Pret-a-Reporter

Chanel Model Gaspard Ulliel Hates to Shop

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Gaspard Ulliel

He says he's also scared of social media, so don't expect him to tweet this story

He may have played Yves Saint Laurent in the controversial Cannes biopic, appeared on the cover of French Vogue and signed on as the face of Chanel, but Gaspard Ulliel says he's not part of the style set.

"My parents are in fashion, and I'm always collaborating with the fashion world because the line between fashion and film tends to be very thin. But somehow I don't feel I belong to this world," he told Pret-a-Reporter at the Marrakech film festival. His mother is a runway show designer and his father is a stylist. 

"My relationship with fashion is odd. It's like attraction and repulsion," he says. "I never really go shopping — it's something I hate. I don't follow the collections or fashion weeks, and I'm not aware of the new trends or fashionable things." Still, he attends the haute couture and pret-a-porter shows, and plans to be front row again at the next collections in January.

It's partially because the actor doesn't have a television and shies away from social media, preferring to spend time with friends or playing sports.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm an old person. I miss a lot that people seem to know so much about. I'm a bit scared of this Internet thing, this social network thing. I can understand why it is appealing, but for me it's just scary," he says of his decision to stay off Facebook and Twitter. "At some point you feel like you're outside of reality because it's just becoming something so normal. People who don't have Twitter or Facebook, it's like they're considered a sociopath!"

Ulliel sees the benefits for film or personal promotion — his Chanel Bleu commercial, directed by Martin Scorcese, got huge shares on social media around the world. He says that more people recognize him from the ads than his films when he travels abroad. Though that can be frustrating, it was "like a dream" to shoot in New York City with Scorcese.

He's got an agent at CAA and one English-language film under his belt, but no plans to relocate to L.A. to find Hollywood stardom.

"It's the American dream. You can meet the greatest directors on earth there, but it's very different, and it's so big," he says of the sprawling city. "The city is nice, the quality of life is nice, but when you arrive there coming from France, you feel a bit lost, and in a way it's a bit less human, the relationship you have to other people. It's all business driven, and it takes time to realize how it works. I would love to work in Hollywood, but at what price?"

Besides, he says, "I'm 100 percent Parisian."

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