The world has had its fair share of Coco Chanel biopics in the last decade; there was a cluster between 2008 and 2009 that included French films Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky and Coco Before Chanel and the American telepic Coco Chanel. Now, there’s another Chanel film (this time, a short) coming, from Chanel head designer/creative director Karl Lagerfeld himself, and starring Kristen Stewart.
Vanity Fair reports that Stewart will not play Chanel, but rather an actress playing a young Chanel, with Geraldine Chaplin taking on the role of the real, middle aged Chanel. Lagerfeld described Stewart’s actress character as “Really, really mean. You only see her in tests and she’s complaining about everything. She’s mean with the director; mean with the producer.” The film will premiere on December 1 at the Métiers d’Arts show in Rome. As the magazine points out, Lagerfeld also directed a film in which Kiera Knightley portrays Chanel, though her interpretation was far more relatable than Stewart’s evil-actress-as-Chanel role seems to be.
Of course, what’d really make for a good Chanel biopic would be one that doesn’t choose to focus on her earlier years as a means of glossing over the fact that the last few years have seen more public discussion of how, as the New York Times put it, Chanel “metamorphosed from a mere ‘horizontal collaborator’ [during WWII] — the mistress of a Nazi — into an actual German secret agent,” and how people have felt the need, in wanting to relish the memory of her revolutionary fashions, to avoid the uglier parts of her history. But until that happens, there’ll soon be another stylized depiction of Chanel, played by a new icon, to uphold Chanel’s old icon status.