Murray Bartlett is GQ’s Man of the Year
We love you Murray!
51-year-old Australian actor Murray Bartlett stepped into the global limelight after a career-defining—and Emmy-worthy—performance in the first season of HBO’s satirical anthology, The White Lotus, and now, is slated to star in the platform’s upcoming television adaptation of pioneering video game, The Last of Us as well as Hulu’s Welcome to Chippendales. It’s notches like these on his resumé that have earned Bartlett his laurels as GQ’s Man of the Year for 2022, following in the footsteps of predecessors including Jason Momoa, Joel Edgerton and Chris Hemsworth.
Sydney-born and Perth-raised, Bartlett made appearances on Australia’s most beloved running soaps—Neighbours, Home and Away, The Secret Life of Us, McLeod’s Daughters— before catching his first major break as a guest star on Sex and the City after relocating to the United States in 2000. It was Bartlett’s role as the ill-fated resort manager Armond on The White Lotus, however, that would radically change the trajectory of his career. The black dramedy, released last July to profuse acclaim, earned Bartlett nominations at the 2022 Screen Actor Guild Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards, and moreover won him an AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Series, a Critics’ Choice Television trophy for Best Supporting Actor and the year’s Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor.
“I just want to thank Mum all the way home in Australia,” Bartlett said at the time, “for giving me the most wonderful foundation of unconditional love and inspiring me to believe that we can do all that for each other.”
Today, Bartlett accepted his accolade as Man of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards, held at Crown Sydney and supported by Boss, Belvedere Vodka, Boss Parfums and Jaguar Australia, for the first time the event has been staged since 2019.
“I’m really honoured to receive this award and I’m so happy to be back home here, I don’t spend nearly enough time back here in Australia these days, and to be here, it’s very special to me, so thank you,” Bartlett said.
“I just have to say one thing about: it was such a joy to work with Rose and it’s always amazing working in different parts of the world, and then you come on set and there’s an Australian accent and it’s so… it just makes you feel like you’re at home. And me and Rose had been working together for a couple of weeks, and she was always calling me Murray, and then I came on set and she was like, ‘Hey, Mu—’ and I was like, ‘you were going to call me Muz, weren’t you’ [laughs] and she said ‘yeah but then I felt like it was stupid’ so anyway, from that moment on she called me Muz, which was amazing.”
“I have been so lucky in the last year, the last couple of years really, to have choices. I’ve been able to choose roles and stores that I feel are meaningful, and hopefully put something worthwhile out into the world. I feel very fortunate, very, very fortunate.”
“But when I think of the words ‘Man of the Year’, I have to ask myself: what does that mean to me? And the first thing that jumps to my mind is I think of people doing grand things in the world to try and solve world hunger and create world peace and to find ways to deal with our climate emergency and yes, I do think that those people are worthy of being men and women of the year.”
“But also, there are many people in my life, or many people that I’m just aware of, who I see as just being exceptional examples of human beings—the kind of human beings I aspire to be—and they’re not necessarily doing anything grand in the world, and they probably won’t get any recognition for what they do but I see them as men and women of the year.”
“So I guess what I’m trying to say is essentially, I think we are all trying to be the best that we can be. And when we are doing that, I think we are all men and women of the year.”
“From this man of the year, lucky enough to be standing in the spotlight right now, I say to all of you in the room, men and women of the year, I see you, I honour you, I share this with you, and let’s make this next year the best one yet.”
In GQ’s 2022 Men of the Year issue, Bartlett—our cover star—gets candid about not only his upcoming performances in Apple TV+’s Physical, Welcome to Chippendales alongside Kumail Nanjiani and Extrapolations with Meryl Streep, but also the visibility of LBGTQI+ actors and characters.
“Pretty early on when I got gay roles,” he says to GQ’s Jake Millar, “I thought, this is a cool opportunity to bring some honesty and integrity and authenticity to a gay character, and to send a beacon to those people who don’t feel like they can be honest about who they are.”
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