Jared Leto will play the role of Karl Lagerfeld in a planned biopic about the fashion legend. Leto will also produce the movie, according to WWD.
Lagerfeld had a career spanning five decades. He was best known as the creative director of Chanel, alongside his signature look of sunglasses, high starched collars and white hair pulled back into a ponytail. The German-born designer died in Paris in February 2019 at the age of 85.
Leto, 50, told WWD that when he first met Lagerfeld, he told him, “You know, one day I have to play you in a movie.”
He says Lagerfeld replied, “Only you, darling, only you.”
“I feel like this is a full-circle moment and Karl would be proud of what we are doing,” Leto said.
There’s no title or timeline for the movie yet. Leto would only share that the film will focus on important relationships in Lagerfeld’s life.
“There are a multitude of relationships to explore. Karl had a career that spanned 50-plus years so both personally and professionally he was close to a number of people. I can say we are going to home in on key relationships that convey different parts of his life.”
Karl Lagerfeld and Jacques de Bascher
Lagerfeld reportedly had an 18-year relationship with the French aristocrat, model, and socialite Jacques de Bascher. However, he the relationship was reportedly not sexual. Bascher died of AIDS in 1989 and Lagerfeld kept a vigil at his bedside.
He kept his other personal relationships private. However, he was famously devoted to his cat, Choupette. In 2013, the designer and photographer said he would happily marry his feline friend, were it legal to do so.
Leto is collaborating with the Lagerfeld fashion house on the movie, and a handful of the designer’s closest confidantes will act as executive producers.
“My role is to portray him on screen as honestly as possible,” Leto said of Lagerfeld. “With celebrity, most people don’t get to see under the surface. They see one or two facets of a person as presented through a public lens.”
“Karl was a human being. We all have beauty within us and we all have faults. We have masks and then we have moments when we reveal the mask. I’m always interested in seeing what’s behind the mask.”
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Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as the trans character, Rayon, in the 2013 movie, Dallas Buyers Club.
This is not the first time he’s played a figure from the fashion world on screen. In last year’s House of Gucci, starring Lady Gaga, Leto was almost unrecognizable in the role of Paolo Gucci.