Jude Law Based His Vox Lux Role on Killing of a Chinese Bookie

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In Vox Lux, Jude Law flips the script of his own reality by playing a talent manager. He’s a particularly involved and manipulative one, making a lot of very questionable choices while overseeing the career of Natalie Portman’s Celeste from adolescence to adulthood. But despite (presumably) being surrounded by high-profile talent reps for most of his life, Law says he didn’t draw inspiration from any of them. Instead, he had stranger inspirations in mind.

“People who have lived lives that have burned the candle at both ends, and somehow lived in that witching hour, where you wonder how they get through the day before they need another drink or another drug,” Law explained at the film’s L.A. premiere. “For that, I kind of look more at Killing of a Chinese Bookie, specifically.”

In the 1976 drama, Ben Gazzara stars as an owner of a Hollywood strip club whose gambling addiction catches up with him. While Law and director Brady Corbet were inspired by Gazzara’s performance — as well as by famed studio executive Robert Evans — it was also important to Law to make his role of “The Manager” his own. “I didn’t want to play some generic sleazebag,” Law continued. “I wanted to really understand his ambitions for this young woman, his belief in the process, his hopes, and then his failings. You construct a three-dimensional, hopefully realistic and believable, person that you like, and you dislike, and you understand, and you also question.”

Jude Law Had Unlikely Inspiration for His Role in Vox Lux