For Chanel’s new men’s fragrance, Bleu, the iconic brand enlisted the help of two major players: French actor (and heartthrob) Gaspard Ulliel and legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese. The pair collaborated on a sultry 60-second advertisement that perfectly embodies the mood of the scent and is punctuated by the idea of “being unexpected”.
Lisa Tant caught up with the blush-worthy star in France to get the scoop on the new fragrance, working with Scorsese, and directorial aspirations of his own. (Note: Reading Ulliel’s answers with a French accent will seriously increase the sexy-factor.)
Lisa Tant: Do you think that fragrance can change how an actor approaches a character?
Gaspard Ulliel: I spoke with some actors – mainly actresses – who claim to use perfume for their characters. I don’t think it would be useful to me because in real life when you wear perfume, at some point you get used to it and don’t smell it on yourself anymore. When you use this for a character, except if you start wearing it for a long time before, I think it would just disturb me in my acting because I would smell it all the time and it wouldn’t feel natural.
LT: What was it like to be directed by Martin Scorsese on this campaign?
GU:It was amazing. I remember the day when Chanel told me they were thinking about having Martin Scorsese direct the commercial. I was blissful — it was like a dream for me. It’s such an opportunity for me to work with one of the big masters of contemporary cinema. He’s such a sweet man. He’s so intelligent and witty and generous and full of humour. He’s really funny.
LT: Do you have a favourite film of his?
GU:I don’t know if I can pick one but one that is really important for me is Taxi Driver because I think, just simply because, it’s the first one I saw. I was just young at that time and I have really strong memories from this film.
LT: What was the most interesting part of the process for you?
GU:The shooting with Martin. Just watching him. I never felt like I was actually shooting a campaign or commercial. I felt like I was on a real feature film because Martin always gives a great importance to storytelling. Even in this commercial. There’s a real aim to tell a story and not just show images.
LT: Do you aspire to be a director?
GU:That’s true. I started working in this industry quite young. I was like 11-years-old and I started completely by chance. I have a real passion for cinema, in its entirety, more than just acting. So the first idea was to write and direct my own films. Today I don’t really know. I’m really happy as an actor and it’s really interesting, even for someone who hopes to direct later on, it’s really interesting to look at how all those characters work and to be on set. [Directing is] like a dream for me.
Watch the making of the Scorsese-directed commercial below…