Adrien Brody is tucked away in a quiet corner of LAX on the phone, wearing, he describes, an outfit that looks rather gaudy: a “garish yellow” Wu-Tang Clan hoodie, with a trucker cap, black sweatpants, blue sneakers and a black backpack, inside which is tucked a camouflage vest lined with yellow.
“It’s my influences that are pretty obvious,” he says. “My hip-hop roots are as strong as ever.”
Brody is back in the heart of dueling plans, from LA where he filmed Adam McKay’s upcoming LA Lakers HBO series, in which he will play Pat Riley, and to Spain, where he is filming. again a Wes Film of Anderson.
“I’m grateful for this,” he says of returning to a full life after the pandemic has stopped. “We were pretty lucky because of it. But yeah, I’m really very present and aware of how lucky we are to do most of the things. To breathe.”
Brody is a frequent collaborator with Anderson, and he stars in the director’s latest film, the highly anticipated “The French Dispatch”. Both are men known for a strong sense of style, although Brody seems more timid on the subject of the style icon. Yet since winning the Oscar for Best Actor in “The Pianist” in 2003 – which made him, then 29, the youngest person to do so – he has been an elegant and elegant presence. in the fashion world. He appeared in Ermenegildo Zegna’s campaigns in early August as his career was in full swing, and today his latest appearances, at Cannes and at the Met Ball, have seen him opt for the classic Dior stitching. Far from the yellow Wu-Tang Clan hoodies, but the man has some reach.
Below, WWD chats with Brody, who can be seen in both “The French Dispatch” and the new season of “Succession”, about the whole style.
WWD: Growing up in the New York area, you must have been very fashion and style sensitive.
Adrien Brody: Queens have definitely influenced my fashion sense. New York City and my mom working at Village Voice and growing up in an artistic environment… and I think I’m skinny… I shouldn’t say skinny, that’s not fair, but I feel like when I was very young, most of my clothes were second-hand. So it was about finding parts that I found really interesting and making them work. What designer I liked and what cut, it came much later in life. Even for the premiere of my first movie, I’ve told this story before, but I didn’t have a suit that suited me, and it was at Lincoln Center. I hiked my GoPed with one of my oldest friends on the West Side Highway from the village to Lincoln Center until my first one. And I went to buy a costume for about $ 26 and it fit like a glove, and it was amazing. It was a beautiful tanned suit, and I was delighted with it. It was great.
WWD: So it’s kind of the start of your career. Then you win the 2003 Oscar and –
Adrien Brody: It was 15 years after that!
WWD: Right! Years later, in 2003, you won the Oscar for “The Pianist”. During this time, you were in Ermenegildo Zegna’s countryside and all this attention is intensifying. Was it surprising to get all this post-Oscar fashion attention?
Adrien Brody: I don’t know if I felt like I got a lot of fashion attention. The Zegna campaign started long before that: they had a trio of actors they liked, and that was during my nomination or before the nomination, but that was that year. And then later, as the film started to pick up speed, it was still through the nominations, they hired me to be the face of the brand and then clearly capitalize on the film’s attention, this which was wonderful for me too. It was very elegant. The clothes were really smart, but the countryside was very smart and they had these pictures of me the size of a building with my name on it.
It was at some point in my career that people started to recognize me, but I think it probably helped me as well as them in a lot of ways as there were images from here to China. to São Paulo, at airports and Fifth Avenue buildings. My mom has this most amazing photo of Jennifer Lopez in a Louis Vuitton ad with a handbag smashing her up all over an entire side of a building on Fifth Avenue, and then me across the entire side of a building, and it’s like King Kong and Godzilla’s waist proportions fight, these fashion titans. There is so much humor, just the prospect of watching it. Looks like she really hits me with that handbag. It’s fun, it’s really cute.
WWD: What was your relationship with fashion at that time?
Adrien Brody: I think I enjoyed it, but for years I worked, and… I think you have a responsibility to dress for press work and premieres, etc. I had a good relationship with Gucci when Tom Ford was there. I just saw Tom at the Met Ball, and I was telling him how much I still had. I just wrapped one [the shirts] with me – I still have and wear my Gucci shirts and pieces from that era when he was around and drawing. So it was all going on, it’s just that no one really knew or paid attention to it. I think the visibility of that one [Zegna] the campaign had really solidified people’s association with me, branding and fashion. But I had been to events for Mr. Armani and I’m grateful for it, I’m really grateful for it. I love the creativity that reigns there and I appreciate having access to certain pieces that were definitely inaccessible before. I know what’s involved and what’s in it, and I’m very grateful for it.
