Total Film

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There aren’t many actors who project the calm collectedness that Alden Ehrenreich does. Even amid a pandemic, he’s exudes an unruffled sense of zen. “I’m very lucky to have a lot of creative work I can do in the interim,” he drawls when Total Film speaks to him in August 2020. He’s spent the lockdown more creatively than most, developing a 28-minute film he’ll direct when this all blows over.

The starting point for our chat today is Brave New World, Sky’s new nine-part adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s seminal utopian novel. In the show – which has revamped and dramatised several aspects of Huxley’s book - Ehrenreich is the updated version of John the Savage: an unreconstructed man from the ‘Savage Lands’ who’s brought to the slick, sterile utopia of New London, where inhabitants occupy strict social strata from birth, and pop pills to quash negative feelings. Pleasure is an endless resource, and extravagant orgies are one of many distractions. So John is quite the cause célèbre when he arrives and disrupts the status quo.

Ehrenreich, a voracious reader] and the writers did in finding a way to tell the story in today’s era,” he says.

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