Jude Law: ‘I know I’m not that young sort of pretty thing anymore’

Jude Law is the new cover boy for the New York Times T Style Magazine. The photos – by Jude’s friend Sam Taylor Johnson – are especially gorgeous. Sam is a gifted photographer, and Jude is a great photography subject. It’s not just that he’s beautiful… he’s also interesting-looking, even more interesting as he gets older, I think. Jude is promoting his role in Anna Karenina, a supporting role (as Anna’s severe husband) which some think could net Jude an Oscar nomination. You can read the full NYT piece here – it’s actually really interesting because Jude talks a lot about being a victim of the phone hacking and all of that. Some highlights:

Playing Karenin, “Anna’s morally severe, emotionally barren, piously dutiful, highly controlling pain in the neck of a husband” instead of the young heartthrob Vronsky: “In a weird way, it’s kind of a relief to think, ‘Oh, I know I’m not that young sort of pretty thing anymore,’ ” he said. “It’s quite nice talking about what it was like to be the young pretty thing, rather than being it.”

Doing films just for the money: “Without sounding too pretentious, it’s difficult to remember that it’s an art form and you are, maybe, an artist and you have to make decisions on that level. I feel kind of more confident, more settled as a human being, more settled in my own skin.” When he was younger, he said, he longed to be taken seriously but found that some of his roles did not allow him to do that. Being older, “you are allowed to be an actor, and the parts you get are more interesting.”

On playing Karenin: “It seemed to go against everything I have done, and it was fun to investigate the sides of a man that I hadn’t done before in any way, shape or form,” Law said. But it did not mean he was playing against type, he said, “because I always play against type; I have never played anyone like me.”

He and Sadie Frost share custody of their kids equally, one week with him and one week with Sadie: “I would not have been able to have the usual kind of paternal-role situation of one weekend every two weeks,” he said. “I enjoy it too much.” Everyone gets along so well that they take vacations together. “We made a decision very early on that whatever our opinion of each other — which I have to say is a good one — we were going to maintain the function of the family,” Law said. (He also has a young daughter in New York, the result of a brief affair, with whom he is in regular contact.)

Finding his personal life splashed around in the tabloids: “You suddenly start to go, ‘What, what, wait a minute. How do they know this? Where are they piecing this together from?’ ” he said, recalling some of the details of his life he saw in the press. It was clear something was going on, but Law did not know what. He became paranoid. He had his house swept for bugs and his car searched for tracking devices. He mistrusted acquaintances, even wondered about friends and family members. “The weird thing is that you start taking things for granted,” he said. “Like I thought, Maybe this is just heightened interest in what I’m doing. This is what my life has become. This is my lot and I’ve got to deal with it.”

Finding out, in 2010, that he had been hacked by Rupert Murdoch’s press: At the end of 2010, Law got a call from Scotland Yard. The police had uncovered thousands of pages of notes taken by an investigator hired by the News of the World to dig up dirt on public figures, they told him, and one of the names in the notes was Law’s. “They just had piles of notes with my credit card details, phone numbers, contacts, friends’ contacts, parents’ phone numbers,” he said. They also had recordings of voicemail messages from and to him. “There was this awful afternoon when they came over with a tape recorder and said, ‘Could you verify that this is you?’ ” None of this surprised him, really, but it made him feel less crazy. “To have other people go, ‘This is outrageous’ meant that I didn’t feel like this sort of mad, paranoid, dystopian lunatic saying, ‘the world’s following me — what’s going on?’ ” he recalled. “It felt, strangely, kind of justifying.”

Telling his 16-year-old not to get a tattoo: “Well, you’ve got them,” Law recalled his son saying, to which he responded, “Yes, but you’ve got to know that what you get is going to be forever and I don’t think at 16 you know what forever is.”

After the hacking scandal and everything else: “They had kind of stripped me and my relationships bare — there was nothing left to write,” Law said. “And there is only so much laundry one has, in the end, to be washed in public.”

On choosing what to wear during the photo shoot: “Look, tell me what I’m wearing — I really don’t care.” He added: “I don’t have a lot of time anymore for standing around choosing outfits. I’m too long in the tooth for that now.”

[From New York Times Magazine]

I thought the part about his custody arrangement with Sadie was interesting – I didn’t know that they split everything equally. That’s nice what he said about enjoying being a father, although I like that the NYT dropped a line in there about his other child, the one he fathered through a one night stand with some (slightly crazy) fan-girl.

