It’s been over 24 hours since Spotify Wrapped dropped, and Glen Powell seems to be the only person left on the planet who has yet to open his. Granted, he’s had some obligations that might have taken precedence over gazing at a personalized portrait of his own music taste: celebrating the holidays (at his old friend Paris Hilton’s #Slivmas last night), filming a Twister sequel (for which he’ll decamp to Oklahoma tomorrow), and promoting his latest film, Anyone But You (via photo shoots like the one we’re on the set of today). But because Powell is a famously polite, infectiously enthusiastic, self-proclaimed people pleaser, he’s willing to undergo this intimate ritual in front of me.
Sitting in a rented house in Laurel Canyon — with record-lined walls, vintage oriental rugs, and imposing wood beams — Powell whips out his phone. As the slideshow begins to load, I guess what Powell’s listening data will reveal. The actor, 35, is a proud Austin native and a Texas Longhorns superfan. He’s also a writer and film nerd, who instantly recognized Francis Ford Coppola’s lesser-known drama, Rumble Fish, when it came on in the background of the shoot. A soulful, introspective guy who’s not afraid to say things like, “The older I get, the more I look at my parents with awe at the fact that it’s really hard for love to survive 40 years in this world.”
So maybe Zach Bryan will clinch the top spot? Or he’ll endear me with some Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris?
Alas, the first song to be highlighted is “Unwritten,” by Natasha Bedingfield. Also known as The Hills’ theme song.
“I had to learn every word of this for Anyone But You,” Powell insists as the song blares off his phone. (I can confirm it is one of the movie’s best bits.) “Oh God, that is truly embarrassing if it wasn’t.”
Exposure to soaring, feel-good anthems is one of the hazards of being America’s current Top Rom-Com Guy. His big break was Set It Up, the 2018 Netflix movie that inspired countless think pieces saying that the rom-com was back after a long drought. After that, Powell was cast in Top Gun: Maverick, which inspired countless think pieces about how Hollywood was back post-pandemic. Now he’s in Anyone But You, a modern take on Much Ado About Nothing out Dec. 22. Co-starring Sydney Sweeney, whom he was briefly rumored to be dating (he’s not), it’s a classic enemies-to-lovers tale that sees a pair of arch-nemeses reunite at a destination wedding, where they pretend to be a couple.
But you will not hear Powell dissing romantic comedies, as The Kissing Booth star Jacob Elordi did recently. That’s partly because Powell is a scholar of the genre. He grew up watching The Wedding Singer with his two sisters, who teased him for sharing a name with the film’s villain, Glenn Guglia. (“When you look at movies, Glen’s always the asshole or the weird neighbor. I’m like, ‘God dang, man.’”) One of his first jobs in the industry was working for one of Hollywood’s most accomplished female producers, Lynda Obst, who was responsible for Flashdance, Sleepless in Seattle, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. He started off as her intern, then was promoted to script reader, where he provided feedback on the many, many rom-coms that came across her desk. He became a student of the Hollywood system, understanding what makes a good script and what he had to offer to one. [More at Source]