marie claire: You were born and raised in Edinburgh, where is home for you now?
Thomas Doherty: I’ve done London, I did LA but now it’s Brooklyn, New York. I picked a job here two years ago, so now New York is definitely home for me, and I love it.
MC: That job was the Gossip Girl reboot, I assume?
TD: It was, indeed.
MC: Had you watched the original series before you were cast as Max?
TD: I watched it only a couple months before I found out they were auditioning. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that, because I was almost 25 years old. My girlfriend at the time was watching it for the seventh time. At the start, I’d be on my phone, not really watching, but it hooked me in [laughs].
MC: What can you tell me about season two?
TD: Well, we just finished filming. I can’t give you too much, I’m gonna have to give you generic answers here… there’s evolutions of relationships, new relationships, and breakups of relationships. We go to some really cool events and venues around the city. I think it’s a lot more elevated than the first season.
MC: Your character Max has great style. Has playing him influenced your personal fashion tastes?
TD: A little bit? Yeah, I lost this very clean-cut thing although I wouldn’t say I am as flamboyantly dressed as Max manages to pull off. But I have become a lot more accustomed to different designers and able to spot different cuts and brands, which is cool.
MC: You’re starring in a horror thriller; The Invitation. What interested you about this film?
TD: I found this movie incredibly enticing. I loved the writing, and to be able to work with someone like Nathalie [Emmanuel], and [director] Jessica [M. Thompson]. We filmed in Budapest, which was amazing. I feel I’m a character actor at heart, trapped in the body of a boy-next-door leading man. So, when this came up, I was really excited to be able to play Walter because playing him was like playing two characters.
Sony Pictures/ Supplied
MC: It’s also not your first time playing a vampire…
TD: It’s not, no [Doherty played a vampire in The Vampire Diaries spinoff, Legacies ]
MC: Which begs the question, what do you think it is about you that says ‘vampire’ to casting agents?
TD: I have no idea. I mean, now that you point it out, I’m starting to consider how I come across to the world. I honestly don’t know. Do I strike you as a vampire?
MC: Well, you’ve been very convincing both times I’ve seen you play one… do you have a favourite vampire from history?
TD: Well, it’s got to be Dracula. But I also loved Tom Cruise in Interview with the Vampire .
MC: When watching a horror, do you prefer jump scares or real scares?
TD: Here’s the thing, I do not like horror films. I don’t like watching them and being scared. My nervous system can’t take the adrenaline. I don’t understand why people find them enjoyable. But definitely not jump scares. I do this thing when I watch horrors, where I squint my eyes and rest my hand up beside my head, so it looks like I’m lost in thought. And then when everyone else jumps, I open my eyes back up and appear like I wasn’t scared.
MC: Are you aware that many people think you and Sebastian Stan look very similar?
TD: I am. He was in the original Gossip Girl , right?
MC: Yes, he played Carter Baizen.
TD: Now for the life of me, I cannot picture him. What does he look like?
MC: He looks like you.
TD: [Laughs] I’m going to google him [Doherty googles Sebastian Stan]. Ohhhh I do know what he looks like. People do say it, I have heard it quite a lot. Yeah, I can see the similarity. I’ve also been told Jude Law a few times. I’ll take either, I mean there’s worse people to look like than Sebastian Stan [laughs].
MC: I’ve read you have 13 tattoos. Have you added any others?
TD: Yes, I’ve got two additions. I got a tattoo on my arm here that says, ‘Tommy boy’, which was done by a really cool New York artist. Then I went to my friend Eli’s house one evening and he gave me a tattoo of a love heart. Which, looking back, I probably shouldn’t have done [laughs].
MC: What is your dream role?
TD: I’d love to play a Bond villain.
MC: That might explain why you keep getting cast as a vampire. Most actors would say Bond himself.
TD: Look, I wouldn’t turn down Bond, but there’s something about villains that I’m drawn to.
The Invitation is in cinemas now.