There is an old saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The same could be said for celebrities who, when faced with a challenge, choose to imitate others rather than work hard and develop their own style.
Take British actor Robert Pattinson, for example. His latest film, The Photograph, co-stars an impressive array of A-list celebrity, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and Cameron Diaz. To prepare for his role as a New York City photojournalist battling addiction, Pattinson spent a year studying how to act and talk like a real-life newspaper reporter. What’s more, when he was signed to become the face of a new fragrance from the luxury goods company, Yves Saint Laurent, he spent even more time observing scents, studying perfumers, and perfecting his style.
Here, we’ll examine Pattinson’s preparation for The Photograph, as well as the role that fragrance may have played in shaping his on-screen character.
Study: How to Act and Talk Like a New York Newspaper Reporter
First off, let’s discuss how Pattinson approached the role of a New York City reporter. In order to play a role, you need to prepare in a similar fashion to what the person you’re playing would actually do. For Pattinson, this meant spending a year immersed in the world of newspaper journalism and taking lessons from real-life writers and reporters. He immersed himself in the culture by reading up on current affairs and gaining as much experience as possible by watching news coverage and reading articles about the craft.
“I read as much as I could, anything and everything that was related to journalism or photojournalism. I also talked to as many people as I could, listened to podcasts, and watched as much news coverage as I could. I felt that this would be the best way for me to understand what was going on and to be able to interpret things the way a journalist would,” Pattinson said.
After a year of immersing himself in the role, Pattinson was able to channel his innermost thoughts and feelings into an unrecognizable (and possibly apocryphal) persona. Let’s take a look at how he did it.
The Fragrance Connection
While it’s well-documented that Pattinson is a fan of luxury goods and can be seen sporting a gorgeous watch, bracelets, and diamond-studded headbands on the red carpet, the actor’s penchant for expensive perfumes may have actually helped him in the role of a journalist. After all, what’s a fragrance but a scent used to attract attention, increase confidence, promote friendship, and create a sense of belonging?
It is well-established that celebrities and renowned personalities of all sorts have been known to wear fragrances that help them to embody the personalities and characters they play in their films. For example, we can think of Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Hutton, Grace Kelly, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and Ava Gardner, just to name a few.
Some perfumes were specifically designed for movie characters, like Katharine Hepburn’s iconic scent, Olivia, or Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamond. Others were created to represent a particular period, like the ’70s punk scent, DANGER, and the cinematic image of the French film, Breathless.
Whether you’re acting or not, creating a character that embodies your mood, scent, or style can help you shed your inhibitions and become inspired to delve into the creative process. It’s a form of self-expression that some might find liberating, and it can help you define yourself apart from the constraints of societal norms. As the French philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, said, “There are no rules in art, only opportunities.”
The Power of Scent
While it’s true that perfumes were originally designed to be worn by women, it’s becoming increasingly clear that men are rediscovering the joys of fragrance. After all, what’s a scent but a way to attract the opposite sex, increase your odds of getting laid, and prove to yourself that you’re desirable?
Why should women be the only ones to enjoy the sensual and romantic benefits of perfumes? Thanks to social media, men are able to connect with other men and discover the joys of fragrance, all while being completely unselfconscious about their bodies and the effect that scent may have on others.
“I used to believe that men wouldn’t like to smell like women, but then I realized that men love smelling like women. It seems that, for some reason, men find it strangely appealing to smell like the opposite sex. This might be because women are usually seen as the gateway to sex and physical attraction, while men are seen as the hunters or providers of these gifts. With this in mind, it might be a good idea to experiment with smelling like the opposite sex, albeit, in a good way. When it comes to scent and romance, it’s all about experimenting and finding out what works best for you.”
According to Dr. Helen Lui, a fragrance expert and beauty therapist, smelling like a particular person or animal (if you’re brave enough) is an easy way to connect with your romantic partner, family members, and friends. It’s the perfect way to express your affection, wish someone well, or just to give off a welcoming vibe. Plus, it’s always fun to experiment with perfumes and find out what turns you on and what turns others on as well.
Ultimately, like most things in life, the key to sensual success is practice. So, the next time you want to experiment with scent, take a bottle with you to a coffee shop or bar. Smell it there, and see how others react. Maybe try a few drops on your wrist or in your coffee, and see how you feel. Then, when you feel ready, try a few drops on your tongue and allow yourself to relax and enjoy the experience. At the very least, you’ll know what smells best for you and can work with perfumers to create your own bespoke fragrance. Who knows – maybe, one day, you’ll even score yourself a bottle of perfume, just like Robert Pattinson.