He may be one of Hollywood’s Mr Nice Guys but make no mistake, there’s a competitive edge to the 48-year-old that’s still fuelling his desire to be the best at what he does – just don’t mention the G-word yet.
It’s midday on a Sunday in late February and Josh Duhamel is sitting on a balcony in The Dominican Republic taking in the view. “Can you see me?” he asks in the gentle North Dakotan lilt that’s melted many hearts over the years.
No sooner does his camera switch on – the sweet satisfaction of successfully navigating a Zoom call palpable to us all – Duhamel’s face transforms from screwed-up concentration to wholesome Hollywood smile as he swivels the view around to share the beauty of his current Caribbean surroundings.
He looks energised, healthy and fresh, his shower-wet hair covered by a backwards baseball cap and the contours of his stacked physique visible through a dark gym top. Straight up, Josh Duhamel is one of the entertainment industry’s decent guys – a loving father, an amicable co-parent, and an ever-present heartthrob in Hollywood’s romantic comedy and action scenes for 20 years and counting. And approaching 50, he’s showing no signs of slowing up – quite the opposite in fact, having recently added writing and directing (Buddy Games) to his repertoire.
As much as Duhamel would love to be in the Dominican Republic solely to admire the tall palms and red Flamboyant trees in close vicinity, he is there for work – starring in a film that’s already attracted a large amount of attention.
“It’s not how I like to get roles,” he says of the nature in which starring alongside Jennifer Lopez in Shotgun Wedding has come about.
“I know Armie [Hammer] a little bit, and when I knew I was gonna get the part I emailed him and said, ‘Listen, I know you are going through it right now, I don’t like to get roles like this and I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you and good luck, get through it,’” he tells us, switching his cap from backward to front-facing. “He emailed me right back and said thank you so who knows, hopefully he gets through it.”
Tomorrow, shooting starts and Duhamel admits he’s nervous. “I always get nervous, for me it’s getting through that first day, the first couple of scenes, then you start settling in. It’s like showing up to a new school,” he says, with a wry smile across his handsome face.
As well as discussing a wedding with shotguns (not an actual shotgun wedding), we chat to Duhamel about his favourite lockdown project, his first foray into superheroes in Jupiter’s Legacy and why he’s thankful he never made it as a professional athlete.
Josh wears Omega and Canali on the cover of Man About Town's SS21 issue. To read the full interview, pre-order the issue here.