NEW YORK >> David Beckham has a knack for keeping his name in the news, and his face — and well-sculpted body — in front of the cameras. The newest ad campaign for his bodywear collection for global retailer H&M is being released on the heels of the announcement that he’s joining the French Paris-Saint Germain soccer club.
The ad campaign, directed by Guy Ritchie, is more like a film short. Beckham stars as an action hero, saving the day in Los Angeles in his boxer briefs and bedroom slippers. (Beckham, who was born in London, left Europe to join the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.)
Beckham launched a line of undergarments and loungewear in partnership with H&M a year ago, debuting in a Super Bowl ad that featured Beckham in a tank top, boxers and his many tattoos. Over the summer came the next wave of ads, with Beckham in his boxers and a different view of the tattoos.
The 37-year-old Beckham said he’s committed to this for the long haul, but is still a little startled looking up at a billboard and seeing a giant version of himself.
“No matter how many campaigns I do with H&M, I will never get used to seeing myself on billboards,” he said. “It’s always a surprise to me when I see them. I’m lucky to work with such great photographers and stylists, so the images are always the best they can be.”
Beckham responded to questions via email to The Associated Press:
AP: Working with Ritchie seems like a little bit of a leap into acting. Is that where you are heading?
Beckham: It’s been great working with Guy. He’s one of my favorite directors, and also a friend, so it was amazing to work with him on my new Bodywear commercial for H&M. It was good fun playing an action hero for the day, getting to do all the stunts and ending up in unexpected situations, but acting full-time is not something I see myself doing in the near future.
AP: Is there a movie you wish you could have starred in?
Beckham: I love Guy’s film Lock, Stock (‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’). It came out in 1998, which was such an exciting time to be British. I remember the attitude and energy of the film as if it were yesterday, and it went on to define so much about how British men saw themselves for years to come. But I wouldn’t want to actually appear in the movie — I have too much fun watching it.
AP: What changes have you made to the collection?
Beckham: When we launched the collection, we wanted it to be a range of new classics that men could rely on. We spent 18 months developing the range and working on the product, focusing on fit, comfort and the design details that make for a great piece of bodywear. The core range stays exactly the same, and we add to it only when we feel there’s a need for a new piece, like the lounge jerseys and long johns or the morning gown that we added last year. This is a long-term collection, and I’m proud to put my name to it.
AP: With one of your three sons modeling for Burberry (10-year-old Romeo) and at least one seemingly interested in soccer (13-year-old Brooklyn reportedly had a tryout with London club Chelsea), would you encourage them to follow in your footsteps?
Beckham: Like any parent, I just want the best for my kids, whatever they decide to do. They will choose what path they want to follow, and we will always be there to encourage them.
AP: What’s the biggest challenge in sticking to your fitness routine?
Beckham: Keeping fit is really important as playing football is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’m training a lot at the moment so fitness is an integral part of my day. I think I’d find it more of a challenge if I wasn’t able to keep in shape!
AP: New York Fashion Week starts Thursday, and you are often at your wife’s shows. (His wife, Victoria, is a former Spice Girl turned fashion designer.) What’s it like for you in the front row?
Beckham: Victoria works so hard on her collections, it’s just nice to be able to go to the shows and see all that hard work come to life. I’m really proud of her, she gets nervous but it’s always a great success.