One of the most improbable moments of my career has been my contribution to the luxury products industry.

I was at Cannes for I forget which film, when someone asked me to meet with the director of Lancôme to talk about an ad for a men’s perfume. After about 10 minutes into the meeting, I understood that I was not being asked to “direct” the ad, but to be the “model”.

Could you repeat the question please? 

The impact of “AMELIE” was very present and without realising it, I had become a romantic actor. I reminded the director of Lancôme that I was also the director of HATE and ASSASSIN(S), two very non romantic films, but it was also for this reason that he chose me. I found his approach ballsy and opposed to my convictions and so seized the opportunity of keeping ‘em guessing… and to take some time before choosing my next film.

The campaign went around the world and I was in every airport in the world. An “enriching” experience in every sense of the word. If you have a big nose and somebody offers to plaster your face on walls all over the world, try it, it’s great for the ego.

The cherry on the cake was during the national poster campaign where one day I saw graffiti on a poster that said: “EVERY SOCIETY HAS THE ADVERTISING IT DESERVES”, a reference to the poster of ’ASSASSIN(S) that claimed, “EVERY SOCIETY HAS THE CRIMES IT DESERVES”.

Good one.

Thanks to Dominique Segal, Jérome Bartau and Fabrice Boé-Dreyfus who was director of Lancôme at the time for having taken the risk of choosing a personality who didn’t fit in with the criteria of this kind of commerce and for having enabled me to become the owner of a magnificent house that I still call MIRACLE HOME today.

PS: I finally directed the ad. The first day of shooting was in Canada, a certain September 11th, 2001. A few months later I come across these two pictures put together by the chaotic mix of journalism and advertisment.