As for Jude’s thoughts on his own aging beauty and how he’s no longer the heartthrob… what I always liked about Jude as an actor is that he never really relied on his beauty alone. He was always a talented actor, and he rarely took parts where it was just about being pretty. That being said, I think I’d rather hit it with this current Jude than the 20-something physically-perfect Jude. I like a dude with some scruff and fading prettiness.

Photos courtesy of Sam Taylor Johnson/New York Times.

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53 Responses to “Jude Law: ‘I know I’m not that young sort of pretty thing anymore’”

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  1. Christina says:

    Jude is right. He’s still handsome, sure. But he’s not the mesmerisingly beautiful man he was in his 20s. But that’s OK. We all get older and at least he’s not trying to pretend he’s still 27.

  2. Samigirl says:

    As Kaiser would put it, he’s one of my “forever dongs.” I have loved him for a long time. I will always think he is pretty. Even his voice gives me chill bumps (LOVED him as “Pitch” in Rise of the Guardians)!

  3. Becks says:

    To me, he is getting better with age. I like older men, I prefer the scruff and gray hair…..men don’t get interesting until 40.

  4. tina d says:

    I had a HUGE crush on him in 2004-05. He’s so handsome at that time. But, he didn’t look that bad in Sherlock Holmes.

  5. Jessica6 says:

    To me, men are truly more handsome and sexy the older they get. Give me some salt and pepper and facial lines any day over twenty-something “wine” that has yet to mature and develop a robust flavor.

    • KellyinSeattle says:

      My sentiments, exactly!
      Jude seems like a good sport; and I don’t think his “target audience” are 18 year olds, anyway. And I get the sense on this site, anyway, that “we” are not in the 18 year old category. We have too much wisdom and better taste !! Hey, Jude’s alright w/ me, Jude Judie judie judie judie jude!!

  6. lower-case deb says:

    Sam Taylor-Johnson’s photos of Jude Law here are amazing. especially clicking on this after looking at Terry Richardson’s. The difference shows.

    I don’t know if its stylistic preference, but Sam’s black and white, just looking at the coloring and tinting, i feel that Sam’s have more depth and character than Terry’s flat ones. Terry’s look almost banal and looks the same whoever the subject of the photograph is (each photo somehow manages to scream “Look, here’s Terry!”. Add other little details, Sam’s seem to elevate the subject.

    and the color photographs. damn.

    doesn’t hurt that Jude Law is the subject of the photos too.

  7. Mich says:

    Jude Law and Ewan McGregor…… Yummy
    Real men!

  8. Jessica6 says:

    By the way, CB, it would be nice if the article mentioned Jude Law’s current age?

  9. Moi says:

    I agree, I like the way he looks now better than before. More ruggedness.

    I also like his story about his son wanting a tattoo. My 15 year old is punk and wants one and I told her the exact same thing.

  10. LadyJane says:

    He looks hot. But definitely got some sort of hair installation on the front part – he was receding a lot further back previously.

  11. kim says:

    I Love Jude Law! no matter what.

  12. jill says:

    Jude Law is a sexy beast yummm!

  13. lisa says:

    Jude, I’ve got news for you you’re still pretty and sexy as hell!

  14. Lindsay says:

    He’s the sex. I would do naughty things with him all day – especially now that he’s older. I watched Gattaca the other night and he was younger (obvs) but he’s got this charm about him that makes my biscuit pay attention.
    The scene where he is pretending to be himself as Vincent and he kisses Uma… It’s such a brief moment but his body language and intensity is delicious.

  15. Evett says:

    Jude Law is the sex! Come to me baby.

  16. mytbean says:

    oh I’d totally do him. Even the mooshed up against the window faced him. sigh. I need coffee… and a peanut butter cookie.

  17. jess says:

    Became a fan of his after I saw him in The Holiday. He was so charming in that movie.

  18. Melly Bee says:

    I have loved him for a long time, a forever dong, as you would say. Now my daughter, who is 17, loves him as well. I warned her the other day to not stare at him too much. His eyes alone can cause pregnancy!

  19. Buckwild says:

    He was just so incredibly beautiful in The Talented Mr.Ripley (which come to think of it, both Matt Damon and GOOP was in). I remember thinking every feature on his face looked absolutely chiseled to perfection. He is much more interesting nowadays though. Loved his Watson in the Sherlock Holmes movies.

  20. Jess says:

    Men are better after 40. I wish it was the same for women. I was watching the This is 40 trailer, and my first thought was that Paul Rudd has never looked sexier. It’s so unfair! Jude is still just as sexy as he was 20 years ago, no doubt.

