Actor Cody Fern Is Quickly Making His Mark

Actor Cody Fern Is Quickly Making His Mark

Starring in both 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story' and the final season of Netflix's 'House of Cards', the rising star is becoming one of the screen's most notable breakout talents.

Starring in both 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story' and the final season of Netflix's 'House of Cards', the rising star is becoming one of the screen's most notable breakout talents.

Photography: Britt Lloyd

Styling: Scott Shapiro

Text: AJ Longabaugh

This interview appears in the pages of VMAN40: The New Vanguard Issue, on newsstands now. Order your copy today at shop.vmagazine.com!

In 2018, cable television has seen a revamp for the record books, with Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story being hailed as one of this year’s biggest hits. Among the show’s slew of exciting performances, the most electric breakout comes from someone who didn’t start acting until he was 24: Cody Fern. In fact, Fern says, “Until recently, I never wanted to work in television.”

In his debut as David Madson, the infamous boyfriend of Andrew Cunanan, Fern tackled the role head-on with an empathetic, human approach. “David goes through such intense and extreme emotions, and on top of that, he’s dealing with this underlying, insidious sense of gay shame, which we really wanted to try and capture,” says Fern. “So, in constructing who David was, I needed to figure out how this weight was being carried around and where it was being carried. That kind of defined the entirety of who David was.”

Having grown up in rural Australia, in a town called Southern Cross, Fern’s acting career was spurred by a “nervous breakthrough” in his mid-20’s. “I woke up one day and realized that I was the amalgamation of everything around me. I was no solid entity in and of myself,” he says. “I was a reflection of everybody that I ever hung out with and every person that I had given into and, you know, the career that I thought I should be pursuing to be successful.”

He recalls being 13 years old watching films like Sophie’s Choice starring Meryl Streep, and Elizabeth with a young Cate Blanchett: “I grew up wanting to do what they were doing. What these really powerful, clarifying women were doing.”

After working his way into professional theater and moving to Sydney, Fern is now thriving in his unexpected career path. His diverse agenda includes roles in the final season of Netflix’s House of Cards, and alongside Soko in the historical drama The Great Darkened Days. “I think I have a sense of humor that allows me to go from darkness to light, and swing backwards and forwards,” he says, “because if I can’t allow for humor to shape the pleasure in life or in acting—what’s the point?”

CODY WEARS COAT EMPORIO ARMANI, SHIRT SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, RING HIS OWN

Credits: GROOMING YUKO MIZUNO (RONA REPRESENTS) FOR DIOR BEAUTY, PHOTO ASSISTANT TIMOTHY SHIN

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