“I don’t care about clothes,” he admits. “I don’t like the skinny pants look on men. And I don’t like the baggy shorts and then yoga pants and then plus-size shirts. I don’t like men in overly-tight stuff that don’t have the body for it—and I don’t have the body for it.”

Johnson doesn’t want to think about clothes. For him, it’s all about comfort. He repeats the word several times, “Comfort, comfort, comfort, comfort.” He’s got to feel good if he’s going to work. But sooner or later, he says the wardrobe department stops caring and just puts him in a plaid shirt and pants with a looser fit. For Minx, he credits the show’s costume designer, Beth Morgan, “a true genius” whose judgment he’s come to trust, because as Johnson sees it, Morgan does what a great costume person should: really think about the character, the time and place they’re in, but most importantly, who they are. So when she told Johnson he was going to wear a pair of tight leather pants, Johnson put them on and didn’t want to leave his trailer at first. But after pacing around a little, he realized she was right. Jake Johnson wouldn’t wear leather pants, but Doug Renetti would. Knowing he’d protest the fur coat, Morgan texted Johnson at ten the night before showing what he’d be wearing. He kvetched a little, said he wasn’t comfortable, but the next day when he put it on it really opened things up for him. “I knew Doug so much more,” he says.

Ophelia Lovibond, Lennon Parham, Jessica Lowe, Oscar Montoya, Idara Victor and Jake Johnson in Minx.Courtesy of Katrina Marcinowski via HBO Max.

So how does Johnson feel about his newfound style god status? “I think it’s really funny. People are talking about my fits in this but the last thing I think about is how I look as a character,” he says before returning to his inspiration for his Minx character. He recalls one look in an early episode where he’s wearing a pair of boots with platform heels, the kind smooth rock singers wore on the back of their albums in 1975. When he was handed the outfit he laughed. “I couldn’t imagine my uncle Eddie in heels,” he says before pausing. But he relented and put on the outfit. Suddenly, after all these years of playing countless roles, something clicked, Johnson suddenly understood how the look can change everything. “I thought, wow, there’s a whole new tool in terms of acting that I was too, you know, stubborn to try before.”



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