It’s not often these days you hear a name as wonderfully Dickensian (or Dahlesque) as Augustus Prew. But prepare to get used to it: The 23-year-old British actor, who inherited his weighty moniker from his grandfather, has been edging his way toward an appropriately substantial acting career ever since he made his big-screen debut alongside Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz, and Nicholas Hoult in 2002’s About a Boy. After a series of small parts on U.K. television, Prew landed his first cinematic lead last year in The Secret of Moonacre, a fantasy film about two feuding families divided by a set of magic pearls. Beloved by 13-year-old girls, the movie won Prew a mildly obsessive Internet following (see the romantic, fan-edited Moonacre montages on YouTube), and this year he took another step toward teen idolatry, joining heartthrob Zac Efron in the tear-jerker Charlie St. Cloud. Prew admits he’s drawn to “quirky, outcast-y characters,” appearing as a tortured council-estate teen in the recently released drama The Kid, a biopic of crime writer Kevin Lewis. Thus, other upcoming projects see him playing a New York rocker in rags-to-riches-to-ruin band flick The Hated, and a forlorn trapeze artist in the circus family film Sophie. Since Charlie St. Cloud, Prew has noticed a surge in interest from casting agents, but he’s being careful about what comes next. “Ultimately it’s about art, and you have to balance the big- and low-budget things,” he says. In another quirk of personal nomenclature, Art is in fact his middle name. “Art being short for Arthur, who was my other grandfather,” explains Prew. “My parents thought they’d be bohemian and call me Art. I like it. I think weird names are great.”
Photo: Augustus Prew in Los Angeles, July 2010. T-shirt: Calvin Klein. Jeans (distressed): Hudson Jeans. Rings: Prew’s Own. Grooming Products: Lancome Men, including hydrix micro-nutrient moisturizing balm. Fragrance: CK Free by Calvin Klein. Styling: Ryan Hastings. Hair: Tony Chavez using Shu Uemura Art of Hair/Frank Reps. Makeup: Darlene Jacobs using Lancome/Frank Reps. Special Thanks: Siren Studios.