You can also read Jamie's interview with New York Times from 2006 below
BEAUTY is luck, and beauty makes luck, and anyone who thinks otherwise ought to meet Jamie Dornan. The 24-year-old model and actor and sometime musician was in town last week to take part in some low-key promotion of some high-profile projects, not the least of them Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette,” in which he plays the 18th-century French queen’s enigmatic Swedish lover, Count Axel Fersen.
It is a modest role, barely a cameo for Mr. Dornan (and, not incidentally, for his torso). But, like many of the things he has done, it got him noticed, by moviegoers and movie agents and even by critics, who singled out him and his etched abdominals for praise.
Getting noticed is something at which Mr. Dornan is apparently a natural. Knees to chest, pretzel-twisted in an overstuffed chair at the SoHo Grand Hotel, Mr. Dornan was wearing low-slung Calvin Klein jeans, a generic-looking T-shirt and a goofy hat pulled down over a botched cheap haircut from a barber in Los Angeles. He had just returned from meetings on the West Coast with his new agents at Creative Artists Agency. Far from standing out in any way, Mr. Dornan looked so unexceptional as to be nearly anonymous. He looked like a great many of the comely but interchangeable people one sees at modeling cattle calls and forgets the moment they leave the room.
“I question why all of this has happened to me,” Mr. Dornan said in the broad Belfast accent that he successfully erased for his role in “Marie Antoinette.” “I don’t see myself as particularly good-looking.”
Yet others, like Ms. Coppola and the photographer Bruce Weber and the editors at GQ magazine, which built a fashion editorial around him for a coming issue, clearly disagree. “In the span of 20 years, I’ve seen maybe four models who have what Jamie Dornan has,” said Jim Moore, the longtime creative director at GQ. And what is that? For a start, there is the way he photographs.
Hackneyed as the phrase is, there is truth in the adage that there are certain faces the camera loves. Mr. Dornan’s is one. There is something else, Mr. Moore said. “He’s like the male Kate Moss,” he said. “His proportions are a little off. He has a slight build. He’s on the small side for male models. But his torso is long, and so he looks taller, and he brings a relaxed quality to modeling. He knows what he’s there for, but unlike a lot of people he’s not trying to be a male model. He is not modeling.”
In the few years since Mr. Dornan stumbled into the business he has moved with unusual speed from playing a generic preppy stud in Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs to the broodingly handsome face of the fragrance Dior Homme to a shirtless foil to a topless Kate Moss in the most recent campaign for Calvin Klein jeans.
“It was effective casting, and it got people’s attention,” said David Farber the style director at Men’s Vogue, alluding to the Dior ads, which put Mr. Dornan on the radar of the style cognoscenti. “Clearly he wasn’t the typical model.”
He read rather like a “real” person, one of those blessed beings fashion magazines are always prowling the malls to discover. “But he obviously wasn’t some skinny waify model boy they found on the street,” Mr. Farber explained.
He was also pretty far from the sort of slacker Hedi Slimane, the Dior designer, has so often and so effectively cast to reshape a once doddering men’s wear label and the overall silhouette of men’s clothes.
Just as Dior’s men’s wear is marketed along two related but divergent lines — shiny surfaces and outlandish cuts for the scrawny 22-year-old who somehow has $2,000 to spend on a suit and more conventionally cut apparel favored by men like Richard D. Parsons, the Time Warner chief executive — the label’s ad campaigns are pitched in subtly layered ways.
For what has to be a niche market Dior Homme runs advertisements illustrated by the artist Paul P., who uses images of male models found in ’70s porn magazines. For bus kiosks and glossy magazines it offers advertisements of Mr. Dornan, selling cologne with his brooding looks and the square-jawed profile of a Roman senator.
“Why am I the face of Dior Homme?” asked Mr. Dornan, who got the job in a casting runoff that had elements of a reality show. Oddly enough he once took part in a British reality show about the business, called “Model Behavior,” barely making the initial cut. “At Dior, they kept eliminating people until it was down to two,” he said. “I wasn’t really focused on it at the time, you know. I don’t really know why Hedi chose me. I’m not the best-looking guy around.”
Because fragrance campaigns are the Holy Grail of modeling — the ads run seemingly forever, and so do the residuals — Mr. Dornan was able to buy a house and an apartment in London and, just as important, avoid the kind of scrabbling he did at the start of his career, when he made the rounds of Milanese runway casting without being hired, and when his published work ran mainly to ads for snowflake sweaters in department store catalogs.
“I don’t plan anything in my life, really, and I don’t particularly see that as a good thing,” he said, deploying one of beauty’s first prerogatives, the expectation that interesting and good things will befall it. In general, they do. Hired by the English jeweler Asprey to shoot an ad campaign with the British actress Keira Knightley, Mr. Dornan began dating her and overnight found he was boldface tabloid fodder. Last year, while rehearsing with his band, Sons of Jim, his English agent called to say there might be a part available in a new project with Sofia Coppola.
“It was the last role cast,” Mr. Dornan said. “I guess there had been pressure to have a certain ilk of actor, some big name from the up-and-coming list, but they hadn’t been able to find someone,” he explained. Mr. Dornan flew to Paris one afternoon to read for the director. The next day he learned he had the Fersen role.
“The reason it’s all worked so well for me is that I don’t take it all too seriously,” Mr. Dornan said shrewdly of a business where women like Ms. Moss can become global style paragons while even the most successful guys wind up doing sweater ads.
“It’s a great business for now, a great way to make money and have a laugh,” Mr. Dornan said. “Who knows what’s next?” he added with what one would have to call studied nonchalance. “I put a lot of what’s happened so far to luck and right place, right time.”
Source | HQ Outtake The50ShadesWorld