“I’m proud of this picture — I’m going to show it to you.”
Douglas Booth pulls out his phone and scrolls to a photo of himself in full Mötley Crüe getup, from his recently wrapped role in the upcoming movie “The Dirt.” Talk about range: sitting in the offices of AMC in a double denim look, Booth, moving gingerly with soreness from a run, is far from the wig and makeup of Nikki Sixx and equally far from the robes of Romantic poet Percy Shelley, whom he portrays in the Tribeca Film Festival film “Mary Shelley.”
The movie, which stars Elle Fanning in the title role, is from director Haifaa al-Mansour, whom Booth became interested in after seeing her earlier project “Wadjda.”
“This job is working with interesting people and interesting actors — I didn’t feel like I needed to be in another period drama, but this was just a really interesting director who had done a really interesting film,” he says.
Any stress of showing “Mary Shelley” at Tribeca escapes him. “I don’t really feel the pressure at all — it says ‘Mary Shelley’ with a big ‘Elle Fanning’ above the title so the pressure is on her, really,” he says with a grin.
The Shelley role allowed him to do a deep dive into the writer’s poetry, just as he picked up bass guitar — and the ability to slip into a brash, nasally American accent — for the Mötley Crüe film. Learning new skills is always a perk, but the selection is a much simpler process for the actor.
“There aren’t a lot of good scripts. And the really good ones are snapped up by, like, really famous actors,” he says, smiling. “I’m just left fighting for the scraps.”
After wrapping press for the movie, Booth plans to stick around New York for a few weeks, starting with a trip to Six Flags with new friend Pete Davidson of “Saturday Night Live.” “That’s what you do in New York, right? That’s not a New York thing?” he says dryly, “Aw, s–t.”
He’s not a complete lost cause, though.
“I walked along the High Line yesterday, that’s pretty New York-y,” he says, offering proof of time well spent. “And I ate a bagel today. That’s pretty New York-y.”