Jeremy O. Harris is a genuine Broadway-meet-Hollywood multi-actor. And at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, HBO’s Tony Award-nominated playwright and producer Happiness added another title to his resume: an actor in Sean Price Williams’ Sweet Oriental. The film follows a young woman traveling along the northeastern coast of the United States and stars Talia Ryder, Jacob Elordi, Simon Rex, and Ayo Edebiri.
The film premiered during the Director’s Fortnight section of the festival on May 18, and in a FaceTime Audio interview en route to another event the next day, Harris described the red carpet approach of the cast is like “walking down the street like we were at some great French behind-the-scenes documentaries about what it means to have your film debut at Cannes.”
For Harris, street style transitions to rug style with ease thanks to the vision of renowned stylist, Mel Ottenberg, interview magazine‘ editor-in-chief and friend of Harris.
“Jeremy and I have been friends for a long time and it was a pleasure to style him. I think it’s fun to style someone with a strong sense of style. It’s a partnership, and [he] can also attract a lot of looks,” says Ottenberg hollywood reporter by phone. “Jeremy has a natural, liberal ability to dress in a really amazing way. When he called me back to Cannes, even though I was very busy with a lot of work to do interview magazine, I said, “Let’s do it anyway,” because it was so much fun dressing him up. For the premiere, Ottenberg chose to have Harris wear Valentino’s couture menswear, calling the crisp and comfortable black and white ensemble “the perfect choice for the event.”
“It’s very minimal, but it’s also ornate,” says Ottenberg. For now, it fits the minimal mood in fashion, but it’s still top-of-the-line. (At the party after the premiere, Harris wore a bolder, all-red Ernest W. Baker suit.)
CHEAP talked to the actor about his role as Matthew in sweet winter, his pre-carpet prep routine and approach to the art of dressing well.
How did the environment of Cannes inspire your costumes and overall aesthetic for the premiere?
What I love about Cannes is that Cannes is one of the few places that respects cinema and respects aesthetics that allow you to enjoy the pleasure of dressing up, right? So I decided to wear Valentino couture to enjoy the fun of dressing up. It’s one of those things that Mel and I talk about a lot. This is my first time acting in a film at Cannes, so I really want to treat myself like great actresses and show up and show off.
I wore the brand from head to toe. I don’t actually work with Valentino, but Pierpaolo [Piccioli] was friends with friends, and Mel had a great idea to create a blast, and I felt like…I never really took my breasts off, you know? It’s a good opportunity to be less prepared for the Ivy League and have a little more sex appeal.
How is your working relationship with Mel? How much does he value your own style, or is he really in control and you’re willing to follow?
If you look at the way he worked with Rihanna, chances are he chose someone who already has such a deep, complex and rich personal style and allows her to express her style in a way that is both personal and personal. best possible. I think we can do that too. He showed me all the clothes he knew were in my garage and also showed me things that might be out of my comfort zone. And in that way, it pushed me to do something a little different.
What is your actual readiness process like? How do you prepare and dress the carpet?
I have two wonderful women who work with me…and they give me a lot of love. They massaged me both on my scalp and on my face. We really only love each other a little when we listen [Korean-American singer] Yaeji’s new album with a hammer and just laugh a lot about all the different ways we can bring out our beauty with a little bit of scissors and scissors, highlights and braids. It was two women of color who just hung out with me. It’s a space that I like to be in. My mother is a hairstylist, and she cares deeply about the women she works with. I like to surround myself with like-minded people in hair and makeup care.
Do you feel your role is Matthew in Sweet Oriental Is your approach to your carpet style inspired or is it Jeremy?
It was Jeremy, but it was like a wink to Matthew. Matthew is a bit of a gmazon. If you see in the movie, he’s dressed head-to-toe in Thom Browne in one scene, and in many scenes, he’s wearing a head-to-toe Bode, most of which is from my actual wardrobe or gift from Emily Bode herself. I feel like Jeremy O. Harris and Matthew are both in their fop era, and so they’re really excited about being weird, glamorous fops on film and television.