ON THE VERGE

Karl Glusman Gets Dirty

The breakout actor on his graphic new 3-D sex drama “Love.”


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.”

The Stars of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival

Natalie Portman, director-writer-actress (“A Tale of Love and Darkness”) On her feature debut as writer-director and star: “You’ve got to take credit for all of it. You can’t do it without your cast and crew, but it’s your vision. There’s no, ‘Oh it’s the director’s fault.’ You are the one to blame. But it’s also wonderful, because you get to shape your vision.”

Elizabeth Olsen, actress (“I Saw the Light”) On playing Hank Williams’s wife, Audrey Mae: “Nobody has very nice things to say about her. She was untalented and wanted to be a star, so there were a lot of reasons to have an issue with her personality. But at the same time, she was dealing with an alcoholic husband who was never home, so you end up having compassion and empathy for her. I just tried to be her lawyer—to, you know, defend her.”

Donald Glover, actor (“The Martian”) “I really like science. Like anyone else who’s a millennial, I like Neil DeGrasse Tyson. And Bill Nye’s really cool, but I didn’t know I’d have to know a lot of science and I definitely didn’t know I’d have to know a lot of math. I am not good at math. I hope it doesn’t show.”

Caitlin Cronenberg

Sarah Gadon, actress On introducing Natalie Portman at the annual TIFF kickoff soiree: “She is such a huge talent, but she’s also kind of accessible at a stoner-chic level.”

Zoe Kazan, actress (“Our Brand is Crisis”) “I play a political consultant, who’s brought in by Jane Bodine, Sandra Bullock’s character, as her secret weapon. I basically dig up dirt. She’s a very mysterious character, she’s very unknowable, and she’s also the only Spanish speaker on the team. I grew up speaking Spanish, so I got to make use of that.”

Jeff Daniels, actor (“The Martian”) “I wouldn’t say I could fly a shuttle, but I know what one looks like.”

Scoot McNairy, actor (“Our Brand Is Crisis”) “I cold-called director David Gordon Green a year and a half ago and said, ‘I’m a big fan and I really want to work with you.’ Sure enough he calls me about a year later. I was really quick to jump at working with him. He’s really, really funny and really, really odd. And he’s all about having a good time.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor, actor (“The Martian”) “I spoke to people from the European space agency to talk about not only the technical aspects but also the emotional and intellectual ways they would approach problem-solving … I was fascinated by how all of the different groups communicate and the emotional intelligence these guys have.”

Dean Norris, actor (“Remember”) “It was really, truly an honor to get to work with Christopher Plummer.”

Sebastian Stan, actor (“The Martian).

Naomi Watts, actress (“Demolition).

The cast of “Mustang.”

Barkhad Abdi, actor (“Eye in the Sky”) “In ‘Captain Phillips,’ I had a bigger part, so I showed more. This one, not as much, but it feels good enough.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Carmen Ejogo, actress (“Born to be Blue”) On playing the jazz musician Chet Baker’s romantic partner: “My first introduction to Chet Baker was this photograph taken by William Claxton in the 50s that I fell in love. It was a portrait of Chet with Halema, this part-Indian beauty who was sort of leaned up on his lap. I was just mesmerized by this combination of people.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Connor Jessup, director (“Boy”)

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Francesca Eastwood, actress (“Heroes Reborn”)

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Geoffrey Rush, actor (“The Daughter”) “I’ve now entered my 60s and it has hit me that there’s a whole other bunch of characters I can play. I’m working with people who are five decades younger than me. I would never in a million years have thought I should be the patriarch in a Henrik Ibsen-derived movie. I can go there now.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Jack Kilmer, actor (“Len and Company”) “I’m obsessed with home recording. I have many, many songs on which I’m playing all the instruments—drums, guitar and bass—and I run it into an 8-track. It’s a high output of music. It’s quantity over quality, probably.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Keir Gilchrist, actor (“Len and Company”) “My interest in film and music are about equal. I have a grindcore band that I do vocals for called Whelm. But I’m not interested in mainstream music or big record labels at all. There’s no artist on the radio that I care about, period.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Mackenzie Davis, actress (“The Martian”)

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Michael Pena, actor (“The Martian)

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Michael Shannon, actor (“Freeheld”) On playing the real-life cop Dane Wells, who rallies fellow officers to support his gay colleague’s fight for equal rights: “I went and met Dane, and he’s a very thoughtful, quiet person—a very good person. I thought it would be a challenge, honestly. I thought it would take people by surprise. I’m always hearing a bunch of crap about how I play bad guys.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Odessa Young, actress (“The Daughter”) “My father was born in Toronto so now I’m bringing him back. It’s a nice homecoming for him. He’s been out roaming the city, reliving his childhood.”

Paul Schneider, actor (“The Daughter”) On co-star Geoffrey Rush: “He is like the father I never had and the one I wasn’t sure I wanted—until I met him. I, like anyone else, wandered into it in awe and came away more in awe in the sense that he was such a good buddy . . .”

Rhys Ifans, actor (“Len and Company”) “When you’re young, you have a very clear idea of what selling out is; and then as you get older, there’s a period where you think you might have sold out according to your youthful principles. Then you sort of settle into that, and you think, I didn’t sell out, I just evolved. And then you evolve further, and you get to my age and you go, You know what, I just fucking sold out. You regress to a second, hardened point like you were when you were sixteen. I’m kind of back there now.”

John Goodman, actor (“Trumbo”) On playing the Hollywood producer Frank King: “I’ve already sucked at playing major figures, so I wasn’t worried about it. If I ever have to do it again, I’m going to take a lot of the pressure off of myself.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Paul Dano, actor (“Youth”) “We were on location in the Alps, all alone, and I was sort of the young buck of the group. Right away Michael Caine and his wife Shakira started taking me out for dinner. They made me feel right at home. That was pretty cool—to get off work and go hang with Michael and his wife.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Rosie Perez, actress (“Dancing With the Devil”) On playing a nurse: “I would like to say that I’m a very empathetic person, and I brought that to the role.”

Photographer: Caitlin Cronenberg

Madalina Diana Ghenea, actress (“Youth”) “I only started acting four years ago. I’m from Romania, a country where something like this seems impossible. Actually, it all started in Haiti for me. I worked with Artists for Peace and Justice and they started a film institute there. When I met all these talented kids making movies, I thought, ‘Okay, maybe I should give it a try.’”

Waris Ahluwalia, actor (“Beeba Boys”) “I am a gangster … Oh, you mean in this movie? I’m a gangster in life, so I didn’t have to act.”br> Special thanks to Jeff Glaab.

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