This Will Be Our Year: Karl Glusman

This Will Be Our Year: Karl Glusman

WHETHER THEY FOUND THEIR CREATIVE FOOTING OR WERE GIVEN THEIR FIRST SHOT AT STARDOM, THESE ACTORS, MUSICIANS, AND DANCERS LIT UP 2015 AND WILL ONLY SHINE BRIGHTER FOR YEARS TO COME


WHETHER THEY FOUND THEIR CREATIVE FOOTING OR WERE GIVEN THEIR FIRST SHOT AT STARDOM, THESE ACTORS, MUSICIANS, AND DANCERS LIT UP 2015 AND WILL ONLY SHINE BRIGHTER FOR YEARS TO COME


Photography: Ben Hassett

Styling: Anna Trevelyan

Text: Natasha Stagg

The first thing director Gaspar Noé asked Karl Glusman upon meeting him, during a Skype call, was if the actor was okay with his “erect cock” appearing on the big screen. “I’ve never been someone who’s particularly comfortable with my body,” Glusman, 27, reasons, “but [Noé] is someone I consider to be one of the best contemporary filmmakers—it was almost like a dream come true, that he would even call me.” But he did have his doubts. “I was a little conflicted in the beginning about...baring it all,” he says. “Many of my colleagues and friends thought it would be absolutely detrimental to my career. But that ended up making it more alluring. I suppose I thought, Well, if you’re gonna go out you might as well go out in a blaze of glory. Or…a bang.”

The film, Love (in theaters now), through dialogue mostly improvised by its leads—Glusman and two women, neither of whom had ever acted before—and through many, many sex scenes (“love scenes,” Glusman corrects), tells the slightly autobiographical story of a young director’s biggest mistake: the one who got away. “These are two of the bravest women I’ve ever met,” says Glusman of his costars, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin, who Noé supposedly met in a club. “They jumped in front of this big, honking camera with all these people watching the monitors. It’s just impressive, you know?” Especially, Glusman notes, considering the double standard that will no doubt apply to them. “A male will go out and do something like this and people might say it’s cool, then turn around and call the woman a whore. It’s just a real shame that our culture has a tendency to do that because I think Aomi and Klara are two of the most empowered people I know.”

On top of the fact that Glusman’s first starring role in a film asked him to improvise his lines, costar with amateurs, and have on-screen sex that—unlike what the fantasy genre of pornography requires—actually looks loving, Love was shot in 3-D, making it “possibly a first in cinema, like walking on the moon.” Admittedly, it’s difficult to separate the characters from the actors when watching Love, but this is mostly due to a viewer’s own inherent inhibitions. Love challenges the line between pornography and erotica by showing intercourse minus body doubles. “We wanted the intimacy and the feelings to feel as real as possible for the audience,” Glusman offers. Coming out the other side of an acting experience so unorthodox, he’s understandably protective. “There’s nothing really pornographic in the movie. If you go on the Internet, you’re going to find exactly what you want to find, but I think that when you watch our movie you’re going to feel something much different.”

His career so far hasn’t suffered due to his decision. He’s in Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall. (“Anyone who sees both pictures gets to see both sides of my sexuality,” he laughs). Next up is Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. And when we speak, Glusman’s just left a fitting for Tom Ford’s new film. “I keep pinching myself,” he says. “My biggest fear is that I’m gonna wake up back in New York in my little shoe box and none of it has happened.”

T-SHIRT SALVATORE FERRAGAMO  JEWELRY DAVID YURMAN

Credits: MAKEUP AND GROOMING MARLA BELT (STREETERS LONDON) BILL WESTMORELAND (ART + COMMERCE) HAIR NEIL GRUPP (THE WALL GROUP) TAMARA MCNAUGHTON (MANAGEMENT + ARTISTS) MANICURE NAOMI YASUDA (STREETERS) DIGITAL TECHNICIAN CARLO BARRETO PHOTO ASSISTANTS ROEG COHEN, NICK KRASZNAI, IAN BARLING, AYESHA MALIK STYLIST ASSISTANTS COCO CAMPBELL AND PAULINA OLIVARES HAIR ASSISTANT ERIN HERSCHLEB LOCATION FAST ASHLEYS

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