When Jared Leto first met Karl Lagerfeld, the actor said to the designer, “You know, one day I have to play you in a movie.”
Lagerfeld responded appreciatively, saying, “Only you, darling, only you.”
“I think this is a moment that comes full circle and Karl would be proud of what we’re doing,” Leto said, exclusively revealing to WWD that he’s collaborating with fashion house Karl Lagerfeld on a feature film about the late German fashion to turn superstar.
In addition to starring in the lead, Leto is set to produce the film alongside his partner Emma Ludbrook through their production company, Paradox.
“Karl was an artist. Period,” Leto said. “He was a fashion designer, he was a photographer, he was an artist. There was no definition for him. He was a creative powerhouse.”
It’s still not clear when cameras will begin, and the exact storyline remains under wraps, although it will explore the “key relationships in Karl Lagerfeld’s life, told through an unpredictable lens, much like the man himself.” in conversation with filmmakers,” says a press release from the Karl Lagerfeld company.
When asked if the film would be a love story, Leto replied, “There’s a multitude of relationships to explore. Karl can look back on a career spanning more than 50 years, so he was close to many people both personally and professionally. I can say that we will focus on key relationships that convey different parts of his life.”
Leto will be working with three of Lagerfeld’s closest associates who will work with him as executive producers on the upcoming film. They are Pier Paolo Righi, Chief Executive Officer of the House of Karl Lagerfeld since 2011; Caroline Lebar, Senior Vice President, Image and Communications at Karl Lagerfeld, who served as the tireless designer’s press advisor for 35 years, and Sébastien Jondeau, who served as the designer’s personal assistant and bodyguard for two decades.
Righi said the company has been approached by several Hollywood producers over the years, all anxious to star in a film about Lagerfeld’s life and career.
“It was only since we met Jared and Emma that we felt truly confident that the story would be told in the artistic way that Karl would have liked to see,” Righi said in the press release. “Throughout our conversations, we have forged an equally trusting and inspiring creative relationship that will allow us to work together very smoothly on this beautiful project.”
Of course, Leto has been a keen observer and participant of the fashion scene for many years. He frequently crossed Lagerfeld’s paths in St Tropez, where the designer spent several weeks each summer, and as a guest at a number of Chanel catwalk shows, including the Fall 2015 couture show.
In recent years, Leto has been closely associated with Italian fashion house Gucci, even attending the Met Ball last May as creative director Alessandro Michele’s plus-one – dressed like his twin.
“I’ve been working with Gucci and Alessandro for about seven years now and will continue to do so. It’s an incredible partnership and wonderful friendship with Alessandro and the entire Gucci team,” he said in an exclusive email interview. “Alessandro actually worked with Karl at Fendi for about five years and always had the kindest things to say about him.
“My job is to portray him as honestly as possible on screen,” Leto continued of Lagerfeld. “When it comes to celebrity, most people don’t see beneath the surface. They see one or two facets of a person as presented through a public lens. Charles was human. We all have beauty within us and we all have flaws. We have masks and then we have moments where we reveal the mask. I’m always interested in what’s behind the mask.”
Leto has hinted that he’s already researching what is sure to be an epic role for the veteran actor, whose breakthrough role is likely to be 1997’s biopic Prefontaine. He won an Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyers Club in 2013 and recently appeared in House of Gucci, playing Paolo Gucci. He is also a member of the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars.
“It’s an exciting part of the process. You start at the beginning and try to learn everything you can,” Leto said. “I’m grateful to be doing this with an outstanding group of people who were incredibly close to Karl for many years of his life.”
Certainly, Righi, Lebar and Jondeau were among the closest witnesses to Lagerfeld’s career designing for Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous fashion house, while also juggling a number of surprising side projects.
Jondeau, now a style consultant at Karl Lagerfeld, wrote a book last year chronicling the designer’s four-year battle with cancer, which finally claimed him in February 2019. The book also praises Lagerfeld’s work ethic, generosity, intelligence, and kindness.
More than just a designer, Lagerfeld was a fashion mastermind, one of modernity’s most prolific, admired, and versatile fashion figures, credited with setting the modern template for the revitalization and revitalization of heritage brands.
A polyglot with a photographic memory and extensive knowledge of history, philosophy, art, and popular culture, Lagerfeld ran his own publishing house and bookshop.
“I hate free time,” the designer told WWD in 2008, “other than reading. I’m really a worker if sketching counts as work.”
News of the film project comes less than a week after the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York announced that its Spring 2023 exhibition will be dedicated to the Costume Institute Lagerfeld, focusing on his “stylistic vocabulary as expressed through lines.” concentrated.
https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/karl-lagerfeld-movie-jared-leto-biopic-1235376906/ Jared Leto is directing a film about Karl Lagerfeld – WWD