    • Christina says:

      I disagree. Jude is not (imho) as sexy as he was 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Some men, it is true, do improve with age but I reckon they are a minority. But the same can be said for women. The notion that men improve ‘like a fine wine’ whereas women just get old and wrinkled, is just sexist trash.

    • lafairy says:

      I beg to differ, Jude Law is still Ok but not anywhere as hot as his vintage self, Paul Rudd look like a botox and hair dye addict that were the first things that stroke me in “wanderlust”.

      and on men ageing better than women I also tend to desagree, it’s not about gender it’s a bout luck some men and women have the chance to get better in age( Julianne Moore, Monica Bellucci, Helen Mirren, Susan Sarandon are way much better than their younger selves) and some are unlucky and age awfully (Brad Pitt, George Clooney,Benecio del Toro,ralph fiennes, Christian Slater are ageing in a particularly bad way and are far far away from their gorgous younger selves)

      there is no such thing like qualities attached to a specific gender… it is only about individuals and just that.

      • Christina says:

        Agree with every word. 39 year old Jude is handsome but 20-something Jude was heartstoppingly beautiful. Also agree with the rest of your list. Some men age well, some don’t. Some women age well, some don’t. Men have been telling themselves (and us) for years that their appeal just grows with age. Generally speaking, it doesn’t.

      • qwerty says:

        I agree,it’s sexist bullshit. Not true, esp.not in Holywood where women over 40 are still hot as hell – pretty much all of them – whereas men get jowls and wrinkles ( and still get lots of work)

        Just look at Clive Owen, Daniel Craig, Sean Penn – not ugly but not nearly a attractive as 10-15 years ago. And yes, Jude used to be beautiful, he’s still good looking but it’s not the same anymore.

  21. kia says:

    I love Jude Law ! I hope he get that Oscar nom.

  22. nikki says:

    I want Jude to yell out “I AM THE LAW!”
    while we are makeing love. Sexy Fantasy

  23. bns says:

    He was hot then and he’s still hot now.

  24. Jen says:

    I need more Jude Law in my life! youSexymotherf

  25. MeMyself says:

    Jude’s kids go to school here in Petersfield, Hampshire. I have seen him three times now and during each time I was adjusting a wedgie!

  26. Anthea says:

    Jude’s great! I love him more and more each year. He was so beautiful when he was younger, but he is more intriguing looking now and he has always been great in movies in my opinion.

    Great custody arrangements too :)

    • Addison says:

      Anthea in agreement about the custody agreement. Halle Berrry and Gabriel should take a page from them. No one is perfect but I love that he said he and is ex wanted to create loving environments for their children. Or something like that. Nice.

  27. Camille (TheOriginal) says:

    Yep, he’s still in my top 10. Loved this interview, he came off great IMO.

  28. YEP_ITS_HER says:

    Jude Law- “Without sounding too pretentious”. Too late dude, too late.

  29. Issa says:

    I have never liked the smooth, baby faced pretty boys. I love the little wrinkles around the eyes, the little worn look, no baby face or smooth skin. Fit and healthy men actually look better with some age on them. Good photos of him and he looks good.

  30. serena says:

    Oh Jude don’t be sad, you’re not pretty anymore but your beautiful!I mean, I’d hit on him even in 10-20 years, maybe I feel more confident now. He was too perfect, like a painting, when he was young.

  31. eloisa says:

    I love him, i like how mature/manly/hot he is now, even better than years ago when he was the pretty boy. Totally agree Kaiser and thanks for the great pics.

  32. Lizi says:

    and to me, Jude,you never ever were.

  33. Christina says:

    I think he looks great now, sexy and rugged, YUM. Of course back in the day, he was PAINFULLY beautiful. He was very ethereal looking, even a little feminine. Those eyes and his lips…OMG. I have always loved Jude and I truly think he is a great actor. His personal life in the tabloids took sight away from that for awhile..but I think he is back on track to focus on his acting now. He is still beautiful but now he is a man and not just a pretty boy. I would take him any which way though!

  34. darkladi says:

    he could still peel my clothes off with a single look

  35. JFerber says:

    I think he could get back that young man beauty if he shaved off the beard, lost weight, used moisturizer, got more hair plugs, etc. You know, just what every Hollywood actress does in her forties–except actresses have a MUCH harder time getting work in their forties anyway. That’s when their stars begin to fall (with some few exceptions).

    • An says:

      I am 42, much more beautiful than I was in my twenties, and a body that has not aged either. No treatments, no botox. There are wonderful exceptions, I am one of them. A lifetime of great care, no sun, no drugs, no waste

      PS. I think Jude Law looks awful here. I like older men, always have, but he just looks wasted here.