Ben Mendelsohn Loves Playing Christian Dior More Than Any Other Role

The Massive Image

  • Ben Mendelsohn’s position in
    The New Look
    is one in every of his most beloved throughout his 40-year profession.
  • The collection explores the lesser-known elements of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel throughout World Battle II.
  • There may be hope for a second season of
    The New Look
    , which Mendelsohn is worked up about the opportunity of.

Junket interviews might be tedious if you solely have a brief window of time with the expertise, however generally you may as well actually luck out. Within the case of my quick, however vigorous dialog with Ben Mendelsohn to help the upcoming launch of The New Look on Apple TV+, it appeared that I struck gold. Mendelsohn appeared genuinely thrilled about having the chance to debate Christian Dior and the remarkable true story of trend, battle, and on a regular basis heroism that impressed Todd A. Kessler‘s new collection. Mendelson’s pleasure was fairly infectious throughout the interview, and I might encourage anybody who continues to be on the fence about tuning into the collection to look at how he speaks concerning the position—he is not being hyperbolic when he compares the position to your entire breadth of his 40-year profession.

In The New Look, Mendelsohn stars because the legendary designer Christian Dior, who’s pressured to navigate the tedious world of trend amid the perilous Nazi occupation of France. His youthful sister Catherine (Maisie Williams) is in thick with the French Resistance, risking life and limb every day to attempt to make a optimistic change for these impacted by the Third Reich, which sends her on a harrowing journey that few returned from throughout World Battle II.

Whereas the collection borrows its title from Dior’s trend label on the time, The New Look may be very a lot cut up between the Dior siblings and Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche) a equally iconic designer who aided and abetted the Nazis throughout the battle. In an episode, early within the collection, Christian feedback on how he as soon as thought his work had that means, however—within the midst of the horrors of the battle—he finds that to now not be the case. When requested what he believes this collection “means,” Mendelsohn supplied a succinct and apt summation of the collection by saying:

Which you can be an individual with convictions and concepts and a sure brokenness, and you’ll meet completely different realities, and that your certainties can change.
However you may meet actuality, as uncomfortable as it’s, time and time once more, and be horrified in a single model or one other each time and nonetheless find yourself in a greater state of affairs than you ever may have believed potential. In that manner, the way in which you framed it initially, yeah, it is that you may assume you already know what’s what and go alongside life, hit actuality, regulate and recover from the road, and contribute one thing wonderful beneath extremely crappy circumstances.”

The New Look

Explores the rise of designer Christian Dior, as he dethrones Coco Chanel and helps return spirit and life to the world together with his iconic imprint of magnificence and affect.

Launch Date
February 14, 2024

Todd A. Kessler

Predominant Style


‘The New Look’ Is a Love Letter to Who Christian Dior Was

Because the interview progressed, I revealed to Mendelsohn that I beloved the collection as a result of my background is in historical past—which is all true. He lit up at that with a fast reply, “Love a little bit of historical past!” The New Look requires audiences to have a agency grasp on the occasions of World Battle II, particularly in relation to Chanel’s tawdry relationship with the Nazi party, and a few of the extra intimate particulars of Dior’s rather private existence. However on the identical time, Kessler does not deal with both of those elements of the characters as surprising revelations, however slightly innate information to be accepted with out scrutiny within the script. He does not overexplain or deal with the viewers who does not learn about these folks or their historical past as equals to even probably the most astute historian.

With the collection digging into these oft-overlooked elements of this era of historical past, I requested Mendelsohn if he realized something throughout the manufacturing that has caught with him. “Nicely, I realized all about Christian and Coco, specifically, and the bigger trend world and what was occurring there, which I had no thought, nor any appreciation, nor would have thought I cared to, proper? And would not have given a rat’s, proper? However the longer I performed him, the extra I beloved him. He is the position, the character, the individual, no matter you wish to say, that I like greater than another over 40 years of doing this. I like him greater than anybody else. Now, I am unable to fulfill him. I am unable to provide you with what he correctly is, however I can ship a love letter to him.” He went on to say:

“However the factor is, Todd Kessler has at all times stated, each time I would ask him a fancy-pants query on
, he’d say, “No, no, no. We’re simply making an attempt to entertain.” And that is his foundation, so we’re not gonna make a documentary about trend, or the wars, this or that and the opposite. He is making a present that you may get pleasure from, after which you may go, “Oh!” You already know? As a result of what is the level in any other case? I imply, we’re not gonna step up and make a present about the way to do a garment, attention-grabbing as if that info is.
We take you away out of your world, provide you with one thing that is gonna be absorbing and that you’re going to dig, and it simply
to be stuffed with all this protein and minerals and all this different stuff in order for you it.

You do not have to take it. It is all there, however you could possibly simply sit down and have a superb time and simply be taken fully together with it.”

Will ‘The New Look’ Get a Second Season?

In the course of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike final summer season, there have been experiences that The New Look was already in production for a second season, although there have been no additional updates about the way forward for the collection. Season 1 may be very a lot contained in its exploration of Chanel and the Diors, however there’s room to increase the collection past the tip of World Battle II, as Dior’s model continued to develop up till his dying in 1957 and on into as we speak. With Mendelsohn’s enthusiasm for the position and the person, I could not assist however categorical that I hoped he would be capable of proceed exploring Dior’s life, and he appeared simply as excited by the prospect:

“Look, I am very hopeful. I stated sure to this over one factor that [Todd] Adam [Kessler] advised me like 5 years in the past, and I stated, “When will we begin?” And waited for 5 – 6 years for us to truly get the possibility. Luckily, we landed with Apple TV+, who gave us Paris, who gave us probably the most great instruments to work with, and could not be happier to be wherever.
If all of it works, all of it works, and I might be delighted to deliver it again as a result of he is one of the best, man. He is one of the best, and he is simply such a hero, however he isn’t heroic.
You already know, in his methods. However the outcome, he is very inspiring. He is a really deeply inspiring individual, partly as a result of he is so form of damaged in a variety of methods, so I’m in a position to do sure issues and whatnot that I actually discover it a really massive life-affirming story in that manner. Nevertheless it’s a experience.”

We wrapped up the dialog with a fast query about whether or not Mendelsohn would possibly reprise his position as Orson Krennic within the upcoming ultimate season of Andor, however the seasoned and extremely media-trained actor played coy with me. No matter whether or not we’ll ever see him a galaxy far, distant, readers ought to put together themselves for his distinctive efficiency in The New Look, which premieres on Apple TV+ on Valentine’s Day.

Catch the primary three episodes of The New Look on Apple TV+ on February 14, and keep tuned for extra interviews with the solid and creatives. Take a look at a clip from the premiere under:

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