Karl Glusman Gets Dirty

In Love, the latest film from the controversial French director Gaspar Noé, the actor Karl Glusman plays Murphy, a Parisian film student whose list of pursuits include an indulgent life of sexual exploration that mirrored his director’s own real-life experiences. “I was completely submerged into Gaspar’s life,” Glusman explains. “I was a composite of him and his friends.” He spent a lot of time prowling Paris with Noé, at sex shops, nightclubs, and other locations frequented by the characters in the film. “Gaspar shaved my head so I would look like him. I even wore his clothes, and he wouldn’t let me wash them so I would smell like him all the time,” says Glusman. “I was his mini-me.”

The sex drama—at the center of which is a torrid love triangle between Murphy, his true love (Aomi Muyuck), and the mother of his child (Klara Kristin)—has engendered a strong public response to its graphic depictions of sex clubs and threesomes with underage girls, in 3-D no less. “Gaspar felt that what really happens in the bedroom is never depicted in an honest way,” Glusman says. “He wanted to challenge the norms of what’s acceptable in cinema.” Still, the actor was a little anxious before the film’s premiere at the Cannes film festival this past May. “Gaspar joked that my career was over right before the screening started.”

Hardly. Right now, Glusman is wrapping the new Tom Ford film, Nocturnal Animals, in which he stars alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, and Kim Basinger as a lawless hooligan from West Texas. Due out next spring, the film was shot on 35mm stock. “It’s expensive to shoot on film,” Glusman says. “But then again, so is everything related to Tom Ford.”