Openly gay French actor Arnaud Valois has been cast as queer fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in the upcoming Disney+ series, Kaiser Karl.
The six-part production chronicles the rise of another notorious queer name in fashion, Karl Lagerfeld, both a friend and rival of Yves and his partner Pierre Berge. Lagerfeld, played by All Quiet on the Westen Front‘s Daniel Brühl, is expected to be the central character. The series covers his attempts to become the most famous French fashion designer in the 1970s, a title held by his competitor.
Along with their rivalry, the series – the first drama about Lagerfeld – will cover the decadence, the partying, the friendships and affairs that filled his life. It will be a look at the queer subculture and glamorous world of Parisian fashion.
1st August 1936: French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent is born in Algeria. After working for Dior, he founded his own fashion label in 1962 and is considered one of the foremost designers of the 20th century. #OnThisDay #Queerstory pic.twitter.com/Y1YAqGTnsf
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) August 1, 2022
As Yves Saint Laurent, Arnaud Valois will add to his repertoire of queer film and TV roles. After a difficult introduction into the industry, Arnaud Valois quit acting for five years, but made his return in the film he is most known for, BPM (Beats per Minute), also known as 120 BPM (Beats per Minute).
The LGBTQ+ feature was a big hit at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was the French selection for the 2018 Academy Awards. Arnaud played the handsome newcomer to ACT UP–Paris, caught up in sometimes violent campaigns against big pharmaceutical companies, while also being in a loving relationship with another activist, Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), who was HIV Positive.
He won a Lumières Award for Most Promising Actor for the role. Along with further acting jobs, he also wrote and directed Le Nouveau Moi, a short film about a teenager who has to change his name by order of the authorities. This provokes some self-questioning in the boy.
Valois has also been cast in Dan Levy’s upcoming Netflix romantic comedy, Good Grief. The film, also starring Luke Evans, is about a man struggling to cope with the deaths of his husband and his mother.
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