At the red-carpet premiere of Masters of the Air, Rafferty Law looked the image of his famous father Jude in his sharp suit and slicked-back hair. Yet the 27-year-old actor, who is used to such father-son comparisons, says: "I've never been mistaken for my dad, but there are times when we'll be having a chat and realise we're standing the same way."
The Holiday and The Talented Mr Ripley star Jude was four years younger than Rafferty is now when his son was born – something Raff, as he usually calls himself, describes as "mad", adding: "I've only just learnt to look after myself."
His dad split from his mum, producer and yoga teacher Sadie Frost, in 2003, but Raff, who's also a model and musician, says: "We are a super-close family. Ever since I was young, I was always playing music and my sister Iris would do a dance show for Mum. Me and Dad would go on an adventure around the park and play make-believe. It feels like that now, but it's moved forward a few years."
Indeed, Raff has come a long way since acting out fairy tales in the park. His latest role, in Steven Spielberg's and Tom Hanks's Second World War drama, sees him playing Master Sergeant Ken Lemmons alongside a stellar cast including Elvis star Austin Butler, Saltburn actor Barry Keoghan and Dua Lipa's new boyfriend, Callum Turner. Raff was "honoured" to tell the true story of the 19-year-old flight chief who was part of the 100th Bomb Group, charged with taking out enemy targets in Germany, and has already won praise from the Lemmons family, who helped him prepare for the role of their ancestor.
"Performing on stage and acting is something that I'm passionate about," says Raff, who showed his dedication to the part by spending an extra hour and a half in make-up each day to cover his 30-plus tattoos before the cameras rolled.
"They had to airbrush my whole body," he recalls. "I had a crazy year of getting so many; my mum has said I'm banned from getting any more. But I don't regret them. I've got silly ones like a jelly baby and loads of random ones."
His passion for acting, he says, stems from his love of learning new things and taking on new character traits. "For Masters of the Air, I learnt to, I learnt to play 1940s blues harmonica. It's amazing to learn real stories from the past and retell these legacies. I feel really honoured to be playing Master Sergeant Ken."
There are, of course, "positives and hindrances" in being born into a famous family, particularly when following in your parents' footsteps. Raff's acting credentials have been scrutinised and he has faced abuse on social media, but having developed a thick skin, he accepts his situation for what it is.
"At the end of the day, that is my life. My family are my family and that isn't going to change," he says with a shrug. "As long as I know what I want to do, and that is act in some really great series and films, that's what I will do."
He spent his teenage years struggling to find his way, but it was the advice of his parents to "treat people with kindness and respect and work hard if you want to get places" that pushed him on.
"It took me a few years to really understand what working hard was," he admits. "Like a lot of people in their late teens, I made mistakes and learnt lessons. You have to put in the hours and the work – it doesn't matter who you know.
"Doing Twist [the Sky drama he filmed alongside acting legend Sir Michael Caine] was an eye-opener; having to get up at 5am for long shoots and watching people get there and give their fullest," he says. "I fell in love with exercise during that shoot because I had to train," he continues, referring to the parkour required for his scenes. "I took that energy and held on to it."
Exercise has become central to his wellbeing, along with breathing techniques tipped by the extreme athlete Wim Hof. Raff is an outspoken advocate of looking after one’s mental health, too, following the loss of his friend Kai Schachter to suicide in 2019.
"It's made me really want to speak out about mental health, not only in regard to men but women as well," he says. There have been times when he admits he "felt down", but he discovered that reducing sugar, pizza and pasta, and regular exercise, improved his mood.
"Some people may laugh if they hear me talking about meditating, but it makes me a better person, more present and productive," he says. "You need to look after yourself."
INTERVIEW: DANIELLE LAWLER
Masters of the Air is available to stream on AppleTV+ now.