Chris Briney Is Making Waves and Hitting His Stride
The "Summer I Turned Pretty" actor debates quiet luxury, Dickies supremacy and whether he actually qualifies as Gen Z
By Paolo Sandoval
Above: Chris Briney wears Boss Cropped Jacket & Pants, YONI Shirt and Sebago Loafers.
Chris Briney doesn’t know what’s next for him. That, or the Summer I Turned Pretty actor is just playing coy in response to a question about what else he’s looking to promote, biding his time for the inevitable announcement of a blockbuster film or a big-time Netflix drama. It doesn’t take a polygraph test to discern that media-trained tactical neutrality isn’t really Briney’s vibe — modesty, maybe — but given his camera-ready looks and easygoing demeanor, one feels compelled to take him at his word.
At a tender 25 — Briney falls squarely in with the up-and-coming Gen Z crowd of Elordis and Chalamets — all signs point to the realization that the world is Briney’s oyster, whether he’s ready to admit it or not.
Slated to return as moody heartthrob Conrad Fisher for season 2 of the Prime Video adaption of the Jenny Han novel The Summer I Turned Pretty in July and fresh off the festival circuit for Dalíland, in which the NYC-based actor stars alongside Ben Kingsley as a doe-eyed gallery assistant to the titular artist, it does not feel like a stretch to posit that a future among film’s finest feels almost inevitable for Briney.
And it’s not just Hollywood that’s enthralled with Briney: his boy-next-door appeal has seen him fall into good graces with fashion’s finest, the most recent in a long line of European house-endorsed up-and-comers. He’s modeled for Louis Vuitton and for Prada. He oozes the causal cool coveted by middle-part wannabes and 19-year-olds who make videos showing you how to dress “old money.”
We caught up with Chris to chat about his newfound life as an actor with Instagram fan pages, his personal style proclivities and his unlikely connection to Jean Luc-Godard.
InsideHook: Hey! Nice to catch up. Did you have a favorite look from the recent photoshoot?
Chris Briney: Oh man, I really, I loved, like, all of it? I thought it was so cool. Maybe the Prada tank top, cause how can you not? But I don’t know, I got to wear the 18k Yellow Gold Cartier Tank Louis. It’s a really beautiful watch.
It really feels like everyone is all about the Tank right now, huh?
We’re smitten with the smash Prime Video rom-dramady The Summer I Turned Pretty, in which you play moody love interest Conrad Fisher. With season 2 just around the corner, how are you feeling? Excited for the release?
I mean, I’m stoked. I’m stoked for people to see it. And curious to know how people are going to react, because it feels a little different from the first season. At least in my head — I haven’t seen it yet — it should be, a little more mature, maybe.
You’re relatively new to Hollywood, but between TSITP and Dalíland, your film debut with Ben Kingsley, do you feel seasoned now? Or still getting used to the motions of the industry?
I don’t think it’ll ever be easy for me. I definitely went into the second season knowing more what to expect. There’s less up in the air now, the “I don’t know what this looks like.” I’ve had some practice, you know. I’m definitely no veteran, but I got some reps in the first time around.
Does it feel natural for you to shift into Conrad, your character on the show? You do seem to share some similarities. Or is it a whole new experience?
I think it was a little bit of both. I like that question: there are a lot of things about that character that I’m lucky enough to share with him, but then there are also a lot of things about him that are fun to, as an actor, try and access, try and defend his choices and try and defend the things he says. There are some faux pas he falls into that are natural for anyone who’s been a teenager.
Do you feel like a Gen Zer? Conrad certainly is.
I’m on the cusp. I didn’t have a smartphone until I was in high school…but then I still had one. You know what I mean? I don’t know if I consider myself Gen Z. Sometimes I’m on TikTok and shit is just going over my head. I feel like that’s the cutoff.
Beyond acting, you’ve recently been spotted in Paris and Milan at Fashion Weeks, with designers like Louis Vuitton and Prada. How’d that happen? Big fashion guy?
I am super lucky to have been able to go to those shows and they were absolutely fucking dope. It was really powerful — it’s art, not that I expected it to feel like that, but it certainly did. I’ve always been into fashion a certain amount. My first endeavors in fashion in high school were really bad, I was trying to figure it out (laughs). I don’t know if I have the greatest eye for it, but I can appreciate when something’s cool.
You’re selling yourself a bit short there. I’ve seen your Instagram.
(Laughs) I have a good stylist, man.
Was there an “oh, shit” moment for you during Fashion Week?
The Prada show that I went to, in Milan, they have this compound, the Fondazione Prada. The Prada Foundation, I suppose. They have a museum on site.
Right, the Rem Koolhaas building.
It’s so fucking dope. They rotate exhibits and, it’s just wildly cool. Like, Jean-Luc Godard used to work there when he was in Italy (laughs). You forget how these houses have been kingpins for years, there’s an influence and a history that I don’t think I quite understood until I was there.
What about your personal style? What do you gravitate towards, what do you want to be wearing?
It’s evolved over time. I had a preppy phase in high school, and then I found out that pants don’t have to stick to your thighs. Recently, I’ve just been sticking to the basics, just a pair of Dickies and a T-shirt. I don’t think that there are better pants than Dickies. Most of my shit is things that I’ve thrifted or friends have given me. My friend got me this London Fog Jack Daniels jacket and I wear it everywhere. I don’t think you could find a bad thrift store in New York, save maybe Buffalo Exchange.
Speaking of thrifting, you’ve been spotted wearing Trader Joe’s merch. Stolen valor, or are you an ex-employee?
(Laughs) I’m an ex-Trader Joe’s employee.
It’s practically a right of passage for any NYC art kid now.
Well, they just keep opening new ones. It was a super solid job, they give you some pretty fire t-shirts.
Any thoughts the whole quiet luxury discourse? Is there something there?
That’s just designer that doesn’t look designer? Obviously, they’re being very intentional about wardrobe, and I do think it helps build the world. But I don’t know. I don’t know the names of these brands, but a bomber jacket that’s $3,000 and looks like you could have gotten it at H&M… I don’t know, wear what you want.
On the other end of the spectrum, anyone you think is killing it?
Maybe I’m wrong, but there’s this newer thing that everybody’s just really dressing a lot better, in the world. I know TikTok is obsessed with Austin Butler and the Euphoria dude, Elordi. But no, I think everybody’s kind of killing it.
Are you recognized everywhere now?
Yeah, people have been really sweet, but it’s definitely changed the way I walk out the door in the morning.
So you’re going DiCaprio style? Hat, sunglasses?
Dude, I kind of am, and I feel like an asshole about it. I wear a black Knicks hat almost everywhere I go. I do feel the need to defend it because I’ve been super lucky with the exposure that [TSITP] has gotten, but I’m not Jack Nicholson. I have a lot of social anxiety, so if I have the choice to have a conversation or not and if that induces fewer conversations, then I’m gonna do it.
Lighting Round! Footwear of choice?
Do you prefer suiting or streetwear?
Probably streetwear, although I love a good suit. Who doesn’t love a good suit?
What’s one thing every guy should own, wardrobe-wise?
Hmm…something they feel hot in. Also a pair of Dickies. A pant that you feel awesome in.
What’s next for you? Anything we should keep our eyes peeled for?
I worked on a movie, my first acting project ever, called Dalíland, directed by Mary Herron, that comes out June 9. We shot Mean Girls, I was lucky to be a part of that. I don’t know, man, I’m just trying to see what happens.
I can only see good things for you.
Thank you, it’s been a blast.