An Interview with Tom Ford: 2

BATD ON Feb 11, 2010 AT 5:39 pm

Tom Ford on the set of A Single Man

Tom Ford on the set of A Single Man

You poured a lot of yourself into the film’s main character, George. Was it difficult to reveal part of yourself on screen?
Easier than in really life! In truth I only ever really reveal myself to my five closet friends… There might be four or six; that’s all most people have in their life. It’s all you need. If you have one or two people in your life that you truly connect with in a very soulful way you are lucky. But, yes, there’s a lot of me in this version of George, who has a spiritual crisis at mid life. That comes to many people. I achieved a lot in the material world at a very early age: money, professional success, a wonderful life partner of 23 years, two great dogs, and lots of friends, but I felt that I had lost my way somewhat. Our society says that our problems can be solved with material things and yet that’s not true. I realised that I had neglected the spiritual side of my life.

Julianne Moore in A Single Man

Julianne Moore in A Single Man

The clothing in the film says a great deal about the characters, right?
Well, first I worked with a great costume designer in Arianne Phillips, and she really did do the costumes. We discussed how the characters’ personalities would be manifest in the clothing. There were very particular choices. [Julianne Moore’s character] Charley is a great example. Her dress is tending towards 1964 and pop art. It is a bit advanced for 1962, when the film is set, and it would only have existed on a few people, and yet her character thrives on her ability to stay ahead of the curve: she believes people are going to love her if they think she has the coolest house, the coolest music, is up to date on art and has the coolest clothes. She’s still clinging to this and will have to let go of it if she is to move on. But this is part of her personality. So I wanted her to wear something that was very different from what you would have seen in a magazine in 1962.

A Single Man

A Single Man

You must have been filming A Single Man when the state of California voted to withdraw the right of same-sex marriage…
We were shooting that very day; the scene with George on the phone hearing that Jim had died. It was the day Obama was elected, and the day they revoked gay marriage. I felt disappointed with my country although I feel less so now that Obama is President rather than Bush. When he was President I was embarrassed to be an American. I think there will be a time when we can look back and say, ‘Can you believe there was a time when you could only get married if you were a man and a woman?’ People will say, ‘No!’ Like women voting; it was hard to believe there was that time. It was less than 100 years ago in the States.

As we enter a new decade, what have you made of the Noughties, fashion-wise?
It’s so hard to comment on a decade when you’re quite close to it. It’s 10, 20 years down the line that the style becomes really known. We live in the middle of it. It’s like we don’t really know what we look like in real life. We might look back at ourselves and think we were quite handsome while at the time we did not. Or you might look at an old photo and realise you were quite fat. I do think the last decade was quite glitzy though!

Click here to an Interview with Colin Firth

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