You may know him as Marcos Diaz AKA Eclipse in The Gifted, as Ben Larson in the dystopian thriller Incorporated oras Prince Louis Conde’ in the CW series Reign. And now, Sean Teale is jumping from one fantasy realm to another, playing Dario in the streaming rom-com, Rosaline. If you weren’t aware yet, Rosaline is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, from the viewpoint of characters Rosaline & Dario who frankly deserve more attention that the tragic couple we are used to.
Bello was lucky enough to grab one of this year’s leading romantic men to speak about his career to date, how he initially auditioned for Romeo and what he has in the works. Of course, he told us how he shaped Dario into his own and created the love interest to the movie’s titular character, Rosaline played by Booksmart’s BAFTA nominated actress Kaitlyn Dever.
Hey, the charming actor even avoided eating pizza and pasta a bit while in Italy for the role, so make sure to support by watching Rosaline now…preferably while eating pizza and pasta.
You’ve had an extensive career as an actor with diversity in both the small and big screen and as well as voiceover work. Is there a type of role you have yet to play? What kind would that be?
I feel very fortunate for all of the projects I’ve been involved in over the years, but I suppose more than types of roles I have yet to play, I think about the medium which has been missing is the theatre. Naturally, it was in the theatre at school that this all of started for me, and although I’ve been very lucky to work on the sets I have, I haven’t performed professionally on stage yet. Previously I’ve just wanted to work and the thought hasn’t nagged me much, but that desire is certainly growing. Of course, there’s all sorts of variables that need to line up for that to happen and make sense.
As I am sure all readers would know, Rosaline is based on When You Were Mine which is a retelling of a Shakespearian classic, have you explored theatre work? Any wish to take on a Shakespearian role?
I think I might’ve preempted your question slightly! I did do the Tempest back in my younger years and I’m certain I butchered it. Other than that, my school studies weren’t Shakespeare extensive to be honest. I gravitated more towards Pinter & Marber pieces, and after school I read a lot of Sam Shepard plays. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love the challenge – without a doubt I would.
I read you grew up watching ‘Princess Bride’ and ‘Knight’s Tale’ and ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights and how jumping into this role was a no-brainer. How did you prepare for the role?
Yeah I think I’ve mentioned that a few times – so great that I’m going to be associated with Robin Hood: Men in Tights for the foreseeable future. I watched those medieval comedies a lot growing up and they certainly helped give me an understanding for the genre. To be honest, we changed Dario a bit from what was originally on the page so some of that prep was spent with Kaitlyn and Karen (our director) actually defining him, as well as their relationship. I’m a bit neurotic with my writing so I start a new note book, break things down and do my usual character exercises. Because it’s a period piece – going on historical tours, buying the relevant books on that time period, learning about anything that could influence Dario helped a lot. And then being the sort of soldier/sailor he is there was physical training involved. Ignoring pizza and pasta in Italy of all places is really not a vibe.
You auditioned for this role approximately nine years ago. How did your take on this role change in those nine years?
I’d completely forgotten it’d happened! Someone reminded me once the press release came out, but it was actually for the role of Romeo all those years ago. I’m very glad it didn’t go well the first time as I can’t see myself playing anything other than Dario and I wouldn’t want to see anyone playing Romeo other than Kyle. The script had been around for a while – everyone knew how great a project it was. It just needed to be the right time and luckily it came back around in a different way.
As your character was an original addition, was there anything you brought into the character’s development that wasn’t present in the original script or concept?
Karen was great at allowing us to have our own input and influence to the characters and to add to the brilliant work Michael and Scott had done in writing the script already. I won’t get into detail about the specific shifts we made – but it was a lovely collaborative experience and it was so nice to be able to speak candidly and freely with these amazing people who were all aiming at making the best possible choices. Dario needed to tow the line between being strong and sensitive, abrasive and supportive with Rosaline at the same time and that took some finessing.
As Rosaline comes from retelling of an original story, is there any story / movie / franchise you would love to see a retelling of?
Adam Sternbergh wrote these amazing sci-fi/noir fiction novels about a character called Spademan that when you read just make you desperate too see them on screen. It’s about this garbage man turned hitman living in New York after it’s flattened by a dirty bomb – I read somewhere that Denzel Washington was attached years ago. Any movies made about this character ‘Spider Jerusalem’ and the mad world of ‘Transmetropolitan’ that Warren Ellis created would be incredible – his mind is something to behold. And I reread ‘Ablutions’ by this incredible author Patrick DeWitt. It’s about a barman’s descent into drink and divorce as he watches his patrons at work. It’s quite heavy stuff but it would be an unbelievable role.
Can you share an interesting experience / fun story while shooting “Rosaline”? Interesting character interaction? Dynamic with co-stars?
Honestly, we had so much fun the whole time – I mean we spent the summer travelling all over Italy! There was wine tasting in old monastery’s, sailing on lakes, football matches at the Stadio Olimpico, tours of the Coliseum and everything else Rome had to offer. One day trip was special – there’s a town known as the Dying City that’s built on a cliff that’s eroding on all three sides and was unlike anything I’ve seen. I mean we just all got together whenever we could to go do/see/eat new things – it was just great. I challenge you to go out in town with Nico Hiraga and Spencer Stevenson and not have an outrageous time. It’s impossible.
Besides acting, what are some of your passions that you like to venture in when not on set?
Sports has played a bit part in my life from an early age and it still does – it’s predominantly football nowadays though. It actually aligns quite well with something I feel at my core I definitively need, which is to travel. To experience news things and new cultures around new people in new places. Work has been kind to me in that regard but it’s also very much a factor in my pursuit of the job in the first place. I’ve picked up the piano again lately which is something I’m really enjoying and quite foolishly gave up on at a younger age. I wouldn’t recommend sitting around and listening though.
Regarding upcoming work, what can you tell us about your upcoming role in Palomino?
I can’t give away much it seems but I can mention that that name might be changing. I can say that it’s a Netflix show about a British teacher in Spain who’s caught up in some criminal chaos and question begin to arise about who she really is. I played Jordi, her Spanish husband. The show spans several languages which was such an attractive challenge, and having played Americans or Brits quite often is was great to be connecting more with the other half of my life. It’s this great mix of an action/thriller and a family drama so hopefully things turn out well.
As you know Bello magazine is a fashion and lifestyle magazine. Can you share with our readers your take on style and fashion sense.
I’m venturing further into higher, let’s say edgier fashion admittedly than before but historically I’ve always just been about clean lines and leaner fits. Not too bolshy in colour – blues, greys, black (boring). I’m changing that and I’ve found myself incorporating a lot of greens, purples lately. I wouldn’t tell anyone how to do anything but if I’ve learnt something it’s about the importance of authenticity. Whatever you want to wear, you’ll wear well. Wearing something for the sake of it or the clout won’t work and it’ll wear you. That’s not to say you shouldn’t push the boundaries a bit – definitely do – but maybe do it because you want to and not for some of the other reasons out there.
Talent Sean Teale @seanjamesteale
Photography Aleksandar Tomovic @alekandsteph
Interview Ed Solorzano @edsolo87
Styling Michael Fusco @mikeystyles
Grooming Danni Katz @dannidoesit Using Authentic Beauty Concept & Haus Labs
Location BELLO Media Group x Maison Privée Studio, West Hollywood
Special Tanks to Epilogue Agency London @epilogueagency