In a hipwork-heavy campaign for bourbon powerhouse Johnnie Walker blue label, Jude Law hits the high seas.
Sat in the regal surroundings of the Cipriani Hotel in Venice drinking whisky on the rocks, Jude Law and I are separated by a glass-encased bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. “I’m sorry I can’t see you,” laughs Jude. “If I look as weird as you do through this bell jar, it’s like a Francis Bacon!” The quintessential English gentleman, every word he speaks is perfectly articulated, soft and endearing. It’s no surprise that when the whisky powerhouse were looking for a noble gent to take the lead in their latest promo film The Gentleman’s Wager, Law was the obvious choice.
Co-starring Italian actor and director Giancarlo Giannini, the film tells the tale of two men sat above deck on an exquisite handcrafted yacht docked in the Caribbean. Well traveled, finely educated and impeccably dressed, the men strike up a bet to win the vessel. “It was a long way to go for a couple of days, but once you got there it was spectacular,” he japes. “The treat of spending a day on that boat was extraordinary and of course the most important thing was the company – really nice people.”
To prepare for the short, which sees Law dance to pounding music with a throe of well-healed women, he had to polish his ‘floor moves. “I had a wonderful teacher who choreographed the whole thing,” Law recalls. “I’d worked with her before actually, on A.I. where I play a dancing robot.” Gigolo Joe, the dancing robot in question, was programmed with the intimate ability to mimic love, seducing every woman he encounters.
Adopting exotic new skills, and practically overnight, is something Law is known for. For his character in The Talented Mr Ripley,he had to learn the saxophone. “I had four months prep, so I thought I would basically learn the sax and be able to play anything, but the man teaching me was quick to say: ‘No, no, no, Jude you’re not going to be a fluent saxophonist by the end!’”
Next up for the star, who was Oscar nominated for his part in 2003’s Cold Mountain, is December’s Black Sea. Directed by The Last King of Scotland’s Kevin Macdonald, Law plays a rogue Scottish submarine Captain, hell-bent on retrieving Hitler’s lost gold from a sunken U-boat – a mission that turns deadly when greed, desperation and power override sanity. With a short back and sides and a gruff Aberdonian accent, it could quite possibly be one of Jude’s most endearing characters to date. Was he always this gushingly confident? “We all go through periods of self-doubt,” he admits. “Part of the challenge of performing is trying to embrace that fear, choosing parts that are going to push the limits of your own ability or confidence. It’s what make you feel alive as a performer.” That, and a helping of Johnnie Walker.