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Callum Turner: From ‘Maguro Man’ in Japan to Shining Star on the Big Screen

British actor Callum Turner, previously a model in Japan, humorously earned the moniker “Maguro man” for his daily sushi diet, specifically tuna, as part of a rigorous weight-loss regimen for his modeling career. Turner, naturally a 34-inch waist, had to slim down to fit the 28-inch standard demanded by designers. This discipline is reflected in his acting, where he brings a similar determination to his roles, like the charismatic Anatole in “War & Peace.”

Turner, 33, had already been a familiar face on British television, featuring in “Leaving” (2012) and the E4 mystery series “Glue” (2014), before gaining wider recognition. His notable performance as a soldier in “The Capture” (2019) and as Eddie Redmayne’s brother in the “Fantastic Beasts” series further established his acting prowess. His bold, memorable audition for “Fantastic Beasts,” where he unexpectedly kissed Redmayne, showcases his audacity and dedication.

Turner’s recent encounter with George Clooney, whom he admires greatly, highlights his down-to-earth nature despite his rising fame. Working with Clooney and producer Grant Heslov on “The Boys in the Boat” was a remarkable experience for Turner, filled with camaraderie and mutual respect. He admired Clooney’s approachable and inspiring directorial style, having been a fan of his work, particularly the 2011 film “Ides of March.”

“The Boys in the Boat,” set for release this week, is a heartening tale of the University of Washington’s junior varsity crew and their unexpected triumph at the 1936 Olympics. Turner, portraying Joe Rantz, resonated with his character’s outsider status, reflecting on his childhood in Chelsea. Preparing for the role, he and his castmates trained intensely in rowing, matching the original crew’s prowess.

Reflecting on his past, Turner acknowledges the challenges of being a working-class actor in a competitive industry, yet he credits his modeling background as a unique aspect rather than a hindrance. His dedication to acting involved juggling multiple jobs while honing his craft through films, theater, and studying.

Turner’s unique appearance has led to a variety of roles in historical and period pieces, yet he remains open to diverse opportunities. He shares his passion for film, citing inspirations from various actors and scenes that have influenced him. His experience with Jeff Bridges in “The Only Living Boy in New York,” despite mixed reviews, was a valuable lesson in the unpredictable nature of filmmaking.

Turner’s ambitions extend beyond acting, with personal goals and superstitions that guide his decisions. His determination, evident since his modeling days, continues to shape his thriving acting career.

“The Boys in the Boat” is now showing in UK cinemas.