Will Poulter on Why He Was Confused That People Would Call Him the “Eyebrow Actor”
Will Poulter gained recognition for his roles in acclaimed films such as The Maze Runner and Guardians of the Galaxy. But throughout his career, he has found himself confronting one peculiar nickname, the ’Eyebrow Actor.’ While many would dismiss such a label as a passing joke, Poulter took the opportunity to respond with grace and poise, delivering a powerful message that transcends the superficiality of a single feature.
He has suffered with his mental health for years.
The talented actor has openly shared his struggles with mental health, highlighting the challenges he faced during his formative years. Reflecting on his past, Poulter revealed, “I sort of wasn’t a particularly happy kid at school, and I think, to be honest — less so because I was experiencing teasing, I think that was part of it — but just because I hadn’t really found my way, you know? And I didn’t really feel like I was good at anything.”
However, Poulter’s life took a transformative turn when he was presented with a remarkable opportunity to star in a film. This stroke of luck paved the way for him to discover his passion and talent, providing a beacon of hope in the midst of his struggles.
The actor doesn’t think it’s ok to comment on someone else’s body.
In an interview, the Guardians of the Galaxy star started reflecting on his own experiences. Poulter said, “For the last few years, virtually every day, someone takes a photo without asking, which is uncomfortable.” He continued, “To a large degree, male privilege has protected me from that kind of objectification.”
He shares, “It was weird when people started to debate my physical appearance online as to whether it was deemed attractive or unattractive. I am very comfortable and secure in the knowledge that I’m not conventionally attractive...I think it just speaks to a wider issue of: Why are we discussing or spending so much time discussing people’s physical appearance?”
Poulter points out the problematic nature of social media, where everyone’s opinion is considered equal, leading to unnecessary and harmful discussions on appearance. The actor has personally experienced the consequences of such commentary, particularly in the context of viral photos comparing his appearance over a decade.
Poulter recounts an encounter where someone congratulated him on his apparent “glow up.” Still, he finds it challenging not to interpret it as a backhanded compliment, suggesting that he was perceived as unattractive for a significant part of his life.
The Maze Runner star humorously recalls instances where people mistakenly associate him with an animated character. Nevertheless, Poulter took that opportunity to dress up as Sid from Toy Story to support kids who get teased at school.
He’s confused on why people call him the “eyebrow actor.”
Will Poulter strongly opposes the act of commenting on someone else’s body, particularly when it comes to his own distinctive feature—the eyebrows. Expressing his bewilderment at being singled out for his eyebrows, he remarks, “I mean every actor, a lot of actors, the majority of actors have eyebrows. So it’s weird that just me comes up when you look for ’the actor with the eyebrows’ on the internet.”
Poulter wants to help end teasing at school.
Will Poulter’s personal experience has shaped his commitment to advocating for initiatives that can end the terrible teasing. Reflecting on the lasting impact of treating people badly, he emphasizes, “The teasing that we experience as young people, whether at school or while we’re young, has a longstanding psychological impact, and that’s kind of heartbreaking. So, that speaks to me to take it seriously and shape school culture so that schools will become a happier and safer place for them.”
Just like Poulter, other actors who have worked in Hollywood since infancy also face unique challenges when it comes to mental health. While their talent and success at a young age can be impressive, the pressures of the industry can take a toll on their well-being. Daniel Radcliffe is a well-known celebrity who has spoken about the issue. The entertainment industry must prioritize the mental health support of child actors.