Charmed & Generous: Josh Dallas
Featured in Bello Mag #47 June 2013 Summer Fashion Issue.
It’s not every day you get to see Prince Charming get down and dirty in a mechanics yard somewhere in Venice.
But that’s where we find Josh Dallas, the man behind the goodintentioned hero from ABC’s successful fairytale serial ‘Once Upon A Time.’ Sunny California photo shoots aside, Dallas is enjoying the high of coming off a blockbuster second season, one full of enough twists and turns that would make any evil queen’s head spin. (Holy detour to Neverland! Granny’s packing some firepower!) If you had tried to inform the blueeyed thespian a decade ago that he’d be starring in a hit television drama and be showcased on several Best Dressed lists, he’d probably think you were under some kind of spell yourself.
After attending high school in Indiana, the Kentuckyborn heartthrob lived in England for 11 years where he trained as an actor. “They couldn’t kick me out,” he laughs. “There will always be a place in my heart for London.”
Ask him to put on a British accent, and he may disappoint you. “I never really picked it up,” he tells me. But there were plenty of words and phrases he adopted: “Chuck it in the bin” and “It’s pissing out there” (it’s raining) were two common idioms he used. But it was the expression “You all right?” that stood out for him. It always sounded personal to him. “They were asking me ‘Are you all right?’ and for the first three months, I was walking around with this huge complex like there was something wrong with me!”
Remembering and honoring his roots is something Josh excels at, and he consciously makes an effort to revisit and give back to the place where it all began for him: New Albany High School. Going back to talk with students and participating in charities to support the school’s renowned arts programs is something he loves to do. “I try to be as involved as I can within the public school system where I grew up because it was such a huge influence on my life,” he says. “For a public school system to have such an emphasis on the arts is really unique and special, so I owed a huge debt, so I go back as much as I can.”
It’s safe to say those visits to his alma mater may attract more attention now that his handsome mug is attached to a globally known TV show.
When shooting the pilot for ‘OUAT’ in Vancouver, cast and crew were in their own little bubble. Like the rest of this castmates, Josh didn’t give much thought to how viewers would react to seeing Snow White and her longlost beau endure weekly trials and tribulations every Sunday night on their DVRs. However, that all changed when, in the middle of the first season, he flew home to Kentucky for a visit. While walking through a terminal at the Minneapolis airport on a layover, “I saw all these heads looking at me, turning around, and I thought, ‘this is weird,’ because I’ve never experienced anything like that before. And all of sudden someone was pointing at me and saying, ‘Prince Charming! Prince Charming!’, and I was being called at in public…and I could be called worse, I guess. So that was when I realized, ‘Oh, people are actually watching.’ It’s a cool thing to be recognized for a show that people love so much.”
With such love and recognition – from both men and women – comes a lot of pressure and expectation. Playing a character that is practically the gold standard of all leading men is
as fun as it is challenging. Challenging because rarely is a fairytale figure associated with having a depth or a complex. And fun because, well, he gets to interact with “Oncers” at fan events like PaleyFest and ComicCon and experiment with “oldschool Hollywood” fashion on the growing number of red carpets he finds himself walking on (“classic and timeless” is how he rolls).
“But at the end of the day,” he concludes, “I’m an actor, and we can only go in and play what’s written on the page, and hopefully we bring that to life…You have to play him for the man that he is on the page, for all of his hopes, his dreams, his desires, his happiness, his sadness. You have to look at that as opposed to, ‘I’m going to just play Prince Charming.’”
And when he’s not playing one half of Storybrook’s starcrossed supercouple? “There’s a couple of projects I’m looking at,” he teases as we discuss his summer plans, which also include some renovations on his home back in L.A. (“it’s the best place to unwind and hang out before we jump back into fairy tale land”) – and surfing.
That’s right, Oncers. Prince Charming likes to hang ten.
WARREN ALFIE BAKER
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This fashion story from Bello Mag Issue #47 with Josh Dallas is available to purchase worldwide on iTunes Newsstand for iPad and iPhone.