With good looks, charm and a British accent, it goes without saying that Jude Law is a pretty enviable guy. His versatile career is about to take an incredible leap forward, because he's about to let himself go.
Law stars in the new dark gangster comedy, "Dom Hemingway."
Packing on some weight, sporting some killer mutton chops and wearing facial prosthetics, Law veers away from his rugged good looks to help dive deeper into this demented character.
Some of Law's best roles - in "Road to Perdition," "Anna Karenina" and "Cold Mountain" - also ignore his good looks. When asked why he thinks audiences respond to good looking actors veering away from beauty, he said it was a very good question.
"I think there's a liberation, when you play someone…" Law began thoughtfully. "Often if you're asked to change your looks and transform in some way, it makes the character realistic. It's like putting on a disguise. It removes yourself one step further from who you are and you're able to express something maybe more honestly and go places you otherwise wouldn't want to go."
When it comes to those places, Hamilton asked Law to imagine a world where, like his character, he could do anything without suffering the consequences. What's the first thing he'd do?
"I don't know. I'll be honest with you, I was a lot happier having the excuse doing it as character than doing it myself," Law said. "I needed the excuse of saying, this is for a part, as opposed to doing it on my own back and carrying the responsibility.
"I think the only thing I can ever think of is sleep. I think sleep. I just constantly seem to want to sleep at the moment," Law said laughing. "I've just finished a long run in a play in London. Between that and my children, I never seem to get enough sleep. There you go. That's a really sad, middle-aged answer."
Law is from London, spends most of his time in Los Angeles and his career has landed him in countless places around the world. But he also knows Chicago.
The actor spent an extensive amount of time in our fair city shooting the 2002 mob drama "Road to Perdition. A rumor going around at the time was that he so despised how he looked in the film, that Law hardly even went outside. So Hamilton got to the bottom of things. Did Jude get a good look at the Windy City?
"I would go out," Law said. "But I usually wore a hat, you see, because we came up with this crazy kind of hair cut for the film that was particularly – distressful – to pull off and to look at."
But he did love the Chicago Architecture River Cruise, visited a few great blues bars and took in some Chicago theater and ate at some tasty local restaurants.
"I like to think I got a really good Chicago experience," Law said. "It's one of my favorite cities in the country."
When it comes to his new film "Dom Hemingway," which features a very unkempt Jude Law, I had to ask what exactly this meant about him. Does the director think he can make the transformation, or does he worry the director thinks he's already there and it'll be easy?
"I didn't think that until you said it," Law said. "I went with the former!"
So while Jude Law tries to get a bit of rest, his career charges on. Whether he embraces those good rugged looks or tries to disguise them, he'll still be the exact same thing: a great actor.