The Game of Thrones star talks about being the new face of Dolce & Gabbana’s The One for Men.
Kit Harington comes to life in the new campaign for Dolce & Gabbana’s The One f0r Men! The new documentary-style film for fragrance was captured with a hand-held camera, showing Kit as he makes his way, smiling and dancing, through a vibrant open-air market on the streets of Naples.
Launched in 2008, The One for Men Eau de Toilette is a refined, masculine scent of oriental wood and sophisticated tobacco, with a vibrant blend of spices and herbs like coriander, basil, cardamom and ginger.
Utterly modern yet a true classic, the scent is designed to mirror the playful charm, self-confidence and inborn appeal of the ideal Dolce & Gabbana man. And as sharply-tailored as a suit, The One for Men is presented in an elegant heavy glass bottle with geometric lines, crowned by a brushed brown cap made of metal.
Now, get to know what went on behind the scenes on Kit’s amazing Neapolitan shoot from the man himself.
What is the story behind your encounter with Mr Dolce and Mr Gabbana?
Kit Harington: Actually I have had a long relationship with Dolce&Gabbana as I have been wearing their clothes for a while now. About seven months ago, Mr Dolce and Mr Gabbana came to me and said they would like me to be the new face of The One for Men. It was such an honour, as I really love their fashion and fragrances. The first one I ever bought as a young man was one of theirs.
How did you prepare the shoot together?
They had sent me numerous letters so I feel like we had a strong relationship before shooting this campaign. What was wonderful about this was when they said to me “We want you to walk through a piazza smiling and having fun with real Italian people. There’s going to be no actors, only real Neapolitans, you’ll be dancing and interacting with them”. I just loved that idea, I loved how Italian it was and I absolutely loved the way Mr Dolce and Mr Gabbana bring their campaigns to life. It seems so vibrant, which is essentially the ultimate Italian experience for me.
The movie took place in Naples, have you ever been to Italy before?
I have been to Venice for my mum’s birthday, to Sicily for an editorial shoot and to Naples once before shooting this campaign. This was a very different experience. The great thing about this was that I turned up not knowing what to expect and I ended up on this amazing set, somewhere between a theatre set and a film one. The production had cordoned off this beautiful piazza with locals who were dancing. It was so great that they preserved the feel of it. It was an intense one-day experience, an intensified version of reality. It’s impressive that they convey so much in such a short space of time.
Were you familiar with Matteo Garrone’s work, who directed the campaign?
Absolutely and I do love his work! He’s the perfect fit for this movie. When we were talking about shooting this campaign, we looked at a few directors and I was lucky enough I had some say over whom I’d like it to be. Matteo Garrone understood the vibrancy, the colours and the smell of the streets. He has done a beautiful job, a truly happy and vibrant Italian campaign. I was really happy how it turned out; it shows a different side of me, which I like, a more joyful side, which was important for me.
How was shooting this campaign different from shooting a movie?
I have never quite been on a set like that. We had this whole piazza amazingly decorated with a market setup. It was really like a movie set, it felt like a stage or more specifically something between a stage and a film set. And one of the walls was cut off so more and more people just came in all day long to join the crowd.
What is the main difference when shooting with real people?
The fact that the production hadn’t cast any actors but opened the set to real Neapolitans who came and volunteered for the day to have genuine fun… That’s what made this film so joyful and so different. It wasn’t staged in any way.
As an actor, was it difficult to play with a real people characters cast?
On the contrary, I genuinely enjoyed it. I was nervous at first when I’d seen the initial plan. There’s a part of me and my English side where I don’t dance and I definitely don’t dance on TV but the minute they turned on the lights and the music, the people in the square made me feel welcome within the environment. They spoke no word of English so there was lots of gesturing and it was brilliant. I felt very blessed to be embraced by them in that way, really honoured.
Were you supposed to be a proper Italian?
No actually. I’m very English, I don’t smile a lot on TV and this was me having fun and releasing my inner Italian side – which I tried, it may just look like an English man trying, you’ll tell me. I felt a bit like the God Father when Robert De Niro walks through the piazza.
Do you think you have an Italian look?
I guess I do have kind of an Italian look even if I’m very English on the inside. My father is blond but my mum had pitch-black hair and a quite olive complexion. And even if I may cut my hair, the beard is here to stay. I like my beard.
Did the costumes help you dive into the role?
Definitely! That brings everything when you’re filming or you’re on stage. I know people who swear by finding the right costume for a character because it completely changes how you walk and the way you move. If you have a tight doublet it holds your shoulders back and it immediately adds to the character you’re playing. For this campaign I was in a Dolce&Gabbana tailored suit and it made me feel sophisticated and stylish.
What is enjoyable in fronting a perfume?
Doing something that you can have fun with and believe in. When this came out it felt just right. I like how Mr Dolce and Mr Gabbana run their campaigns, the sense of fun behind it. It brings out a different side of you and whether that’s you being an actor playing a different part or whether it’s something like this where you’re essentially helping to sell a perfume, you still want it to be something that is going to show a new side of you, and this I hope would.
That’s something drama school doesn’t prepare you for. Were you worried about something in particular?
Drama school teaches you to stand up on stage, speak in the right way and hold yourself specifically for stage. It doesn’t teach you about walking through a piazza spraying people with fragrance for sure. That’s something you learn along the way if you’re lucky enough to do things like this. You learn from being immersed in all of this. I was terrified when I was told “You’re going to come in and to dance in this piazza” but the minute we got out there and the music was pumped out, I just went with it.
And it looks like the most fun ever…
Because it was! It was crazy but it was so much fun. I’ve been sent a few campaign ideas prior to that and they have all been very dark, taking themselves too seriously like typical perfume ads, but this time it was different. Mr Dolce and Mr Gabbana said to me “We’re just going to have fun with it. You’re going to dance, smell some food, and interact with some people”. Lots of smiles, lots of happiness… I just really liked that idea. I just danced and laughed all day long, it was the most fun I ever had on a fashion shoot.
Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men EDT retails for RM308 (50ml) and RM410 (100ml), while the EDP version retails for RM333 (50ml) and RM443 (100ml).