emily browning’s guide to l-o-v-e

For one of the busiest actors in the game, Antipodean sweetheart Emily somehow makes time for a real life love life, with fellow thespian Xavier Samuels being the lucky guy on the receiving end.

by Francesca Dunn and Adam Fletcher
20 October 2014, 11:15am

Matteo Montanari

25 year old Australian actress, absolute babe and i-D super-star Emily Browning is in love. In between making her teenage dreams come true as the lead in Belle & Sebastian's God Help The Girl and taking on the tough job of playing Tom Hardy's wife in Legend, she's in a happy relationship with Twilight star Xavier Samuels. We stood on a London balcony with the beauty for some fresh air and deep chat.

Love is confusing.
"I think the first time I thought I fell in love I was about 16, but then it happened again at 18 and it made me go 'oh well that last thing wasn't love!' I don't know how many times I've properly been in love. Maybe four? But I've been in a relationship for two years now and this feels like the only time. Do you know what I mean? It's so different, it's like 'oh no, THIS is love'."                                

Friend crushes are okay.
"I fall in love with people all the time. I meet new friends and feel like 'oh my god, I'm in love with you! I need to hang out with you all the time!'" 

The true meaning of love involves ice cream.
"When I was a teenager I felt like love was drama and fireworks and the fact that you'd bleed for each other. But now I feel like love is when the person you're with really wants you to be the best version of yourself and you want the same for them and you can sit at home watching True Detective together for like five hours and be disgusting and eat loads of ice cream together." 

It's not all about passion.
"I used to think that a relationship wasn't really a relationship unless you were fighting all the time because you needed the fire and the passion. But since then I've realised that it's actually really nice to just have a best friend that you also wanna sleep with." 

Fate is real.
"I actually met my boyfriend for the first time about five years ago. I saw him at a party, met him for like a second and thought, 'I'm gonna date that boy. We're gonna be together one day'. I didn't see him for three years and then we did a film together and fell in love. There was some magical element working there because I was so sure that he would be in my life." 

It's important to love your character.
"My character in Legend, Frances, was a real person. The director got me some of her letters and diary entries in an auction and when I read them I felt so much love for her and really wanted to do her justice." 

Playing Tom Hardy's lover is hilarious.
"It was so tough! I mean, what a horrible job! It's tricky because we had so many serious scenes to film and it was very difficult not to laugh. You know when you meet someone with the same sense as humour as you, and you just look at each other and burst out laughing? That's not really the best thing when the scene you're doing is about how you're getting a divorce and you're really depressed and you're gonna kill yourself." 

Trust is key.
"Love used to feel kind of awful, like 'I can't live without this person. I'm gonna die!' and everything was so dramatic. But it feels great when you know how to trust someone and they trust you and you don't need to be in front of each others faces all day. It's a relief and really calming and grounding to know that you have this person… I feel like I'm on Oprah." 

Tinder is way harsh.
"Is Tinder the dating one or the naughty one? I actually think I've had a boyfriend the whole time it's been out! I feel like there's something kind of awful about it. Just looking at someone and going NOPE, not interested in this human being." 

Writing drunk love letters to models is always a good idea.
"Oh Jesus! I met Cara for literally like five minutes and we had a little conversation about something and I… I don't wanna say what I actually said, but I essentially just wanted to let her know that I thought she was awesome, so I wrote it down and gave the note to her. I'm pretty sure the word whisky was in there, as well as the words, 'I'm sorry, I'm such a freak'. I can't believe I just told you that."


Text Francesca Dunn
Photography Matteo Montanari
Styling Tracey Nicholson

Belle and Sebastian
emily browning
francesca dunn
matteo montanari
the what is love? issue
xavier samuels