You just closed the partnership with Dior. Was the invite for the campaign a surprise? (Elle Brazil)
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.
What kind of person is the man wearing Dior Homme? (Faces)
He smells incredibly good!
--- NEW QUESTION - Not a bad start. Lets continue.
The idea of reviving a classic perfume has very much caught my attention. Because the brands classic style has something appealing to men. Thats why when being together with Romain Gavras we dreamed of a sophisticated but also a little bit of a wild character. Doing what he wants to do, daring, a free spirited person. Not affected by fashion trends, going his own way this man definitely has an infinite energy.
Twilight made you famous, Cosmopolis changed your image, and Roman Gavrais’s campaign movie for Dior is adding something unexpected to your character. How sweet does success smell? (Faces)
Being an actor is something incredibly weird and the definition of success - which in itself is already strange - changes over the years. Of course success also has a good side: I don’t have to worry about only having to work for the money [anymore], at least for a couple of years. I have huge respect for all these films which is why I try to take the time and energy and make exciting decisions; decisions not everyone makes. I just said “try” but it’s funny, actually, because I don’t feel like I’ve already had some kind of success. But there is something about Dior that really works for me - the brand itself remains stoically independent and that is exactly what I’d like to try for myself at the moment.
Is freedom something important to you? (Wienerin Austria)
Absolutely. Once you’ve become a part of the public eye, you’re professional life is often confined. You’re stereotyped and caught in a certain character who people associate you with. Sometimes I like to make a joke out of manipulating the way people perceive me. I want artistic freedom even if it’s just to challenge myself over and over again. One of my latest roles, in “The Rover”, was very liberating by the way. We shot the movie in Australia, in the middle of nowhere. The character I play doesn’t have any teeth and was covered in mud and dirt from head to toe. But I didn’t care. I was running around half naked and was able to do things you usually can’t do when you’re constantly watched.
What do London (where you were born), New York (where the ad was filmed) & Paris (Dior’s headquarters) smell like? (Grazia Spain)
What I miss the most about London, aside from my family and friends, it’s the smell of rain. Both Heathrow and Gatwick are surrounded by fields and when you land you can smell wet grass. New York is completely different. To me, its smells like food, there’s lots of it everywhere. And Paris is a different world. More than a scent, I associate it with something more visual. It’s pure energy. I love getting lost in its streets.
--- NEW QUESTION - During the campaign you worked together with Nan Goldin, a provocative photographer. How was working with her? Did she give you instruction?
A lively person! In between the shooting when everyone was in a hurry she would never change have her 'no need to rush" attitude.
Nan definitely lives by her own rules but I can't say that this is a directing attitude. One day when we shot on top of the roof it was very windy. Three people had to hold her but nothing discouraged her. We continued to do more dangerous things but we also enjoyed it very much. Nan is until today the only free spirited person that I have ever seen.
Why did you choose Romain Gavras to direct Dior's film? (Lux Portugal)
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)I was obsessed with his work in 'Our Day Will Come'. He has a visual language completely different from everything I've seen before. When I noticed that it was Romain's first movie, I thought "Who is this guy?". I started watching his Justice videos that caused so much buzz...
--- NEW QUESTION - Who are the other inspirational directors?
It will always be Chris Cunningham. Jacques Audiard is another director with whom I would like to work together with for a long time. For young actors like me, he definitely is the best. Very understanding. When I saw Romain Duris' performance in "The Beat That My Heart Skipped", I thought strangely that he was very close to my own manly perception. Romain Duris' character is struggling but is not holding back his feelings everywhere. He thinks being sensitive doesn't mean being weak. He only learns how to listen. This film is a wonderful story about proving his maturity.
The campaign movie of Dior Homme begins with a scene at the beach. What of that do you remember from that? (Faces Switzerland)
We drove a small BMW along the beach. If you had stepped on the breaks the car would have immediately been mired in the sand, so we steadily drove 80 miles per hour, with the camera on board. And as the driver I was basically responsible for the other three models. The next thing I remember is the car speeding into the sea. The whole bumper fell off, it was wild! (laughs)
The chemistry between you and the model-actress Camille Rowe in this short film is really important. Have you met before? (Lux Portugal)
We hadn't met yet. Camille had a small part in 'Our Day Will Come' and Romain knew she would be perfect to fit the "mood" of the film and he was right. There were moments when her presence there softened what I was doing just because she's so fun, has a free spirit. She was only going with the flow. To describe her, I would use the sentence: "do what you want".
The ad is really sexy (Lux Portugal)
That was mostly Camille. She brought something really special to the film. Most of the time with perfume commercials they seem to be really distant of the people watching, I don't know why. But with Romain it's always something visceral. Like [missing word in the scan] bloody, dirty, sweaty. He said: "We should film something outright sexual and have fun with that".
Scans: Verena | Translation @DebbieDuroy | ViaRPattinson fanpage | RPlife