The Saturday Style Guy with Desmond Eastwood

You may know him better as Niall from the BBC hit show Normal People, but a career in acting wasn’t always on the agenda for Lisburn native Desmond Eastwood.

By Gillian Anderson
Saturday, 16th May 2020, 5:00 pm

The 27-year-old graduated with a 2.1 in law from Queen’s University Belfast before moving to Dublin to study acting.

The 6’3” actor and model with ACA Models, was inspired by his big brother Colum, a writer and director to take the leap into the world of stage and screen and now he has now won the hearts of viewers across the UK with his character Niall.

Viewers have become obsessed with the 12-part drama, which is based on the bestselling novel by Sally Rooney, and its story of first love.

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Desmond Eastwood

The plot follows the turbulent relationship between Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones), two young people from the west of Ireland, as they navigate the changing landscape of their love story into adulthood.

Niall becomes firm friends with Connell after meeting at Trinity College in Dublin and encourages him in his relationship with Marianne and continues to support him when he has mental health struggles.

Desmond was three weeks into rehearsal at the Gate Theatre of ‘The Little Foxes’ by Lillian Hellman alongside Downtown Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern when he had to return to Lisburn due to the current coronavrius pandemic.

He was also set to play Johnny Boyle in ‘Juno and the Payock’ by Sean O’Casey at the Olympia theatre in July which was also sadly cancelled.

Desmond can also be in seen in Blood season 2 opposite Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar. Further credits include DC Comic’s hit series Krypton and the popular Vikings show as seen on History Channel.

He recently performed in the Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh in the Gaiety Theatre and the feature film Black Medicine from writer director (and brother) Colum Eastwood.

This talented actor was also runner up in the most recent Mr Northern Ireland contest managed by Alison Clarke and her team at ACA Models, so there’s no doubt, Desmond knows a thing or two about fashion and style.

Gillian Anderson caught up with him to find out about his individual style and taste.

Desmond Eastwood

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a curious individual who enjoys good times, thrills, and the great outdoors.

I enjoy reading, writing, photography, sport and creative pursuits. I enjoy my work immensely, but nothing beats quality time with family and friends. I look forward to the end of the lockdown and big celebrations.

Describe your personal style?

Desmond (right) with his writer and director brother Colum Eastwood

I would say I’m either calm, cool and collected or wild and free. I always like to feel comfortable and ready for wherever the day might take me.

Where do you get your style inspiration from?

That’s a tough question. I think style comes down to personality. In a clothing respect - I like the 50’s era Dean, Liz Taylor, Hepburn - they are all elegant, classy and effortless.

More recently I really dig people like Roger Federer, Harry Styles and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They are unique individuals with a classy touch.

What was the first item of clothing you ever bought for yourself?

A Liverpool FC soccer jersey. I got Hyypiä on the back. He was one of my favourite players at the time.

Desmond Eastwood (right) with Jack Walsh (Writer + Director + Artistic Director of Shamrock Tenors)

Any fashion teenage faux-pas you’d care to tell us about…?

The Fake Rolex market and Henna tattoos on holidays abroad influenced me greatly. I still haven’t managed a real tattoo but its certainly on my radar!

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought, clothing-wise?

I bought a Kimono - I like things that are unique and a bit different.

Tell us about the oldest item in your wardrobe, or the thing you’ll never, ever throw out

I have an Ennio Morricone merchandise T-shirt. I dodged out of Drama school for a few days with a mate to see him in the Ziggo Dome Amsterdam. It was an unforgettable gig - he is a true legend.

What are your fashion pet hates?

It has to be tattoos with spelling mistakes. But then again, I love that. I saw one recently - ‘It’s is my life’ - Bon Jovi

Jeans or chinos?

Jeans most of the time. If the weather calls for it…. Chinos are great.

Who are your style heroes?

Cher, Bowie and Sam Beckett.

What fragrance do you wear?

I wear Tom Ford Black Orchard 60% of the time - it works everytime.

Do you groom, and how do you look after yourself?

For me it’s all about daily exercise and healthy eating. Drink plenty of water and jumping into the cold sea does wonders. Exposure to cold is great - check out Wim Hof.

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

I have a few runners and a couple of smarter ones. I’m a big fan of boots too. However, I like to wear my flip flops or go barefoot as often as possible.

Trainers or shoes?

It depends on the occasion! I always like to keep it comfortable and fast on my feet.

Do you accessorise and if so with what?

I like sunglasses, weather permitting. I also like a nice watch. I’d like to get a necklace of some kind too.

Where do you shop?

I’m flexible. I really like off beat vintage stores or charity shops.

I like things that are unique and have a more mysterious origin story.

I also love clothing items from acting jobs or memorable events and experiences.

Sometimes wardrobe production will let you keep things. They carry memorable experiences with them that you can cherish.

I find TK Maxx can be great too, you never know what you’ll find. Regent Street in London or Grafton Street in Dublin are usually a little too commercial for me.

What’s your desert island item of clothing?

My Jack Wolfskin sun hat - it’s practical and stylish!

Desmond Eastwood
Desmond Eastwood