What’s Love Got to Do with It?

'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande' • Courtesy of Hulu.


What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Say hello to Ireland’s hottest new export, Daryl McCormack

Daryl McCormack has been in the business since 2014 and quickly found fame when he got his break on a popular Irish soap opera, Fair City, as Pierce Devlin, in 2015-2016.

Soon after, he caught the eyes of American audiences playing the role of Leo Grande, a tall, suave, devastatingly handsome escort, who takes his job satisfying his client Nancy Stokes, played by Emma Thompson, very, very serious.

No doubt McCormack is more than just another handsome face. He is a classically trained actor with great range and a captivating presence that keeps you wanting more. He won a BAFTA for Leo Grande and was a feature actor in Sharon Hogan’s BAFTA winning series Bad Sisters.

‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’ • Courtesy of Hulu.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande caused quite a stir when it made its American debut, because of several taboo topics skillfully woven into the story and powerfully explored. Leo Grande and Nancy Stokes grapple with sex, ageism, body positivity, sexism, and death, as they navigate their precarious arrangement.

What was all the buzz about? We are so used to seeing men purchasing a woman for pleasure. But in Leo Grande, the power roles have been reversed. Nancy Stokes is in the driver’s seat as she makes the decision to pursue an evening of pleasure with a handsome escort.

So, why is a woman paying for sex taboo? Women have always been subjugated to sexual objectification. Switching roles objectifies the man –which makes some people uncomfortable. Watching Nancy Stokes spread her proverbial wings, for the first time in her life, and experience sex on her terms, is a reminder of just how far women have yet to go.

‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’ • Courtesy of Hulu.

Other films explored male prostitution. American Gigolo highlights the vapid, social climbing Julian Kay, played by Richard Gere. He is paid to entertain wealthy women in Los Angeles and finds himself in a bind when he falls for Michelle, a stunning young beauty. Midnight Cowboy depicts a naive Joe Buck, played by Jon Voight, unable to make it in New York.

McCormack’s Leo is no less significant: subtle yet intriguing. Confident yet guarded. He prefers to play the character he has created than to be his true self. He enjoys being objectified. He likes knowing his clients lust after his body. And speaking of bodies: Nancy disrobing in front of a mirror was beautifully heartbreaking. It was as if she was seeing herself for the very first time.

McCormack is well on his way to a successful career and has just added action star to his resume. He is set to co-star in the Twister reboot, in theaters this July.