Bul­let proof!.

Star­ring in­ter­na­tional man of mys­tery Karl Glus­man

Esquire (Philippines) - - THE MAN WHO BOUGHT THE WORLD -

In act­ing, they say you have to com­mit—to a ges­ture, a char­ac­ter­i­za­tion—the point be­ing there’s no time to half-ass any­thing. Every move counts. Karl Glus­man could give a master class. You can see it on cam­era in movies like Noc­tur­nal An­i­mals, but he’s been go­ing all in since col­lege, when he switched his ma­jor to act­ing on the strength of one pub­lic-speak­ing award. And at 19, when he re­al­ized this could be his fu­ture, he thought noth­ing of mov­ing cross-coun­try from Port­land, Ore­gon, to New York City to go and get it.

What came next was a riff on the story of any starv­ing striver. He joined an ac­tors’ stu­dio and spent hours watch­ing taped per­for­mances in the li­brary at Lin­coln Cen­ter. He was an elf at Macy’s Santa Land and played a junkie for med stu­dents in train­ing. He slept in a crawl space above a toi­let in Chelsea with a cur­tain for a wall. He felt like a cliché. “In this business, it’s about how you’re in­tro­duced,” he says. “How do you start if no one’s go­ing to give you a break?” Then he got one. And in the grand tra­di­tion of ac­tors like Sly Stal­lone and Jackie Chan, it was a very adult de­but.

Glus­man was at a club in Paris when he met a girl who was friends with French-Ar­gen­tine provo­ca­teur Gas­par Noé. Glus­man and the girl got close, and a few months later, Noé gave him a call. The direc­tor didn’t so much ask Glus­man to be in his next film: He asked how he felt about per­form­ing a whole lot of sex scenes in his next film—no body dou­bles, no sim­u­la­tions. Never one to wa­ver, Glus­man de­cided he was up for the, uh, ex­po­sure.

In the re­sult­ing movie, Love, Glus­man plays a morose young man re­liv­ing a se­ries of past sex­ual en­coun­ters in vivid coital flash­backs. It isn’t porn—not re­ally. If you had to call it that, you’d still have to ad­mit it’s very, very high­brow smut. Re­view­ers called it “hard­core,” “ro­man­tic,” “wist­ful,” and “squelchy.” What­ever you call it, it got Glus­man a lot more of those in­tro­duc­tions he wanted. On Noé’s rec­om­men­da­tion, Ni­co­las Wind­ing Refn cast the young ac­tor as a pho­tog­ra­pher in glam gorefest The Neon De­mon. Af­ter see­ing Love’s Cannes pre­miere, de­signer-direc­tor Tom Ford snagged Glus­man for a role in Noc­tur­nal An­i­mals, in which he plays one of three vi­cious Texas mal­con­tents. To­gether, those two films have raised his stock and rounded out an IMDb page that’s heavy on graphic con­tent, whether it’s sex or vi­o­lence or both.

His lat­est project, Gypsy (out now on Net­flix), may not get quite so . . . squelchy, but it’s a dark drama just the same, one that adds him to an A-list team with ac­tress Naomi Watts and direc­tor Sam Tay­lor-John­son (one of the most prof­itable fe­male di­rec­tors on earth fol­low­ing her work on Fifty Shades of Grey). Watts plays a ther­a­pist who gets a lit­tle too in­volved with her pa­tients’ lives, and as one of those pa­tients, Glus­man ex­plores a new kind of char­ac­ter. “It’s an op­por­tu­nity for me to show­case a side of my­self that I haven’t be­fore,” he says. “I’m play­ing this emo­tional, ar­tic­u­late guy who has dropped out of work be­cause he has a bro­ken heart and he can’t get over it.”

In real life, the 29-year-old ac­tor’s about as far from heart­bro­ken as it gets. He’s got a girl­friend by the name of Zoë Kravitz. (You may know her from Big Lit­tle Lies, or Rough Night, or for her preter­nat­u­ral beauty.) “I’m madly in love with her, and she loves me back,” he says. “It’s like a dream.” We’re talk­ing on the phone just be­fore he catches a flight from L.A. to meet her at their apart­ment in N. Y. C. “I can’t wait to see her. I’m gonna get back to the house at two in the morn­ing. I’m gonna wake her up and start ring­ing the bell and smash­ing the light­bulbs with my shoe.” Like we said, the man isn’t afraid to com­mit.

—Jon Roth

Jacket, shirt, trousers, and tie by Dior Homme; shoes by Paul An­drew. Op­po­site: Suit and shirt by Prada; shoes by Tod’s; socks by Pan­therella.

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