Tom Ford on "cautionary tale" of new thriller, "Nocturnal Animals"

Tom Ford's "Nocturnal Animals"

Designer Tom Ford is an icon in the fashion world, but he also has built a name for himself in the movie business. The award-winning filmmaker has returned to the director’s chair for “Nocturnal Animals,” a haunting thriller about love and revenge starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Ford, who wrote and directed the film, describes it as a “romance wrapped in a thriller.”

“The thing that spoke to me about it is that it’s really about loyalty,” Ford told “CBS This Morning” Friday. “It’s about finding someone in your life, or people in your life, that you love and holding onto them. It is literally a cautionary tale about what can happen when you let those people go.”

Adams plays Susan Morrow, a successful Los Angeles art-gallery owner who leaves her first husband — a struggling writer named played by Gyllenhaal — for a handsome, wealthy man. Nearly two decades later, Edward sends her a first copy of his terrifying novel that reads to Susan like a revenge tale.

“What he does is he sends her a novel, a piece of fiction that is visceral and scary... and that’s him saying, ‘This is what you did to me. This is what it felt like to have my love ripped apart.’ And through that, she reconsiders the relationship and she falls in love with him all over again,” Ford explained.

Ford, who’s been with his partner for 30 years, described himself as a “very loyal person,” but said he could relate to Susan.

“We throw everything away in our culture today and we throw people away,” Ford said. “You know, there have been moments in my life where yes, I have let the material side of my life take control and lost the spiritual side of my life and my connection with people,” he said. 

Before directing, Ford created a fashion empire with his self-named label after spending more than a decade rebuilding brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

But the film does not feature any of his fashion pieces, as he wanted to keep the two worlds separate.

“I love my life in fashion, it’s great,” Ford said. “And I love fashion, but I wanted to be taken seriously as a film director.”