Tom Ford on Leaving Fashion for Film: ‘It’s the Closest Thing to Being God That One Can Be’

Tom Ford speaks with James Corden about his enormous career pivot.

Jackie Kolgraf
February 29, 2024

“When I was very young, I thought I wanted to act, but I was too self conscious,” Tom Ford told James Corden. “So I’m much happier on the other side of the camera.”

Having sold his fashion empire to become a full-time filmmaker, Tom is the latest guest on This Life of Mine with James Corden, a new interview show exclusive to SiriusXM where guests pick the movies, music, possessions, memories, places, people, and more that made them who they are.

This Life of Mine with James Corden on Siriusxm - Special Guest: Tom Ford; Available only on the SiriusXM app - Listen Now button

Tom Ford’s Defining Film: The Women (1939) directed by George Cukor

James Corden noted that Tom was the designer sought out by celebrities like Daniel Craig, who insisted on getting his 007 suits made by him; Michelle Obama, who wore one of his designs to meet the Queen of England; and Jay-Z, who titled a track in his honor. But Tom also directed and produced two Oscar-nominated films, A Single Man (2009) and Nocturnal Animals (2016).

During their conversation, Tom explained to James that, for him, fashion and film are both ways of telling a story — but after more than three decades in the fashion industry, he’s finished telling that story. He also appreciates the element of permanence filmmaking has that fashion doesn’t, calling directing “the closest thing to being god that one can be.”

Although his film A Single Man was based on the book of the same name, Tom said that he “grafted [his] own personality onto the character that Colin [Firth] plays, George,” and based Julianne Moore’s character, Charlotte, on his own grandmother.

“If anyone even ever needs to know anything about me or what I was like as a human being or what I cared about, watch that film, because everything about me is in that film,” Tom said of his directorial debut.

Tom Ford also discusses his childhood home in Santa Fe, moving as a teenager to New York City in the 1970s, meeting Andy Warhol at Studio 54, his favorite Bryan Ferry song, and his 35-year relationship with his late husband, Richard Buckley, in the latest episode of This Life of Mine with James Corden, now available to stream on the SiriusXM app. New episodes premiere Thursdays at 5pm ET exclusively on Stars (Ch. 109).

Previous guests on This Life of Mine with James Corden include Martin Scorsese, Kim Kardashian, Odell Beckham Jr., and Jeremy Renner.