Alex Roe in ‘Forever My Girl'. Photographed by Jacob Yakob. Courtesy of Roadside Attractions/LD Entertainment.
If you don’t know the name Alex Roe quite yet, I suggest you get ahead of the curve, as he is surely on his way to becoming a household name. The twenty-seven-year-old actor has remained somewhat under the radar so far, taking on enjoyable roles in films like The 5th Wave and Rings. His recent project brought him to the heartland of America, playing a country music superstar in Forever My Girl (released in U.S. cinemas January 19th). Alex Roe’s skilful performance in this ‘comfort food’-type film is destined to turn a few more heads, break a few more hearts, and place him in the deserving position to be a young Hollywood contender.
You were born in London, but your most notable films so far have been with you using an American accent. Was it difficult for you to learn the accent, or are you able to switch it on-and-off rather easily?
I think because we grow up with so much American TV, I think if you have a knack for accents and you like copying and imitating, it’s kind of easy to have a go at it. I think my accent is getting better and better. I’m having a lot of fun with it.
In Forever My Girl, you play Liam Page, a small-town boy who becomes a country superstar but leaves behind a lot of people he loves, in exchange for the fame. What attracted you most to this character?
I think it’s the arc that he goes on, from being a little bit of a man-child initially, because he has been coddled since he became famous. Then seeing him grow and gain the trust of this eight-year-old (daughter) and his fiancé that he left behind. Also, the idea of playing guitar. It’s the chance to get as close as I could to being a rock star.
Throughout this film, your character seems to struggle with the importance of fame and trying to keep his priorities in-check. Do you ever feel that same struggle in real life with your own growing fame in Hollywood?
Yeah, obviously, because each year, I spend more time in America, so to juggle family and career is something I can relate to. I think Liam kind of switched off completely because he was running away and mine is less like that. That’s also what I love about the movie too, that the fact that he kind of reconnects to his roots and rediscovers himself and every time I go home, I rediscover myself in some capacity.
I saw in photos that you recently attended a GQ event and it seems to me that you have very sharp, sophisticated fashion sense, Alex. Would you say you take an active role in your wardrobe choices featured out in public, or do you have a style team that persuades you to dress in certain looks?
Because we have to wear so many different outfits, it would be impossible to try and do that all on your own, but I am getting more comfortable in taking an active role in my public fashion persona. It was something that was kind of alien to me, but I am getting better at it.
I have noticed that you are rather limited with your posts and interaction on various social media platforms (@AlexMRoe). Why is that? Many actors use these outlets to widen their notoriety, but do you more so value keeping some privacy?
Yeah, definitely. I love connecting with fans, but I definitely value my private life. I like the idea to take photos and enjoy life without having to let everyone know about it. Living life and experiencing it and documenting it in a private way, rather than in a public persona kind of way.
Back to Forever My Girl, you perform a few really catchy country songs in the film. So, I must ask, are you really singing those songs, or are you merely lip-syncing someone else’s vocals?
I’m glad you asked. Yeah, I am singing all of the songs. From the beginning, we had three or four months to train. If I didn’t step up to the plate, they probably would have just had me lip-sync, but I just couldn’t accept that. I’d be really embarrassed if I did a movie that I was lip-syncing in, so I listened to Dierks Bentley, Brett Eldredge and a few other cool country singers that are like Liam. I watched them, listened to them and practised hard.
Your female love interest in the film is actress Jessica Rothe, who is fresh off of the success of her surprise campy horror film Happy Death Day. For any on-screen romance, there must be some development that actors go through together to create that bond. What did you two do to create such a natural, realistic connection on-screen?
Well luckily, I am kind of starting a few steps ahead because of how beautiful she is and she is also really cool and funny and smart. We had a couple of weeks of pre-production and rehearsal and we definitely made sure we spent time with each other and got to know each other. Luckily, on my side anyway, that’s all I needed to really be able to pretend I was in love with Jessica Rothe. I don’t know how it worked on her side, but it was pretty easy for me.
When you’re not busy acting, what does Alex Roe like to do in whatever spare time he can find?
I play football like three times a week. I like to stay physical in my spare time. I also travel, going on little road trips. I drove down from Vancouver to Los Angeles after I finished my last project, which is a great trip.
You have an apocalyptic film under your belt, you’ve done horror before, and now you’re in a romance film. These days, which film genre attracts you most in bringing your acting performance to?
I’ve got a movie coming out called Hot Summer Nights and that comes out in the summer. That’s definitely another ‘string to my bow’. The character I play, the genre is a little more Americana drama coming-of-age story. It’s a little more of a festival movie, so that was something I wanted to tackle for sure. And now, I don’t know. Just going to keep moving and see which one I fall in love with and which one will let me be in it.
If you could give readers only one sentence to explain why they should see Forever My Girl in cinemas, what would you say?
It’s a feel-good family movie that is perfect for a date night or to take your friends and family to, and you’ll leave the cinema feeling good after having that emotional journey, so go see it.
Read Jeff Conway's interview with actor Rafael De La Fuente here.
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