Interview by { Rachel Madison Hill 

Edited by { Bonnie Davidson 

Photography by { John Russo 

Styling by { Luca Kingston 

Grooming by { Shiyena for Exclusive Artists using Smashbox Cosmetics and Dr. Lancer Skincare

As a child star in the early ’80s, Lukas Haas tugged at moviegoers’ heartstrings as a survivor in the nuclear apocalyptic drama Testament, and as an Amish bystander to a murder in Witness. A few years later, he earned an Emmy nomination for playing a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS in real-life drama The Ryan White Story. Now 43, Haas has more than 90 film and television credits on his resume, and he’s been directed by many of the best in the biz—Tim Burton, Woody Allen, Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg and Alejandro González Iñárritu, among them. Here, he reflects on his supporting roles in two 2018 Oscar contenders—Widows and First Man—and his personal style.

What is it like working with so many notable directors? 

I’ve been so fortunate to get the chance to work with so many truly amazing people. I grew up being guided by some of the most talented directors, learning as I went along… watching and listening and engaging with people like that has certainly helped shape me into the actor I am today. Working with Steve [McQueen, director of Widows] was a fantastic experience. He is warm and excited, passionate and engaged. He creates an environment that allows his actors to flourish. It takes a special kind of person to create an environment like that and I feel lucky that I got the chance to experience that. Damien [Chazelle, director of First Man] has been my favorite director since I saw Whiplash. I think he’s singularly talented. It was a real pleasure to get to be a part of First Man for so many reasons, but all of those reasons start with Damien.

Of all the characters that you’ve ever played, which one is your favorite? 

I’m generally not very good at picking favorites, but one role that comes to mind is The Pin in the movie Brick. He was this interesting mixture of dangerous and scary, pathetic and sad that was just a whole lot of fun.

How would you define your personal style?

My personal style is mostly about comfort. I like soft things. Materials are very important to me. It may be a bit of a contradiction, but I also like things to be fitted, not baggy. It’s all about the materials and the cut.

Do you have a favorite designer? 

My favorite brand right now is Elder Statesman. Soft, comfy and really cool.

Who is your style icon? 

To me, the best male style icons are The Beatles, hands down. They don’t get enough credit. Those guys knew how to dress.

Do you prefer shopping online or in brick-and-mortar stores?

I’m not much of an online guy, although I did recently buy a few T-shirts online. I guess I prefer seeing and touching the clothes in person. You can’t see how soft something is by looking at a thumbnail.

If you could design one article of clothing, what would it be?

A leather jacket. It’s so hard to find that one great leather jacket, but once you do, everything is all right.

Can you name three essential pieces in your wardrobe? 

I love jackets, so a great jacket is definitely a cornerstone, even when it’s hot outside. I also love cardigans…a sweater vest/cardigan, always gotta have one of those. And sweatpants. I like my sweatpants.