the cast of love: meet karl glusman
Gaspar Noé’s Love is a NSFW 3D journey of sexual exploration, and its leading man is very handsome, very charming and for now, blissfully unknown.
27-year-old Karl Glusman was born in New York, raised in Oregon and is just about settled in LA. When we speak with him, he has an impressive selection of movies awaiting release, most notably Stonewall alongside Jeremy Irvine, Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon with Elle Fanning, and Gaspar Noé's so called 3D porno, Love. Although the latter - which premiered at Cannes - is centred around a loving relationship, it features plenty of graphic s-e-x; and no matter how beautifully lit the room is or how well shot the scenes are, sexy things freak people out and leave age ratings hanging in the balance. In France, the film was originally awarded a 15 but bizarrely upped two weeks after release, setting a precedent for the rest of the world - other than Russia and India that is, where it has already been banned.
"I made my family promise they would never go see this movie, because I really didn't want to have that in my head as I was performing love scenes," he admits. "But at one point my parents got on the phone and my stepfather said, 'we just have one question for you: is that your cock on the poster?'" he bursts out laughing. Well, is it? "No! That poster was made months before I was even hired." That's not to say that his very first day of filming didn't involve a close up of it though, for several slow and intense minutes before shooting his load in the direction of the 3D cameras. Beautiful. Interestingly, there wasn't a conventional script and certainly no scripted dialogue; instead Gaspar presented his actors with an eight-page mission statement that essentially challenged the norms of sexuality depiction in cinema, along with their acting skills. "Reading that felt like, you know, we're gonna try to make history here! We're really gonna do something that feels truthful, and that was very exciting." Surprisingly, and counter to what actors typically say of such scenes, shooting Love did feel sexy.
"Sometimes I would find myself getting lost in the moment, looking over at Aomi and thinking, 'Oh boy, I'm in trouble. I'm falling for this girl'. And then you get kind of caught up in the sensuality, caressing each other, bathed in this warm red light that Gaspar is so in love with." He pauses for a moment… "But then the fantasy would be shattered as you felt Gaspar grabbing and adjusting your ankles so that the shot looked better and you'd be left feeling totally violated!' he laughs. "I'd be like, DON'T TOUCH ME!" Surely, then, he must have left the set feeling - excuse the pun - a little fucked up? "Oh absolutely. There were definitely nights where I would go home convinced that Gaspar was this evil man who was laughing at me and it was all a joke… like a genius puppet master. But there were so many days where we were just having the most fun ever." The two are good friends now and Karl cites Gaspar as the funniest guy he knows, and one of the kindest. "I'm still just baffled that I had the opportunity to work with such a great director. I think it's the most beautiful thing that I've ever been a part of. We made a piece of art."
Text Francesca Dunn
Photography Ben Colen