles home, where he also had friends over who had more than enough great things to say about him. His welcoming and charming attitude is what will steal hearts on the big screen.
You're from Texas! How different has life been since moving from TX to LA?
The hardest part was making the decision to move out to LA. I have a pretty killer existence in Austin. I was born and raised there. People laugh harder, the girls are all the marrying type, and the sunsets can’t be beat. It is hard to imagine a better plot of the Earth than Austin. But I think Los Angeles gets a bad rap. I can surf and snowboard in the same weekend if I want to. And I can always find someone down for an outdoor concert or camping in the sequoias on the fly. I’ve been here about six years and I think the key to making anywhere home is the people you surround yourself with. The pace of life is much quicker in Los Angeles and it can be quite the grind, but the best part is that my folks are still back in Austin. So if Hollywood ever starts wearing me out, I know there is a margarita waiting for me on a dock somewhere back home.
Talk to us about how your day generally starts. What is your routine?
Coffee works for some people. For me, I can’t really get charged for the day without a good workout. I’ll call a buddy to join me for a quick circuit or throw on some gloves and do mitt work or spar in a boxing gym down the street. But sometimes, just an early morning jog through the canyons is enough to get you optimistic about the day.
Your home is quite beautiful! How would you describe its vibe? How did you go about decorating it?
I’m 25 now. Straddling the line where people are surprised when you do grown-up things and where people expect you to do grown-up things. As I age and those expectations are becoming my reality, you have to make the decision to decorate like a man. Ikea just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Distressed leather, stainless steel, and hand-scraped wood are great bets for a macho manor.
I’d also recommend building furniture from scratch. Even if you aren’t comfortable with a table saw or drill, shelves are an easy project. Buy some wood, distress it, stain it, and mount it. It would cost you a few hundred bucks if you bought it from Restoration Hardware, but I think it is so much cooler when you can build for the space and take pride after the fact in knowing that you did it yourself.
The piece of artwork behind my bed is something that I made myself by sanding and heating stainless steel and painting patina over the parts I wanted rusted. I wanted some piece of Texas over my head as I slept, so I decided on the famous Texas Revolutionary Battle of Gonzales flag that says, “Come and Take it” with a picture of a cannon. However, my more insightful friends lobbied that the words “Come and Take It” may be a little aggressive to have over my bed. So I settled for the first Texas Independence Flag.
Tell us about these portraits in the hallway!
This is that tip-toe between those grown-up expectations I’m talking about. Of course every guy wants to be an outlaw, a gangster, a rebel…but there comes a time when you have to take the Scarface poster down, otherwise you look like a college freshman. So you grow up and get some canvas prints of some iconic mugshots. It’s the sneaky way of looking sophisticated without actually having to grow up.
And what script are you currently reading/studying? What new projects are coming up for you? We know Expendables is out on the 15th!
As soon I finish Expendables press, I’m headed down to Atlanta to join Ice Cube and Kevin Hart on the set of Ride Along 2. I’ve signed a bunch of NDA’s so I can’t spill any plot details, but I’ve been studying the script, talked story with the guys, and as a fan of them and the newly minted franchise, I couldn’t be more stoked to be invited to join that crew.
Are you a great cook/entertainer? Are friends always over?
I grew up with a huge family. So entertaining and getting joy out of gathering wonderful people is just in my DNA. I used to live on Sunset Boulevard in the middle of the mayhem. I loved it. It was a central hub for friends and strangers-to-become-friends to gather. Now, I’m quite a hike up into the Hollywood Hills. It’s a completely different existence. But thank goodness my friends are still willing to make the journey up here.
As I’ve grown in this town I’ve found that my favorite actors and directors are true cinephiles, so I’ve tried to bring people to the house to watch some of the classics that we’ve missed growing up. It’s the language of the medium. And there is nothing more embarrassing than catching a fellow actor who’s never seen “Casablanca” or “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” A house full of friends and a great movie…doesn’t get any better than that.
What's your favorite meal to cook?
I’d like to think that as a Texan, I make some mean brisket. But, if I ate brisket all day everyday I think my body (and my agent) would kill me. I picked up some really amazing dietary tips on the set of Expendables. All these guys are no longer young pups, but they are shredded. You have to be when you spend your day in hand-to-hand combat with bad guys. So, I’ve learned to keep it healthy. And not to brag, but my salmon and Brussels Sprouts will make you forget you are doing the body good.
Talk to us about your friends! Who came on over?
I’d like to think of myself as a collector of good friends. I’ve known most of them from home and all of us landed out in Los Angeles for different reasons. They are extremely talented, interesting, fun, and are as genuine as they come. It’s important to keep people around you who will shoot you straight and never stray no matter where you stand on the proverbial 'starmeter.'
When you have downtime, what would someone likely find you doing?
What people call “relaxing” is what usually makes me anxious. I’m not a person who enjoys doing nothing. My form of relaxation is writing. In particular, screenplays. I also think it tends to keep you in Hollywood much longer. George Clooney, Ben Stiller, Ben Affleck, and obviously the most shining example is my new mentor, Sylvester Stallone. For most actors, this town is an incoming business. You wait with your hand out and accept what it wants to give you. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of my fate in other people’s hands or hopeful that Roman Polanski or David O. Russell is going to come knock on my door begging to develop a script for me. Therefore, it’s important to create. Stallone told me, “Be undeniably good.” He was able to hold out to star in “Rocky” because he wrote a screenplay that was undeniably good. So in that downtime, I’m trying to create my “Rocky.”
With the LA summer heat, are you generally working inside or outside (shot of you working on laptop on deck).
I would always rather be writing outside. The Austin summers aren’t really conducive to outside writing, but Los Angeles never seems to be unbearable. Whenever I hit a writing snag I always have to step out onto the balcony to solve it. I think it does a brain good to make it feel a part of the world rather than trying to find inspiration in a dark room at a desk.
Any final summer plans?
My single friends are dropping like flies. I’m in a few upcoming weddings, including my older sister, Lauren’s. I love weddings. You gather the all-star family and friends to get rowdy, you watch your best friends cry, and add a live band and a dance floor…and I’m as happy as a tornado in a trailer park. For me, it’s the perfect way to close out one hell of a summer.
Photographer // Megan Welker Grooming // Lauren Kaye Cohen