WWD: As an artist, how do you see fashion as a form of creative expression?
Adrien Brody: I think it’s pretty obvious how our personalities are reflected in what we wear, and… there will be changes in the direction of fashion. When I was young, hip-hop fashion was loose pants that were associated with prison culture in the beginning, but it’s over, isn’t it? And now there are new things that are fashion trends, but you definitely see all kinds of relationships with a person… what kind of music they are probably listening to etc. by what they are wearing. Like, I’m wearing a garish yellow Wu-Tang hoodie right now. And a trucker cap. It’s pretty obvious what my influences are. I am not very discreet at the moment. I have a camo polo vest with yellow lining in my bag. I have a black backpack and black sweatpants and a pair of blue sneakers. I mean, it’s really funny. My hip-hop roots are as strong as ever.
WWD: You’ve worked with Wes so many times now, has working with him changed your outlook on fashion?
Adrien Brody: Not my personal point of view. Wes has such great attention to detail beyond fashion, but obviously the look of the characters is so unique in her work – but it’s also in partnership with Milena Canonero, who is an amazing and amazing costume designer, a award-winning designer. And I worked with her before I met Wes, back when I did “The Necklace Affair” and played Count, and she’s just wonderful. The opulence of this time, it also created it. So I think he’s immensely creative, but Wes, his aesthetic is very different from mine. He likes very short and tight cuffs on the pants etc. And I much prefer a break, if you want to ask me personally what I’m wearing comfortable, but I’m happy to wear them as a character. They are very playful. I don’t think it’s just his personal sense of style. It’s really designed and well thought out and how they all play together and tell the story, and it’s pretty fun.
WWD: How has your approach to red carpet dressing changed over the course of your career?
Adrien Brody: I don’t think much about it. And I’m not saying that in a dismissive way. I mean, I try to be true to myself constantly in my life decisions. So, talk about it like “has it changed?” I’m different, yeah. Fifteen years ago on a red carpet, what I thought was cool is different than what I think is cool now. It depends on what inspires me at the moment, what I gravitate towards and the mood, what I have at my disposal.
Sometimes I’ll keep it simple and grab a suit or tuxedo that I have in the closet. Sometimes I am in contact with a designer that we have been discussing to do something together and this is an opportunity. And then that year’s influences on them will be something that becomes something that works for me, and it could be a lot different than what I’ve worn, but I’m trying, you know? I’m just trying to gravitate towards fun and authentic stuff.
WWD: Are fashion magazine cover photos something you always love to do?
Adrien Brody: Yeah, I actually do. They are funny. I’ve done a couple of shoots recently that were so fun and cool, and the designs… the selections they picked were just amazing. And we got to be really playful, and sometimes they’re really far from what I’m personally attracted to, but I’m willing to give it a go and treat it like a character and an exploration. I think I’m trying to find a balance inside of that, but sometimes… you have to have a big picture of what magazine is and art direction and so on. I’m trying to support that, but I’ve had a few really, really fun sessions recently, and I felt like a great character, like a cohesive thing.
WWD: What is your best memory of working in the fashion world?
Adrien Brody: This is an excellent question. My best memory. This has been, I would say half of my life, that I have… I can’t give you one thing in particular because I feel like I don’t have it, but I also have the feeling like it wouldn’t really be fair to represent what it was. I really appreciate everything I have been exposed to. Due to my alignment somehow with this world – luckily I still fit a sample size and it’s relatively easy to get dressed. But I’ve traveled all over the world and met so many interesting people and gained such an intimate understanding of the process of putting on a show, and who led to it, and being there with the designers. , and to be treated very well by them. All this does not go unnoticed. And it’s a cumulative thing that I enjoy in my life. That is to say, it’s directly related to my work, but it’s not necessarily what comes from being an actor, or even being a successful actor for that matter. But I’m grateful to have been kissed and it’s been really fun.
You know growing up, like I said, I really didn’t have access to a lot of that. I’ve made fun of my clothes a few times, in college, and I think it gives you a real sense of what works, what works for you, and what works for your peers. I remember being made fun of because my pants were too short and they told me, “The flood is over”. Now the kids go to school when there is a flood and it’s like you can get away with high water. Or, that’s what’s probably all the rage.