The starting point of this transition was the movie Cosmopolis, by David Cronenberg, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. In this talkie film, he plays Eric Packer, an expert in the world of finances, who spends his time inside a limo, receiving unusual visitors, whilst a major crisis erupts outside the car.
Bel Ami (which premiered in Brazil in 2012), based on the work of Guy de Maupassant, starring Uma Thruman; Mission: Blacklist (in pre-production), where he plays a soldier who helps in the hunt of Saddam Hussein; and The Rover (shot this year), where he portrays a mentally disturbed man, are other great examples of the actor's current phase. Last july he started filming a new movie with Cronenberg, Maps To The Stars, a mixture of drama and black humor, inspired by society's obsession with the celebrity industry.
And the news don't stop there: The boy who started doing theater at 15 years old, in Barnes Theatre Company, and had a brief modelling career is the new face of the fragrance Dior Homme. To represent such an important brand and be able to work with partners he admire (the photographer Nan Goldin and filmmaker Romain Gavras) were the necessary fuel he needed to jump on this "wild" adventure, in his own words, inspired by James Dean's quote: "Dream as you'll live forever. Live as you'll die today." Check out the interview:
After Twilight, your career has been going through lots of transformations. How's this transition going?
I just turned 27 and only now I'm realizing no one looks at me like I'm a kid anymore. Being an actor is weird, and the idea of success changes through the years. But there's the good side of fame as well: I don't have to work just for the money. So now I'm trying to use my time, my energy and my influences to make interesting choices no one else is making. Indeed, there's something about Dior's work that is very similar to my current state of being: an almost agressive independence!
The partnership with Cronenberg seems to be going really well.
I had such a good experience in Cosmopolis! David is an incredible person, and the most fun, intriguing man to work with I've ever met. He has been making movies for the last 40 years, and every film he makes shows just how unusual he is. We started shooting his new movie recently. It's called Maps To The Stars, with Julianne Moore and John Cusack. The scripts of these two films are amongst the most original ones I've ever read, that's why I hope to continue working with him forever.
You just closed the partnership with Dior. Was the invite for the campaign a surprise?
When Dior contacted me, I was truly shocked at first because their name alone is almost mythical. It's a very sofisticated fashion house, that never compromises their image. They approached me in the right way and at the right time because Twilight was coming to an end. I remember I was impressed when I met with the creative team and saw that they had an extremely open mind. Their interest was in an artistic collaboration, more than the commercial itself.
Why did you choose Romain Gavras to direct Dior's film?
I've wanted to work with him for a long time. To be honest, I tried to get in contact with him for about a year. He used to be like: "I'm not going to talk to you". Until I told him that I wanted him to direct Dior's commercial. That's when he finally met me! (laughs) He has a visual language completely different from everything I've seen before.
And how was the job?
Romain made it happen! We were driving along a beach in a tiny BMW and there were 6 meters of sand. If I slowed down, the car was going to sink, so, we were going at 90 miles/hour with a camera in the car. The car was skidding a lot and there were three models inside of it, for whom I was responsible. All I know is that after about 2 hours the car got in the water and the bumper fell off. It was wild!
Do you think that perfume is essencial to all men?
When I was 12 and started talking more to girls, I used to think that wearing perfume was the right thing to do. I remember being on vacation in Portugal and watching teenagers going inside bars. I used to think that if I smelled like perfume I was going to convince everyone that I was an adult. And the worst thing is that it worked! Perfume and hair gel were my best friends that summer! (laughs)
How do you spend your free time?
I'm so boring! I spend all day on the Internet looking at what young directors are doing. Right now, I'm also trying to develop a script with a friend.
We know that you are a musician and plays guitar. Do you have any musical project?
I still play guitar and I really have been rehearsing a lot more now than I used to. But I really don't play on a concert or anything like that for years.