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Happy Talk with Julia Roberts

Happy Diamonds are Chopard’s signature, and who better to embody their captivating dazzle and unique statement than the effervescent Julia Roberts, announced this week as ‘ambassadress’ of the iconic Swiss heritage brand.

Christened ‘Happy Diamonds’ by Chopard co-president and artistic director Caroline Scheufele’s mother, who exclaimed upon first seeing them, “These diamonds are happier when they are free,” the loose-set ‘dancing’ diamonds are encapsulated between two sapphire crystals and set into an assortment of stunning fine jewellery, including the ‘Happy Sport’ watch showcased by Roberts in her first campaign for the House.

“I am honoured to be collaborating with Chopard on the Happy Sport watch, one of the most iconic and desirable models in the industry,” says Roberts.

Created by Scheufele in 1993, Chopard’s highly covetable Happy Sport model was the first watch to fuse decadent diamonds with stainless steel, and remains one of the world’s most seminal and desirable luxury timepieces.

For Scheufele, Julia Roberts was the ultimate Happy Sport woman when it came to embodying the Maison’s innate joie de vivre.

For more than three decades, the actress has captivated global audiences. After starring in a series of films in the 1990s that marked the decade, Roberts was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2001. Equally acclaimed by critics for her roles in romantic comedies as well as in dramas, this true film legend was further elevated to superstar status at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 when she strode up the famous steps of the Palais de Festival barefoot and wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress highlighting a Chopard Haute Joaillerie emerald and diamond necklace – to this day one of the most memorable red carpet moments in history. Since then, she has uniquely personified the ultimate free-spirited woman.

“It was her and nobody else!” says Scheufele. “Julia Roberts was the only person I felt could convey the spirit that I see in Happy Sport.”

Chopard is available at Partridge Jewellers

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An Exclusive Conversation with Xavier Dolan

How did you react when Chopard asked you to shoot Chopard’s Happy Diamonds campaign?
I was really flattered and, I think, a bit intimidated too, because I’ve never shot a commercial before. So I guess I felt “happy”!

How did you feel about working with Julia Roberts?
It definitely gave it a whole new meaning. She’s been important to my life and my story, particularly through Erin Brockovich. So knowing I‘d get to work with her was obviously exciting for me.

What were your aesthetic aims for this campaign?
Conceptually, something was already there, a guiding principle about letting go, ease and freedom, so everything artistic and aesthetic was naturally going to revolve around that. We needed – both in terms of costumes and lighting – something simple, light, accessible and human.

Is Chopard’s stance on Ethical luxury important to you?
It’s quite rare to work with a luxury brand that has an ecological and ethical conscience. A Maison like Chopard has that sort of sensitivity, that concern for the environment, for its staff, for the way it manufactures and produces. And that makes them people you want to work with because they have principles.

How did the shoot with Julia Roberts go?
We hit it off very quickly, we ‘clicked’ and made each other laugh. I think humor is a facilitator, socially speaking.

What does Julia Roberts represent for you?
Obviously, since Erin Brockovich… I was probably nine or ten at the time. And I remember being very impressed by her freedom, her personality. Maybe – and I suppose it’s normal – up until that point, I’d only ever seen women on-screen used as accessories, or being objectified, less in control of their destinies. Then Erin Brockovich turns up somewhere, in a situation and makes her own destiny,
changing that of others, too. And I think that really impressed me and has stayed with me ever since, so there’s no question that Julia represents, for me, that kind of modernity in a woman we think is really sensual and beautiful.

Yes, she’s got a big smile, but what you remember is the woman accepting her Oscar who retorts to the host: “You’re out of time! Take a seat, I’ll be here for at least ten minutes!” That’s the kind of thing that leaves a deep impression. In any case, that’s definitely what strikes me most about Julia: her humanity.

Chopard is available at Partridge Jewellers

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