‘My agent said I was born for the role. The description was, “young, smart and physically frail’’’

The British actor Harrison Osterfield is a new English leading man in the mould of Jude Law and Hugh Grant. He talks to The Rake about his breakthrough — playing Prince Leopold in the Netflix series The Irregulars.
Burgundy cotton and linen Capri jacket, De Petrillo at The Rake; white and berry stripe camp collar shirt, Tintoria Mattei; brown linen trousers, De Petrillo; black woven belt, property of The Rake.

Had Harrison Osterfield arrived a decade or so earlier, his Surrey accent and floppy hair would have made a fine fit for an English actor in Hollywood. But on his first day at the BRIT School, London’s college for the performing arts, the 24-year-old wondered whether it was all a mistake. “I’d just left my strait-laced boarding school, and here I was, surrounded by extroverts,” he tells The Rake.

As becomes evident in our chat, Harrison is more than the sum of his posher parts. He toes the party line (there are people listening in, don’t you know?) but cracks on-point jokes, which help betray the mischief beneath those enviable Bloomsbury looks. An English leading man in the semi-traditional sense of the word — both ‘bugger’ and ‘pardon’ — he is a continuation of whatever Jude Law or Hugh Grant have done right.

Harrison recently earned acclaim for his role as Prince Leopold in Netflix’s The Irregulars, a cosmopolitan retelling of Conan Doyle’s Baker Street Irregulars. Aristocratic but weakly ill, Leopold escapes the palace to join a crew of juvenile mystery solvers in London. At first the group regards him as a ‘posh dabbler’; an outsider. Perhaps the most irregular. Over time, though, “they learn to appreciate him,” Harrison says, adding affectionately: “They see him for what he is.”


June 2021


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