A man and a woman. Desire is what drives us. The longing for freedom. The promise of departure and change. Infinite possibilities as a goal in itself. And, of course, love.


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Film classics prefer to evoke these feelings while driving in an open car: to the coast, along the shore, with a view of the wide sea. Jean Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimee fall in love as Un homme et une femme in Deauville. Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair enjoy their togetherness on Crane Beach in Massachusetts. Cary Grant and Grace Kelly kiss for the first time on the switchbacks above the rooftops of Nice. The secret protagonist in each case: the car.

Hollywood’s new star

So it is in this story, also set on the Côte d’Azur. The special automobile in question that takes us there: a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL. Wide radiator grille, classy chrome parts, elegantly rounded wings, perfect styling. The sports car legend has enjoyed cult status for almost 60 years. From the very beginning, Hollywood contributed to this worldwide fame. No sooner had the first models with the star and the signature “Sport Leicht” appeared in the USA than they began to receive film offers. The SL became the dream car for the dream factory. The stars – among them Grace Kelly and Cary Grant – liked to appear in private in the SL. Our car, with its black paintwork, belonged to Ruth Pinnau, grande dame of Hamburg society and wife of the architect Caesar Pinnau. He had fitted out Aristotle Onassis’ famous yacht Christina O and later converted the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes.

Law of attraction

This is where the hero of our story, Jude Law, acteur extraordinaire and Sexiest Man Alive, is drawn to what is probably the most noble hostel in the south of France. The occasion is a discreet date with a beautiful stranger. But in this case, the anticipation begins with the journey. Through the picture-book landscapes of southern France, our gentleman driver steers his roadster along the winding roads of the Alpes-Maritimes. For real driving fun, it goes uphill and downhill, over viaducts and gorges, past imposing rock faces. Wherever he passes, you turn to look for the striking man – or, optionally, the glistening chrome 190 SL. Jude Law drives confidently, focused. He doesn’t let on the sense of adventure he may feel on this road trip. Unstrained and relaxed, Law embodies the ideal connoisseur who knows how to live the Mediterranean dolce vita – at least since his role in The Talented Mr. Ripley earned him an Oscar nomination in 1999.

A man of character

The secret behind it: passion for profession. In addition to his undisputed talent and outrageous good looks, it is discipline and hard work that have made the London-born actor what he is today: one of the most sought-after male actors in Hollywood and part of the international jet set. Yet he has never taken it easy, always seeking the challenge of complex, even uncomfortable roles. In between, he regularly appears on stage in London or on Broadway. To ground himself. To be with his family. You can sense that in the conversation. Jude Law is a smooth operator and yet charming and uncomplicated. A man who has found his center. That makes him independent, and you can see it in his face – a new King of Cool, like Steve McQueen once was. This naturalness is palpable in even the smallest, unintentional gestures: the way he loosens his tie while driving, the way he hypnotically fixes his gaze on the road, the way he lets the steering wheel of his SL glide through his fingers.

Flair for the extravagant

Finally, around the last bend, the sea. From here, it’s only a stone’s throw to Antibes, the meeting place of the rich and beautiful. The drive up to the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is almost surreally romantic, and the 190 SL makes the picture perfect. Jude Law strolls through the pine-covered park directly to the jetty next to the pool, the agreed meeting place for his rendez-vous. The panorama: sea and sky in brilliant blue, kissed by the glorious light of southern France. At the end of the jetty, a breathtaking motorboat. Which unknown beauty is waiting in it, hidden under her broad sun hat, we can’t make out. But Jude Law, with his – only hintingly – mischievous look, jacket thrown over his shoulder, shirt slightly open and his confident, unagitated stride is pure nonchalance. That’s exactly what makes his sex appeal. For us, this is as far as it goes. But who can resist this combination?

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Jude Law discovered his profession early. Already at the age of 14 he stood on stage for the first time. Since then, his string of awards has not stopped. This man can simply play anything, and is considered an irresistible cast for casual elegance. His professional and social commitment speak for themselves. Jude Law has long proven that he is not simply stunning to look at, but has more to offer: Brains, assertiveness and finesse. Simply a man with class.

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He was also known as the poet of glamour: as a photographer, Lindbergh had a knack for making models and celebrities alike relax on the set with his generous friendliness. The Duisburg native, who formerly lived in Paris, Arles, and New York, came to photography in 1971 in a roundabout way: and it was love at first sight. Today he not only photographs world stars, but is one himself. As a passionate cinema lover, he stages Jude Law on his journey in the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL with echoes of famous film scenes: from Hitchcock’s Over the Roofs of Nice to the driving scenes of a Steve McQueen. Peter Lindbergh passed away in September 2019.

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From 1955 to 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL was the epitome of a cultivated lifestyle. Several of its sporty styling elements were based on its “big brother”, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL: the front mask, the bumpers, the front headlights and the shape of the bonnet. As an export hit in the USA, the SL model series was soon a welcome guest in Hollywood productions. And this remained the case with the successor models. Whether as a speedy getaway car, stylish companion, desirable stolen booty or seductive gift – to this day, all SL generations have starred in countless films and cult TV series. In the process, they are often far more than decorative accessories – they quickly attract all eyes and become the hero of the plot themselves.

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The hotel has become an icon in its own right. During the Cannes Film Festival, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc was and is a real magnet for Hollywood’s top brass. The atmosphere then has a bit of a class reunion for Oscar winners. What they love about the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is the discretion, the unparalleled service, the delicious star level food and last but not least the unbeatable location. In the summer of 1931, Stefan Zweig wrote in the guest book, “Grateful for the sky, landscape and silence around this blessed house.” This is how many of the loyal regulars feel, even away from the hustle and bustle of the film festival. Year after year they come with their children and grandchildren to spend an unforgettable time in this idyll.

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