Adam Driver Goes Full Centaur in Jonathan Glazer's Burberry Ad

Could he be our modern-day Chiron?

In her hit song "Hero," Mariah Carey told us a hero lives in all our hearts, and that we don't have to be afraid of what we are. 

In the case of Adam Driver, what he is deep inside is a centaur, apparently.

Burberry's latest for its fragrance Hero is directed by Jonathan Glazer. It's pretty typical of luxury perfume—soft lighting, lovely production, wordless storytelling, a sense of magical realism. In it, Driver pursues a horse along a beach to the FKA twigs song "Two Weeks." Then they both plunge into the sea; as they swim, the camera erotically caresses their respective rippling muscles and flowing hair.


Ultimately, they undergo a languid but dramatic Sailor Moon-style transformation, and emerge in a sort of singularity: Driver and horse are one. It ends with the fragrance signature, which is basic: "Burberry Hero. The new fragrance for men."

On Burberry's website, Hero is described as a "new masculine spirit exploring the house codes of duality and the power of the animal kingdom," with the campaign itself acting as a metaphor for "personal transformation." 

The bottle was designed by Burberry chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci to look like a horse's hoof, and the fragrance includes cedarwood oils from three different mountain ranges, paired with bergamot, juniper and black pepper.

While the "Hero" ad is short, its storytelling draws heavily from Greek mythology. (This is familiar territory for Glazer, by the way, whose most famous ad also drew inspiration from ancient myths—and also involved horses in the water.) Perhaps the greatest centaur of note is Chiron, son of the titan Cronus and Philyra, a sea nymph or Oceanid. Chiron lived at the foot of Thessaly's Mount Pelion—there's the mountain connection—and was renowned for his wisdom. 

After Hercules hits him with a poisoned arrow whose wound never quite heals, Chiron takes up the healing arts and is later given the moniker of the "Wounded Healer." He remains with us today as the constellation Centaurus.

There is something of all that wounded healing business in Driver himself. He's big and lanky, almost clumsily mannish—a quality he exploited to great effect in Girls, Star Wars and A Marriage Story. So for longtime fans of Driver's, there's a pleasing symmetry and catharsis in this one-minute work. It remains to be seen whether any of it leads to any mythic healing.

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Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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