Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
That face. That body. That hair. Is it any wonder that Chanel chose Gisele Bundchen as the star of its new Chanel No. 5 campaign? Directed by Australian auteur Baz Luhrmann, the short film follows Bundchen’s character as she rushes between surfing sessions and modeling appointments, mommy time and date night.
The film is beautiful, of course, but it’s surprisingly not all fairy tales and rainbows for Bundchen’s character. As she moves from one responsibility to the next, she looks—dare we say it?—as overwhelmed as any other woman trying to juggle it all. “She’s very active in the world,” film and set designer Catherine Martin says of the character. “She finds the work-life balance quite difficult and [has] some tensions within her relationship.”
But there’s more to this short video than meets the eye. Here, the full video—plus seven behind-the-scenes secrets you probably wouldn’t guess.
1. The team crossed the globe to find the right waves.
To find perfectly formed waves that would subtly reflect Chanel’s double-C logo, Luhrmann’s team traveled to Fiji and captured underwater footage. Then, it was off to Montauk to shoot scenes on the beach and at the mid-century estate. (“A clean, modern house is very Chanel,” Luhrmann says.)
2. Yep, that’s actually Gisele in the water.
“Surfing is such an extreme sport,” Luhrmann says. “I wanted something that was the least likely thing you would associate with Chanel No 5.” While Gisele wasn’t asked to do some of the more dangerous maneuvers, that’s definitely her on the board.
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel.
3. Gisele isn’t the only famous face.
If her beau looks familiar, you’re probably a Game of Thrones fan. Actor Michiel Huisman, a regular on the series, also appears in Orphan Black, Nashville, and Wild. “He’s required to convey a series of complex emotions without dialogue,” Luhrmann says. “You really have to be able to act to do that.”
4. That Chanel surfboard isn’t a prop.
And you can own one—as long as you have a few thousand dollars, that is.
5. The shoot required extreme camera maneuvering.
To get up close while Gisele rode the waves, Luhrmann’s team used drone cameras. As for that shot of her driving into New York City? Helicopters.
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel.
6. Luhrmann must be fond of the Queensboro Bridge.
It’s the third time he’s filmed it. First, he included it in the 2004 Chanel No 5 ad featuring Nicole Kidman. Next, he digitally re-created it for 2013’s The Great Gatsby. “The idea of crossing into the city, that golden mirage of a city, that’s from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby,” he says.
7. And about that “You’re The One That I Want” cover…
After hearing singer Lo-Fang’s slow, moody cover of the Grease classic, Luhrmann knew he was—pardon the pun—the one. “He’s done exactly with that classic song what Karl does with fashion,” he says. “He’s taken something you think you know and he’s shown you a different emotional take, a different way in.”
What do you think of the video?