Timothée Chalamet is making his Martin Scorsese cinematic debut in Scorseses “most difficult” project yet.
The Oscar-nominated actor leads the Bleu de Chanel men’s fragrance campaign for Chanel, with auteur Scorsese helming the latest commercial. Actress Havana Liu Rose co-stars in the sultry campaign that captures an obsessive young love story. The ad leaked ahead of the official Chanel upload in the below video that is circulating the Internet.
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Chalamet told GQ in conversation with Scorsese that the ad is “not evocative of other commercials […] in a good way,” adding that he didn’t want audiences to “feel like it’s a product.”
Scorsese called helming a commercial an “intense” process. The “Killers of the Flower Moon” director, whose latest feature is three-and-a-half-hours long, explained why making a one-minute ad is even more challenging as a director.
“To think in terms of telling a story in 60 seconds, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been making pictures and how long you’ve been trying to tell stories, this is a real workout,” Scorsese said in a behind-the-scenes look at the advertisement. “It is probably the most difficult thing to do.”
“People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours,” Scorsese said. “Also, there are many people who watch theater for 3.5 hours. There are real actors on stage, you can’t get up and walk around. You give it that respect. Give cinema some respect.”
He added, “I played with each film in a way that I could find a new way to tell the story. Sometimes, a story without a plot. I like plots, but I often find them tiresome to create. You have to find the visual and aural way to tell a story through your heart. The visuals and the sounds should reflect how you feel. And that means editing or not editing, when not to cut.”
Actor Chalamet told GQ that Scorsese asked him during the Chanel ad production if Chalamet had ever watched Fellini’s short film “Toby Dammit” from 1968.
“We were in Queens at four in the morning and he was bounding up the subway stairs,” Chalamet said of Scorsese. “It should’ve occurred to me sooner that I try to find something to work on with him. Yes, it’s a perfume ad, but for me it was an opportunity for an enormous education.”
Chalamet added to Vogue earlier this year about collaborating with legendary filmmaker Scorsese, saying, “I have some friends that aren’t as interested in the high-fashion space, but when I tell them I’m doing a short film with Martin Scorsese in New York, their ears prick up. He lives and breathes moviemaking. The conversations we’ve had over Zoom have been super enthused. For him, it’s like hitting the treadmill.”
Chalamet was introduced to Scorsese through Robbie Robertson, the late the Band guitarist who toured with Bob Dylan and whose music scores Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Chalamet is portraying Dylan in biopic “A Complete Unknown,” for which he will do his own singing. The film will be helmed by James Mangold, with production starting in August.
“I’ve been preparing for forever,” Chalamet added to Vogue.
Chalamet previously led an Apple TV+ Super Bowl campaign, begging the streamer for a job and even asking to work with “Killers of the Flower Moon” director Scorsese. “Scorsese, DiCaprio, De Niro,” Chalamet said in the TV spot, referencing the Western film debuting at 2023 Cannes. “Hey Apple, call me?”
Check out the Chanel ad below.
Extended version of Timothée Chalamet for Bleu de Chanel! pic.twitter.com/ODGH6MweQM
— Timothée Chalamet Updates (@tchalametupdate) October 31, 2023
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