Now making a stylish splash in America as charmingly caddish gynecologist Dr. Jeremy Reed on Fox’s The Mindy Project, Londoner Ed Weeks has no problem dressing to match his posh British accent — in part because you’d be disappointed if he didn’t.
By Brandon Voss
Essential Homme: How would you describe your style?
Ed Weeks: European dandy. I like classic, slim-fitted European suits, and I’m also into color. I really like a pinstripe at the moment.
What do you wear when you want to be comfortable?
I actually think a good suit can be very comfortable. But if I’m being casual, I like a plaid shirt, a skinny jean, and a boot. My city clothes are a bit punky but still structured. I like my clothes to be snug. I’ve never looked good in baggy clothes, so I was terrible in the ’90s. Because I’m tall and lanky, I need everything to be well tailored or I look like a child in his father’s oversized suits. Baggy jeans, hoodies, or sneakers — trainers, as we call them in England — always make me feel like I’m an undercover FBI agent trying to infiltrate the youth. They make me look fraudulent because of my shape and my preposterous Britishness.
Just based on your upper-crust accent, which The New York Times described as “designed for wheedling off panties,” one expects you to look dapper.
It’s funny you say that. I’d never wear sweats or anything like that, but even when I’m hanging out in a coffee shop in a plaid shirt, skinny jeans, and boots, my American friends will sometimes look at me with disdain, as if to say, “Why are you destroying our racist preconceptions about you?”
We do seem to hold British gentlemen to a higher standard of style. Is David Beckham to blame?
[Laughs] Maybe we can lay a bit of that at his very talented feet. There is that stereotype of the classic British gentleman who dresses for dinner, isn’t there? Maybe it’s because we export a lot of period dramas to America, like Downton Abbey, so you get an inflated sense of how posh we all are. But I’m happy to adhere to that stereotype and be the British gent.
Dr. Jeremy Reed, also a British gent, is one of the best-dressed characters on television.
Jeremy’s style is very Euro-peacock. I’m very lucky because our fashion designer on The Mindy Project, Salvador Perez, dresses me so beautifully. He likes to put my character in Thomas Pink shirts, slim Hugo Boss suits, and Paul Smith shoes. He’s also a big fan of Burberry, as am I, because I love that fantastic English tailoring. Sal has actually been a huge inspiration on my style.
How does Jeremy’s style differ from your own?
I don’t wear things quite as loud and exaggerated in my own time, but Jeremy and I are merging together a bit. I’m naughty, because I will borrow some clothes from work and wear them to events or weekends out. It’s nice to dress up in L.A. because I feel like it’s a very casual town compared to somewhere like London, where everyone’s trying to outdo each other. I like to stand out.
Who’s your top style icon?
My agent, Andrew Weitz, is one of the most fashionable men I’ve ever met. He should be a movie star.
Is there an American fashion trend that you just can’t get behind?
A lot of people wear shorts out here, and I do not look good in shorts. I don’t have much of a butt, and I don’t have the big, meaty calves that come from being a beer-swilling, sports-loving American dude. Fortunately, no one wants to see me in shorts.
Essential Homme, November/December 2013 issue.