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Tailored clothing can transform a man: Just ask Garrett Hedlund, who donned a custom-made suit to front Yves Saint Laurent’s La Nuit de L’Homme fragrance.
“It’s like a whole other role, something I haven’t explored [before]. I don’t even think I wore a suit in any film I’ve done before,” the “Troy” and “Tron: Legacy” actor says. “From the moment I put it on, I was just like: Here is the beginning of something wonderful and new.”
This story first appeared in the March 11, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, which is part of L’Oréal, approached him last fall about the project.
“What I think intrigued me was when they said the concept of the story,” explains the 29-year-old, sitting in a spacious suite at the hotel Le Meurice in Paris during fashion week. “It seemed much more like a role than standing there in a suit. With the ad, in terms of how they wanted to present it, was to be very kind of ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ This sort of dark, mysterious man arrives at this event and it’s very ambiguous; you don’t know what his intentions are. And I thought it was very interesting.”
Hedlund, who attended the Saint Laurent fashion show with Kirsten Dunst at his side earlier this week, admitted he’s “not the biggest fashionista,” describing himself as “more a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy. [But] I just knew that anytime I’d mention YSL to anybody — especially females — they consider it the most respected, the most iconic brand — almost to a royal extent,” he said.
The actor is intrigued by fragrance’s ability to evoke memories. Among his were his father and grandfather wearing Old Spice.
Hedlund shot the YSL campaign in Paris last December — with Paul Gore for the video and Tom Munro for the print ad — and it was his first time in the French capital.
“It was great. We shot on the inside and also on the rooftop of the Natural History Museum,” he recalls. “If you were to experience Paris for the first time, I think I really lucked out.”
Hedlund walked around the city some and went to the Eiffel Tower, which he got to show his father through Skype. But mostly the time was spent on location.
“It was quick, and we shot at night — we were shooting from 8 p.m. to like 8 in the morning, so it wasn’t easy really to see so much,” he says.
The Hedlund ad for the scent, which first hit the market in early 2009 and was fronted by actor Vincent Cassel, will come out in Spain, Italy and Germany in March; France and the U.K. in May; the U.S. in June, and elsewhere in Europe in the second half of this year.
Hedlund has several films in the can, including the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which will be released this year. “I’m very proud of that,” says Hedlund.
He also finished “Lullaby” with Amy Adams, Terrence Howard and Jessica Brown Findlay. He plays a son who returns home to find his father would be taken off of life support the next day. “It was a wonderful cast, a wonderful story, a wonderful experience,” says Hedlund.
A third “Tron” film is also a possibility.
Hedlund says there are plenty of types of roles he’d like to try.
“My dad always wants me to be in a western, so he can be involved,” he says. “There are so many. If you think of the genres — you know, when a western comes out, four other westerns come out. A war film comes out, and four other war films come out. You know, I haven’t been involved in any of those.
“There is plenty I would love to do — so we’ll see. I’m young, though,” adds Hedlund.