Modoscopie | Jessica Chastain


© Cass Bird

Next September will be a month to remember at Yves Saint Laurent. Hedi Slimane’s first ready to wear collection under the revamped label Saint Laurent will drain full attention. A few days before (September the 3d), the digital team at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté will launch « Devoted to fans » a limited edition of eyeshadows dedicated to their Facebook fans only. September will also see the release of Manifesto, the new perfume with Jessica Chastain as ambassadress.

This perfume want to break the rules… of perfume advertising, no more « seduce him » or « it’s your lucky day ». Most of the brands use the same codes, the same colours in their ads. This new campain shows a pure white environnement (like an Apple ad) a splash of colour in the background and a woman in purple dress in the front.

The statement here is « be subversive », « daring » (like the previous ads of La Nuit de l’Homme or Opium reshooting). With Manifesto, Yves Saint Laurent wants to go one step further by changing the visual codes and adding an intellectual and artistic dimension with the baseline « Love is art ».

Hôtel Royal Monceau, Paris –

An interesting quick interview with a very smart and beautiful woman. We mostly talked about her childhood, Cinema, Art and the definition of Beauty. It was a exciting moment…

What does the word Manifesto mean?

My manifesto is « believe in my dreams ».

When I was a young girl in California i wanted to be an actress, I always dream big, passionately, even if people around me told me that it would be difficult. During my whole life I always believed that if i lived surrounded by Art and inspiration i would achievemy dreams. I am lucky today because i am living them.

What does it mean to be an Yves Saint Laurent woman in 2012?

When i was a young girl I felt « on the outside ». I remember cutting all my hair very short at twelve years old, i was wearing red cowboy boots, had my own style. Then a lot of children at school tied to make me feel nervous, teasing me a lot because I was different.

Jerry Hall was such a great figure for me to see, at that time, because she was redhead and very powerful.

I hope that this uniqueness is something I have in commun with Yves Saint Laurent woman. And I hope these ads will show to young girls how to be different.

How do you define Beauty?

It’s subjective. The colour of a leaf perhaps? It’s so different and doesn’t look like anything else… Usually when I find something beautiful it’s something most unexpected, visually striking, because, maybe, I hadn’t seen it before.

In fashion, i’ll love audacious silhouettes and colours (she’s wearing a vivid purple dress). Catherine Deneuve in a tuxedo on the red carpet, for exemple, is so unexpected and so strong.

I am connected to power, strength and sensuality, without loosing femininity. In « Belle de Jour », Catherine Deneuve is the image of a woman, feminine, but not weak and that is, for me, is very beautiful too.

About Art, for which artist would you agree to be the Muse and what is the place of Art in your life?

Gustav Klimt, because he loved redheads ! Art is my life, I am very inspired by modern Art. Cindy Sherman, for exemple, is very inspiring. The different faces of women, just like the roles I play, different kinds of women, different kinds of strength, I look at her pictures and it makes me feel that I can go further.

© Laetitia Duarte for Yves Saint Laurent Beauté

Is it different being a Muse than being an actress?

Yes and no…

For exemple, in Tree of life of Terrence Malick, I am the Director’s Muse . As an actress, I am less exposed because I am me as « Ms O’Brian »! Working for Yves Saint Laurent was a bit different, it was the first time that I felt vulnerable because of not having a character that I could be playing, I feel more exposed, more sensitive, there is nothing to hide, it’s me! It’s like « honest ».

Who inspires you?

Isabelle Huppert is for me the greatest actress in the world. She always plays very bold characters, very daring women. She always challenges herself, working with directors from other countries, she’s never lazy. To play with her is one of my dreams.

Would you agree to play for European filmmakers?

Yes definitively !

Michael Hanneke, Lars Von Trier, Olivier Assayas are my favorites! As I feel different, I am really inspired by European Cinema which is so different from ours.

What story did this perfume inspire you?

This perfume is like a piece of Art, like a painting or a Terrence Malick movie. I like its complexity, it’s not something that simply reminds me of one certain memory. It’s something you go back to over and over and you see new things, new emotions.

Jessica Chastain is a « breakout » star, seven films in 2011 and 35 critics awards won. I met the star a few weeks ago, a privilege I shared with Shini Park and James Bort.

Thanks to Yves Saint Laurent Beauté.