Some parts of the interview are new.
What kind of person is the man wearing Dior Homme?
He smells incredibly good! (laughs)
The campaign movie of Dior Homme begins with a scene at the beach. What of that do you remember from that?
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)
With you as the new face [of the fragrance], Dior Homme is reaching out to a completely new generation of young men. How would you describe them?
I just turned 27 and it wasn’t until now that I’ve come to realize that people don’t see me as a child anymore. It feels weird to finally see yourself as a grown up and to be treated like one by others. To describe my generation is difficult because for us the last ten years have been some kind of transition phase; and some of us still try to figure out what to do with all of that. At least that’s the case with me. (laughs)
Very often, certain smells are connected to memories. Do you have those?
I remember my dad, who has always worn Brut de Fabergé. He still has that fragrance and it reminds me of my early schooldays. As weird as it sounds but I still know exactly how he smells; it’s like it somehow burnt itself into my memory. Later, when I was about 12 years old, I started talking to girls and thought it would be cool to wear a perfume while doing that. I also remember vacation in Portugal. At the time I thought wearing a cool perfume would make me seem older. So that smell and hair wax had been my constant companions during that summer. (laughs)
Are there cities or countries that you connect with certain smells?
My dad’s from Yorkshire where there are a lot of moors and heather - that smell is simply amazing. We always spent Christmas there and even though I haven’t been there for years the smell never left me.
Do you have a favorite smell?
I like the smell of people. (laughs) I know that sounds a bit weird and probably has something to do with pheromones but you can often judge the character of a person by their scent. We surround ourselves with people who smell good for us, a process that most likely takes place completely subconsciously.
What does luxury mean to you?
Effortlessness. In my opinion real luxury is to not have to worry about anything. And when we shot the campaign [film] for Dior Homme it felt exactly like that.
What’s a perfect day for you?
I can’t really say, I just like to do stuff. At the moment I try to work on a story together with a friend. I like to communicate and share ideas with others and to work on a project. And every once in a while I love it to fight with people. (laughs)
Do you still play the guitar and piano?
I still play guitar and have just recently started to practice a bit more often again. But I haven’t had a gig in years. (laughs)
Do you currently have a favorite band or a favorite song?
To be quite honest, that’s pretty weird stuff - electronic music, for example, something I’ve never listened to before. A couple of friends of mine play in this awesome band, Death Grips, and they somehow really captivated me.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
I actually just have a few basics that I wear every day. To me, what matters the most is whether something fits well or not. I don’t really care about anything else, just how it fits. So apart from that I usually wear the same piece of clothing until it literally falls off my body.
Who is your fashion icon?
I’ve always admired people who dressed practically. I somehow think that’s especially manly. I like clothes that last for a long time; until all that is left is the material they were made of. I’m thinking about Jack Nicholson’s clothes in “The Shining” or “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”; actually pretty much everything he’s worn in these films. When I was younger I constantly tried to dress exactly like that.
You never seem to take a break. But if you do what is your favorite place to relax?
Somewhere in England in the country.
Your favorite piece of literature?
Everything by Martin Amis.
Which word do you like hearing best?
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?
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.
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