John Malkovich is currently in an ongoing court battle with an online spammer who allegedly tried to impersonate him by owning the domain name “malkovich.com.” The real Malkovich is not happy about that.
Such is the true-story basis for Malkovich’s upcoming Super Bowl advertisement with Squarespace, which will focus on his anger-filled battle with a dramatized impersonator squatting on the comically more egregious “johnmalkovich.com” instead.
“[His] name is not Malkovich and I am in court with [him] in France,” Malkovich told The Huffington Post of the actual domain name squatter.
As with a previous teaser for the campaign that debuted on HuffPost, the ads focus on Malkovich’s new self-titled fashion line. You can already buy clothes from this line on his Squarespace-hosted site.
The actor has quietly had a long career in fashion, creating two other major lines and logging years of costuming various theatrical and film productions. This is his first line to be available for purchase on the internet. After frustration with brick-and-mortar stores in the past and knowing of fans’ difficulty when trying to purchase the clothes, he wanted to debut the fashion line in this high-profile way to finally see if his ideas will resonate or fail in the market.
“If nobody buys it or people don’t like it or we find it can’t be a business, then OK, I’ll know,” said Malkovich. “But when people can’t get it, that’s a question that kind of remains unanswered.”
This is the second campaign Malkovich has done with Squarespace in the last few months. Near the end of 2016, he partnered with photographer Sandro Miller to reimagine various scenes and characters originally created by the filmmaker David Lynch. HuffPost debuted a clip of Malkovich playing a female role from the 1977 movie “Eraserhead.”
The actor is arguably best known for not being able to be “known” or recognized by audiences. He often takes on eclectic roles that blur his celebrity identity, most notably starring in the 1999 film “Being John Malkovich,” where he played a version of himself. In that movie, a random person finds a passageway into Malkovich’s brain and takes control of the actor’s body, forcing the Malkovich character to quit acting and pursue a career in puppetry.
The ad campaign about Malkovich’s real-life fashion line is similarly structured, with Malkovich blowing off acting roles to pursue this passion.
“People might be shocked to learn I don’t have an obsession with becoming a famous puppeteer in the Adirondacks,” said Malkovich, before continuing more enigmatically, “But I could have had, I suppose, or may as well have had.”
Going further into how he views his name, brand and identity, Malkovich explained, “I don’t think of things in my life like, ‘What is my identity?’, ‘What do I want to be known as?’ or ‘known for.’ I think about what am I doing ... I want to do things and do the things that interest me and whether that’s acting or directing or producing or designing, for me it’s all of a piece.”
Watch the original short movie Malkovich made for this campaign below: