VMEN: Earl Cave Talks Cowboy Boots and Rebellion

From the pages of VMAN 43, Earl Cave talks about playing rebels on screen and how his rocker father has influenced him.

Actor Earl Cave was perfectly convincing as Daniel, the surly teen rebel he played in 2019’s Days of the Bagnold Summer; with his wolf-puppy eyes and bladed shag, not to mention a well-documented interest in fashion, Cave seems just the sort to reject a guardian’s dressing tips, as Daniel does at one point in the coming-of-age indie. But Cave suggests he isn’t so anti IRL: “I was wearing a new pair of cowboy boots, and my dad was like, ‘Those are weird,’” Cave says, relaying a recent exchange with his dad, Bad Seeds founder Nick Cave. “I said ‘Aw, really?’ but the more I wore them, the more I [agreed].” The surprise there may not be Cave’s heeding a parent’s advice, but that his Aussie-punk dad would voice a decidedly un-punk aversion to impractical footwear. It may also explain how Cave, despite his unusual pedigree, identifies with the relatable rebels he plays. “Rebelling against what you are told is such an important step in being a teenager,” says Cave. “I was a bit of a nuisance [to my parents], but that’s how you form your opinions.”

Cave will play another troublemaker in Dominus, about youth-led resistance in Ancient Rome. “It’s a departure [from previous roles] in that it’s [so] historical, but I’m still playing a teen who’s coming to terms,” says Cave, 20 this year. “Even kids in 62 B.C. had things to work out.” The U.K.-born Cave was closer to home in The True History of the Kelly Gang. The period film retells the lore of Aussie criminal Ned Kelly through a lens of modern punk ideals, with director Justin Kurzel charging Earl and his Kelly Gang peers to form an impromptu band in pre-production. Intentional or not, Kurzel’s methods let Earl channel his rocker father (who once used the stage name “Nick Cave: Man or Myth,” a reference to the 1968 biography Ned Kelly: Man or Myth). Cave, the band’s bassist, upheld the Bad Seeds’ anti-establishment sensibility in his lyrical contributions: “I wrote about rebelling against the monarchy, and Australia’s [history] as a penal colony,” recalls Cave. “I don’t hate the queen, I just like the music that came out of the anti-monarchy movement.” Whether that makes Cave a bad seed or a force for good is for the audience to decide.

Earl wears all clothing Gucci, Jewelry his own
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