It’s a good thing that 18-year-old actor Toby Regbo was a quick study-he had an allergic reaction to his first drama class. “They had us stand in front of a mirror and pretend to be a plant,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘Oh, shit. Is this what drama is going to be like?’ ” Impatience paid off for the London teen, who found another theater group run by an agent who got him into auditions. Two guest spots on British TV helped him get cast as the young Dumbledore in the highly anticipated final two Harry Potter films–a.k.a. one of the rare golden tickets in the cinematic lottery. Part one lands in theaters this month. “The part I play means so much to certain people,” he reflects. “They send you very intense mail, saying everything from ‘I hope it goes well for you’ to ‘Don’t mess it up or I’ll kill you.’ ” Having played overburdened adolescents in both the 2009 film Mr. Nobody and the West End play Tusk Tusk, Regbo seems to be cornering the market on young alienated types. He will star alongside Ellen Burstyn and Marcia Gay Harden in the upcoming comedy Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. In the movie, Regbo plays James Sveck, a sexually confused high school senior who rejects just about everything. “It’s searingly accurate about what it’s like to be this age,” says Regbo. “Because James is so self-aware, he can never invest himself in anything fun.” Aside from overinvested Harry Potter fans, Regbo is also acclimating to the online scrutiny that has come with his father’s tendency to google him. “I was at the BFI London Film Festival and this photo of me got put up online,” he says. “My father sent me a link to the article, which was from a website called something like hairandbeautycelebrities.com. It was analyzing my haircut. And it had been cut by my grandmother about 20 minutes before I got to the premiere.”
Photo: Toby Regbo in London, August 2010. Jacket: Levi’s. T-shirt and jeans: D&G. Belt: J.W. Anderson. Fragrance: Le Bateleur by D&G Fragrance Anthology. Styling: Robbie Spencer/Intrepid London. Hair: Christian Eberhard/Jed Root. Makeup: Lloyd Simmonds/Agence Carole.