Jennifer Connelly On Her Style Choices
Jennifer Connelly and her piercing eyes have the ability to emote in dark and intense moments, leaving the viewer with a haunting cinematic experience even in situations where the lead actor owns the film. Best known for Blood Diamond (2006) with Leonardo DiCaprio, Requiem for a Dream (2000), and her multiple award-winning role in Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind (2001) opposite Russell Crowe, she has worked in nearly 40 movies in a career spanning over three decades. Starring in actor Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut American Pastoral due next year, Connelly indulges in a quick Q&A:
Your last film Shelter, a story about homelessness, was directed by your husband Paul Bettany.
Last year, over 60,000 people slept in NYC shelters each night. I think it is worth considering how in a city with such wealth so many of its citizens are homeless, and I hope that through awareness things can change. But the movie is not just about homelessness — I think it is about judgment. It is about two people who transcend prejudice through love.
It was an extraordinary experience working (with husband, Paul Bettany) in that environment of intimacy and trust, especially on a film of this nature.
You recently lost 25 pounds for Shelter and played a mother in Aloft…
It was a choice for my character (Hannah in Shelter), who at the beginning of the film was consumed by her own grief. My character Nana (in Aloft) was very different from anyone I have played, and very different from me, particularly as a mother. I was curious about her….
At age 44, what have you learned about yourself, and about your relationship with clothes, that you didn’t know when you were younger?
At 44 I feel it is imperative that I am able to walk further than from a taxi to a dinner table. I want to be able to walk comfortably in my shoes. Literally. I love the shoes from the spring collection!
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
If I’m standing in front of my closet asking myself what to wear, I just take one of Nicolas’ pieces and I know at once it will be just right.
Being an ambassadress for Nicolas Ghesquière…
It felt like something that evolved very naturally. I have gravitated to his designs since I first saw them more than a decade ago, so it was an extension of a relationship that had existed at that point for years. It is particularly special to be with him now as he begins his partnership with (Louis) Vuitton. The name Vuitton is synonymous with adventure, and Nicolas is a pioneer.
What strikes you the most about his designs?
His dresses explore opposition — in concept, form, and texture — yet rest perfectly in balance. I think this can be partly attributed to his unerring sense of proportion.
You have said you have a special connection to complexity and darkness — does that somewhat define his style as well?
I wouldn’t characterise his style as dark, but I would say his designs embrace contradictions. They are bold yet restrained, creative but precise, boyish and feminine. I feel very much at home in them.
Is how we dress a fundamental part of playing the everyday roles we assign ourselves?
It announces something about us. It says something before we even speak.