The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Jean Paul Gaultier at the Palais’ Café des Palmes to check in with fashion’s enfant terrible about his time as a Cannes juror.
The Hollywood Reporter: Your face is on those Diet Coke ads all over Cannes. You have a big presence here.
Jean Paul Gaultier: Yes, they were shot by Stephane Sednaoui. I think now it might be a little “Village People.” I was trying to refer to the clothes I've made for women — the blond ponytail of Madonna, for instance. Far away from the billboards, I look like I had plastic surgery.
THR: How many films are you seeing a day as a judge?
Gaultier: At least two. This is what I've done all my life. I did think when they asked me to be a juror, “Am I able to do this?” But my work as a couturier is all about images. And in fashion, you are always acting. I was fascinated by movies from age 12. But I love all kinds of movies: I am in love with Children of Paradise. I discovered Truffaut when I was young, then Godard. I love the Italian movies of the ’70s — Passolini and his descriptions of sexuality — you can see some of that in my clothes. Sodom. This is all part of my education. I love diverse films — Fassbender; but I also love the first Star Wars. One of my favorite films of all time is The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
THR: Well — that is diverse.
Gaultier: I also love Ken Russell’s films — particularly The Devils and Women in Love, they are so complicated and daring. Monty Python films, and then Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and Baron Munchausen — those visuals! Sometimes I have chosen to see films just by their posters. I did that with My Beautiful Launderette, and fell in love with it. Sometimes my choices are not so good! But I think the festival chose me as a judge because I don’t see film like a filmmaker does; I see it through my eyes and my heart more. I’m here to be the public’s eyes. I am very admiring of everyone on the jury this year; Nanni Moretti is an amazing talent. But I am here to defend my point of view — and I definitely have one.
THR: Beth Ditto was wearing your dress for the opening night gala when she performed, right?
Gaultier: Yes, I made that for her. She has sung and walked in some of my shows; she’s an amazing performer! I have also made clothes for Madonna’s new tour that starts next week in Tel Aviv — but I can’t be there to see her opening night because I will still be here. I was here in Cannes with Madonna when she premiered her film In Bed With Madonna (Truth or Dare in the U.S.). I also came to Cannes when I did costumes for Almodovar and for Peter Greenaway — I have been many times.
THR: What did you see recently this week?
Gaultier: I just saw Rust & Bone — but I can’t tell you what I thought of it. That's against the rules. But you will know on closing night.
Watch THR's interview with Gaultier above.
Read more from THR's Cannes Daily No. 5 here (PDF).