July 29, 2009 04:43 PM


At first, he was simply Chanel. Last year, he became a cuddly teddy bear and now, in his latest attempt to broaden his public image and appeal, Karl Lagerfeld is “Totally Spies!” Chanel’s artistic director is lending his distinctive voice and hyper-speech patterns to an animated feature based on a popular, long-running French cartoon series. “Totally Spies (The Movie)” opens this week in Paris and across Europe this Fall, and Lagerfeld, who voices the film’s villain, is also performing that rarest of voice-over hat tricks: dubbing himself in the film’s English and German language versions. In an interview in Le Parisien, Lagerfeld explained that signed on for the project because he was “amused that the film’s producers thought (of me) for the voice of Fabu, the villian,” and that he accepted without hesitation. “It’s not at all what I do but it interested and amused me very much. The film’s vocal coach wanted me to speak the way I do naturally but I’m not in the habit of reading other’s texts. In life, I speak my own way and because I speak three languages.” The cartoon’s flamboyant villian, Fabu, with two-toned hair, sweeping white forelock, ruffled shirt and violet doublet, “definitely has some resemblance to the idea that people have of me,” Lagerfeld admits. “And that’s fine because it allows me to be different in real life. I know people who have an air of being nice and who are really dirty dogs. Fabu is unlike me in that he has a taste for revenge, madness. I don’t.. well, okay,” he confessed, “if you really do me a dirty trick, then yes, I have a certain taste for vengeance. Lagerfeld, whose only previous film role was as ‘Karl’ in Warhol’s l973 film L’Amour, realizes his inimitable Euro blend of French/German/English, and NASCAR pace — is most unique. “Sometimes I’ve dialed the wrong telephone number, and the people say, “You know, you sound like Karl Lagerfeld!” — Peter Mikelbank

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