Life With Mars

From superhero blockbusters, critically acclaimed satire and Disney features to action-adventure, dystopian sci-fi and musical rom-coms, James Marsden has colonised our screens. Tom Chamberlin gives thanks.

  • fashion director Ilaria Urbinati

  • by Tom Chamberlin

  • photography Kurt Iswarienko

Marsden wears suede bomber jacket, cashmere turtle-neck sweater, white cotton T-shirt, all Brunello Cucinelli.

I have an unprofessional bias towards James Marsden. For starters, the man’s tip-top reputation in Tinseltown is enough for anyone to think highly of him. “He’s literally the nicest guy in showbusiness,” says one of Hollywood’s major publicists. “I would love him as a client simply to be around his good energy.” My personal affection for him stems from an issue many mothers and fathers will relate to. For years we parents toil to hold our children’s attention for more than 10 minutes; it’s knackering. The prospect of a child sitting through a film (yes, screens, but I mix it with Joyce and Dostoevsky, so don’t judge) seems unattainable. At least, I thought it was until early in lockdown, when things seemed bleak, queues massed outside supermarkets, and our own prime minister was attached to a ventilator with a touch-and-go prognosis. It was then my family decided to watch Sonic the Hedgehog. An hour and a half later, our boys rapt, my wife and I looked at each other in disbelief.

Published

April 2022

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