Backpack Perfectly Timed
Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, Thomas Doherty used to carefully place his tap and ballet shoes at the bottom of his backpack, hiding them under his schoolbooks, lunch, and gym clothes. His mother “would pick me up in the car, and I would get changed from leotards and tights into a football kit,” later blaming traffic as a way to dodge questions when his teammates asked Doherty why he was late all the time. As a kid who kept his acting, musical, and dancing talents “hush-hush,” they’d soon become his passion. He later went to The MGA Academy of Performing Arts and studied musical theatre. The rest is history: What started out as an extracurricular activity has now become a thriving acting career.
As an actor who believes in doing justice to the character written in the script and giving the audience an honest and profound depiction of the character, Doherty has starred in Catherine the Great, alongside Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, and played the complex anti-hero on Legacies. More recently, you may have seen him as charming young musician Liam Shawcross on Hulu’s High Fidelity; this character gave him the opportunity to really dive into his musical strengths. When Doherty went in for the audition, he was asked if he could play the guitar (“Obviously, being an actor, you just say yes all the time”). This resulted in him spending a lot of time in the studio and recording four songs for the soundtrack. For him, channeling his inner 19-year-old wasn’t a challenging task since he pulled from his own experiences, “being a younger artist coming up, and the whole excitement and naïveté of it all.” While living in Brooklyn where the show was filmed, because of the local atmosphere and the creative aura (that are only unique to Brooklyn), it wasn’t hard for him to get into character, leaving his mark on the series and creating a persona that the audience won’t forget.
In addition to his career achievements, Doherty is also vocal about mental-health awareness. “It’s so important to constantly keep the conversation alive that we need to share and express – not just thoughts, but more importantly, our emotions,” he affirms. “I think we should start to teach children from a young age to express how they feel, to communicate from a place of genuine, authentic emotion, rather than from a suppressed state of learned response – social domestication about how you should be, or what’s appropriate to say or not say, do or not do.”
Now that he has unpacked the backpack he always carried as a young boy, Doherty also wants to acknowledge that “no matter how amazing things look objectively, I am still a human, and we all share a commonality of struggles presented by the human condition. I think people can forget that sometimes. It was Jim Carrey who said, ‘I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer.’”
Writer: Hazel Mekkattukulam
Photographer & Videographer: KAT
Photographer Assistant: Jeff Bynum
Stylist: Dolly Pratt (for The Wall Group)
Men’s Grooming: Rachel Burney
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Asian Box (@asianbox - www.asianbox.com) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)