The film is timed to the release of the new Kenzo World fragrance, and casts L.A.’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in a starring role.
On July 4, Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim threw a fancy backyard BBQ bash in Paris to celebrate their first fragrance for the fashion house, Kenzo World. To accompany the new parfum, the designers partnered with longtime collaborator, Her director Spike Jonze, on a short film called My Mutant Brain, starring The Nice Guys actress Margaret Qualley.
In the movie, Qualley breaks away from a boring formal dinner and dances (over)dramatically down the halls of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in DTLA. With moves choreographed by Ryan Heffington (whose work is seen in Sia’s “Chandelier”), Qualley shows off her best high kicks, back flips and even the ability to shoot, uh, laser beams from her fingers to the tune of Sam Spiegal and Ape Drums’ dance track “Mutant Brain.”
“When we think about perfume campaigns, we think about a pretty girl with a bottle. This clip is exactly the opposite,” said Qualley, who is clad in a green dress designed by Leon and Lim in the film. “It’s very multi-faceted and different; it takes the spectator by surprise.”
The feminine floral scent of Kenzo World, created by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, features notes of Ambroxan, Peony and Egyptian Jasmine in an eye-shaped bottle that’s inspired by the luxury label’s famous eye motif.
As Lim and Leon put it, “The eye is both feminine and powerful at the same time.”
The daughter of the actress Andie MacDowell, Qualley had just finished a stint at New York’s American Ballet Theater and was on the verge of joining a professional company in her native North Carolina when she decided she no longer wanted to be a dancer. “I just realized I was chasing an expired dream,” says Qualley, now 21. She eventually enrolled at NYU to study acting, but left after just a semester, when “The Leftovers,” on which she plays the angsty teenager Jill Garvey, was picked up by HBO. Her latest role, as an activist who goes missing in Shane Black’s neo-noir crime comedy “The Nice Guys,” put her face to face with one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who gave her some much-needed encouragement. “My first night shooting, I had to run down the windshield of a car, and it was like 12 degrees and snowing and I was wearing a dress that wasn’t exactly thermal,” Qualley says. “But then Ryan Gosling was like, ‘You look like a superhero,’ and I thought, ‘I’ll stand out in the freezing cold for life now. I’m good.’”
If you’ve ever wondered whether Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe exude the same charm in real life that they do on screen, here’s your answer. 21-year-old actress Margaret Qualley, who stars opposite Gosling and Crowe in the action-packed ’70s-era flick The Nice Guys (in theaters today), says both actors live up to their reputations.
“I don’t know that this will come as a surprise to many people, but Ryan and Russell are both just really giving and kind actors,” Qualley told InStyle. “Plus, they have great comedic chemistry together. I’m such a big fan of them both that I would stick around to watch the monitor while they were filming, even after I was finished with my work. They were real damn funny.”
The Nice Guys is a breakout role for Qualley, who also plays the rebellious Jill Garvey in HBO’s apocalyptic drama The Leftovers. In The Nice Guys, she takes on the role of Amelia, the missing daughter of a Department of Justice employee who requires the protection of Gosling, who plays a private detective, and Crowe, who plays a hitman. As one can imagine, hilarity ensues in scene after scene showing the rescue gone awry. A major benefit of working on the film with funny guys Gosling and Crowe? Crowe’s surprising moves. According to Qualley, “He’s pretty skilled in ballroom dance.”
I’ve added some photos of Margaret attending the premiere of The Nice Guys at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California (May 10).
I’ve updated the gallery with promotional photos from Margaret’s project, The Nice Guys. The film is scheduled for release in theaters on May 20th.