Throughout his career, actor Dominic West has played diverse roles such as police-detective James McNulty on The Wire, family-man Noah Solloway in HBO series The Affair and Richard Croft in Tomb Raider. For his upcoming film, Colette, he is the husband of the titular groundbreaking French writer, played by Keira Knightley, who he proclaims is a 19th-century Yeezy. Aside from the amusing irony of Dominic West comparing his character to a rapper that shares his last name, the parallel checks out. Colette's husband Willy was a prominent celebrity in his time, the life of the party and social influencer. However, his wife ended up going down in history the influencer. I spoke with Dominic about how Willy draws similarities to Kanye West. Here's what he said to CinemaBlend:
He was very much ahead of his time in terms of his understanding of celebrity, his hunger for fame and notoriety, and his willingness to cannibalize his own life and Colette's life to cause sensation and to cause notoriety and stir up interest in his books and then all the millions of merchandise. I mean, [just an] unbelievably successful merchandise and brand-maker. And I think if he, if he'd had access to social media, he would have been absolutely all over it. He'd love that more than anything else. He'd have been tweeting all day long, and he would definitely have tried to release a sex tape, I'm sure of that.
Colette follows the country girl as she gets married to Parisian partygoer Willy and is asked to ghostwrite under his name. When her semi-autobiographical novel of her younger years becomes a cultural sensation throughout Paris, the couple hit celebrity status and the talk of the city. Colette timidly continues to write the Claudine novels as the persona becomes not only a bestseller, but a popular brand seen on soap bars and makeup lines, and turns into a fashion influencer. Willy stops at nothing to make some cash off of their brand, encouraging Colette to explore her bisexuality as he also pursues affairs with other women of his own.
It's safe to say that Colette and Willy were pretty close to an old-timey Kanye and Kim Kardashian. The highly-influential couple are known to turn quite a few heads and get people talking with the controversial waves they make on social media, music and television with their products. However, in Colette's case, she is fighting to gain creative ownership for her works that have were wrongly plagued with her husband's name for years.
Dominic West's perspective on his character in Colette spruces up what to expect from this period drama. The French-set film is an entertaining look at the lives of the influencers of France's past, as well as it tells a story of a strong woman who challenged the gender norms of her era and particularly complements the #MeToo era. Colette hits theaters on September 21.