It was never my ambition to have my own fragrance and range of body products, but sometimes these things are just thrust upon us!
It actually started as a bit of a joke between Christopher Brosius - a really amazing perfumier whose stuff I had admired and worn and had become friends with - and Jason Schell, who had the original idea.
All my life I have had to endure jokes about my name so obviously having the tables tunred in this way really appealled to me. I also thought it would be great to shake things up a bit and challenege people's perceptions of celebrity endorsement AND to put my name ot somehting that i think is great and I use every day.
It is still pretty weird when someone comes up to me and instead of saying they have seen me in a movie or a play they say they have my fragrance. Or when I look throgh a goody bag on the way home from some event and find one of my own products there!
The photos that we shot for the ad campaign were great fun to do and created quite a storm. They are all based on old frgarance ads. Christopher and Jason went to the Fragrance Foundation (yes there is such a thing) and scoured their archives and then we took the ads they found to photographer Steve Vacciarello and we worked on recreating the lighting and feel of each one. I love them. I also love that people might not know what they are at first. I love a slow burn.
My friend Joe Mantegna made the commercial. There are two versions, 45 and 90 seconds. Again we wanted to both make a sexy, provocative commercial but also at the same time take the piss out of all thos ads with people rolling around in beds looking dreamy. I tried to channel those Calvin Klein Obsession ads, which I always thought were hilarious.
With this whole project I loved how we were able to produce something that is really good and also make people question what they think of celebrities selling them stuff. And we also had a real laugh. A lot of people didn't get it, or were annoyed because they weren't sure what they were supposed to think. I like that.
And I like Cumming. I love washing my hands with a bar of soap that has my name on it and is called Cumming in a Bar. I love showering with Cumming Clean and scrubbing with Cumming Off Buff and smearing myself in Cumming All Over.
Once when I was doing The Seagull I reached up to get something from a shelf in my dressing room and a bottle of Cumming fell and just missed my head. I thought it would be hilarious to have been killed by a bottle of my own signature fragrance!
Find out more, and even maybe buy it here!
Here's an article I wrote for the April 2005 issue of OUT Traveler about my visit to China
The night after my 40th birthday party I had to get up and go on Tony Danza's show to promote Son of the Mask. I am very hungover.
I also went on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, ostensibly promoting Son of the Mask but mostly we just laugh about Cumming the fragrance. And then I poope in to see Carson Daly.
Later in the year I went onto Daily Download on Fuse to plug Reefer Madness. Also here's a Conan too.
I appeared again on Dinner For Five with Jon Favreau, Frank Darabont, Harry Shearer and Fred Willard.
I voice Gordon the goat, the sidekick to Sean Connery's Sir Billi in this animated Highland extravaganza from Glasgow Animation.
At the 2005 Sundance festival I hosted Festival Dailies for Sundance Channel, interviewing many of the film-makers whose films were screening. Here is a picture of me probing Jennifer Jason Leigh.
And here is some raw footage of the interviews I did...
I play Margaret Cho's love interest, Eugene, in Bam Bam and Celeste, which Margaret also wrote. She and Bruce Daniels are the eponymous heroes, who leave their life in the sticks to make it in NYC on a make-over show where my character works as a producer (and a total English geek). The movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005.
I shot the film in a week in Los Angeles at the beginning of 2005. The scene in which Margaret and I have a disastrous dinner is supposed to be at the Cloister Cafe in the East Village, near where I live, but was actually shot downtown LA in some apartment building courtyard. Showbiz!
Sweet Land is the story of a young German woman who is sent from Scandanavia to Minnesota in 1920 as a mail order bride. The film flashes forward to the present to throw light on the love story from the past.
It was directed by my friend Ali Selim and also stars Tim Guinee, Elizabeth Reiser, Alex Kingston, Ned Beatty and Lois Smith. I love this film. I love its pace and its heart. I love that it is undefinable. It is a simple tale about love and home, something everyone can relate to, but it is also a sweeping big story about a side of America we rarely see, especially in a low-budget independent film.
I also get to play a Minnesotan farmer with nine children. That was a first!
The film was shot in Minnesota in 2004 and premiered at the Hamptons Film Festival in October 2005, going on to be screened at many film festivals across America and Europe, before being released in the US in 2006. I was one of the producers of the film, and we won a 2007 Independent Spirit Award for Best first feature. The film was included in Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen.
Neverwas was a really great script written and directed by Josh Stern. It's the story of Zach (played by Aaron Eckhart), a young doctor who gets a job at the mental hospital where his father was once a patient. There he meets Gabriel, played by Ian McKellen, a patient at the hospital who has a mysterious knowledge of Josh and his past. The film also stars Jessica Lange, Brittany Murphy, Nick Nolte, William Hurt and Vera Farmiga.
I played a small role, one of the patients in the mental hospital. Here I am impersonating a 70s porn star at the Neverwas world premiere at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival
Bad Blood is a short film directed by my friend from Vancouver, Kyle Leydier, and he adapted it from a chapter of the novel Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.
The film premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. We shot it in Vancouver in 2004, around the time I was there to shoot Neverwas, and it also features my Eighteen co-star Paul Anthony.
Bad Blood is a really dark look at revenge and pain and disease. I like it.