Blasblog: At A Single Man Screening, Colin Firth Says Tom Ford Is No Novice
When I got a last-minute invitation to a screening of Tom Ford’s feature-film debut, A Single Man, I assumed I’d be trudging into Leicester Square on a Friday night with a troop of other grumpy journalists. To say the least, it was a pleasant surprise to take my seat in a Ford cheering section at the Vue theater among Stella McCartney, Lisa Eisner, Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, Tim Jefferies, Richard Buckley, and the handsome designer-turned-director himself. Also in attendance were the stars of the film: Colin Firth, Matthew Goode, and Nicholas Hoult, a group which Firth himself pointed out was “quite the handsome cast.” (Julianne Moore and Ginnifer Goodwin also appear in the film, but weren’t at the screening.)
As part of the London Film Festival, the director briefly addressed the audience before the lights went down. He introduced himself as a former Gucci designer, eliciting giggles from the audience, but said that he preferred to let the film speak for itself. Not to give too much away, there are some discrepancies between Ford’s version and the novella that Christopher Isherwood wrote about a single day in the life of a gay man living in Los Angeles in 1962. (Though Ford assures us the changes were welcomed by Isherwood’s loved ones.) I don’t think I’ll be in the minority to describe it as another Tom Ford triumph when the film comes out in December. Granted, it is beautifully shot and impeccably styled (think Mad Men meets Ford’s last Gucci collection), but this isn’t one long Tom Ford menswear advertorial.
Ford said that the entire process rang in at nearly four years, which he deemed a lengthy period of time for having “all the connections in the world.” He further explained, “The process of doing a film isn’t that different than doing a collection. The timeline is different, but both are still a collaborative process. With the actors, I gave them the room they needed and encouraged them. And I got the performances I wanted.” And what were the actors’ reaction to the first-time director? “Wonderful directors come in all forms; some say a lot and some say a little,” said Firth. “Tom wasn’t that verbal, but that’s because he’s not one for clutter. He was not a novice at all.”