It's a known fact that Gucci's Alessandro Michele and Jared Leto have been enjoying something of a bromance for some time. Jared's frequent red-carpet and front row appearances - decked head to toe in Gucci - have been well-documented, and this relationship came to a thrilling, daringly sexual peak a couple of weeks ago when the Gucci Guilty campaign was released. The dreamy campaign shoot and video was typically Gucci: soft-focus camerawork and a moody Venice hotel room aesthetic and is sure to attract a couple of raised eyebrows, not just because it's the first beauty campaign Alessandro has put his creative stamp on.
Here, in an exclusive interview, Jared discusses working with Alessandro and Glen Luchford on the campaign and why he's the number one Gucci boy.
The campaign is pretty disruptive and something very new/unseen in the industry. How do you think people will react to it?
You never know how people are going to react but it certainly is something I am very proud to be a part of. I have had an incredible amount of respect for the people involved. Alessandro's a true maverick. He is a genius and someone who's taking something and turning it on its head in such a powerful way that he is making us all ask questions of what is possible and I think that is really hard to do. To take an iconic brand like Gucci and to show us something unexpected - I think Alessandro has surprised a lot of people. He's raised the bar and I think that he's someone whose work is so compelling with just a stroke of the brush. He has managed to change our perspective completely and that is not an easy thing to do.
You know I spend some time with Alessandro and he's a gentleman and he's fun, funny and he is incredibly intuitive and talented and what he does in the world of fashion, he's bringing to the world of film. So it is great to partner up with someone like that. Alessandro and Glen have certainly... I should say, I am incredibly proud to work with Alessandro and with Glen as they redefine Gucci and explore new territory. It's exciting.
I think it is disruptive in the way that it explores sensuality and sexuality and it's surreal. It's not your typical kind of fragrance campaign filled with one, you know beauty shot after another. A very controlled studio shot. It's very filmic. It's very cinematic. It's very suggestive in terms of narrative and it touches on the surreal. It plays with some of the iconic film that was created by people like Bertolucci or Rogue and films like 1900 or Last Tango In Paris. Subversive films. Films that challenged the expectations that the audience might have and films that push the boundary in terms of sexuality and identity. So it is pretty compelling and I think they are doing a terrific job of... I'm really glad that I am able to be a part of it.
The character you are playing in the new Gucci Guilty campaign: who is he and can you relate to him in any way?
Well we have come up with a bit of a story here about how much fun it would be if one day you woke up and you were told that you inherited this palace in Venice. This fortress on water and what that would be like, and how you can come to a city like this and rediscover who you are. Redefine who you are and I think that that's a really fun way to think about it. "What if?", "What are the possibilities here?" and I think that these three people are open to possibilities. They are open to ideas and they are not afraid of experimentation. They are not afraid of getting to know different sides of themselves and surprising themselves as well. So I think there is a lot of intrigue here and I am curious to see what people take away from it.
Alessandro Michele has brought a completely new aesthetics to the Gucci world. How was it working with him on this campaign?
Working with Alessandro is wonderful. I am proud to call him a friend and feel very comfortable. I think everyone is very at ease because you know when you have decided to take some risks, just to follow your gut. You are not really adhering to the script per se. You're listening to yourself, to your intuition and I think that everyone is really confident in that and it's really fun. We have all been having a good time and I think that ends up on camera, you know - the experiences that we are having. I think the appreciation that we get to do this and you know, taking advantage of a beautiful location like Venice, It all adds up. It all adds up to what this film is.