Berenice Bejo In Alexis Mabille Couture (Spring 2013)
Wow, what the hell was she thinking when she hit the red carpet wearing that blue jacket over the dress? Considering she’s from the fashion capital of the world, you’d expect much better by French actress Bérénice Bejo. Seriously. This is the frickin’ red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival & this is the best she could do?
Berenice & the cast of ‘The Past’ (‘Le Passe’), the new film by ‘A Separation’ director Asghar Farhadi, were on the red carpet for the star-studded premiere. Check the plot & trailer (unfortunately no subtitles) below:
An Iranian man having long-term domestic problems with his French wife, deserts his wife and two children to go back to his homeland, Iran. In the mean time, his wife is seeing a French man and therefore writes to him and asks for a divorce which compels the man to come back to France, only to see his wife’s new partner in his home beside his children.
Here’s a snippet from an interview w/ the film’s star Berenice, who discusses her various experiences while doing the film (read the full interview here):
What was your first impression when you read the script of THE PAST?
I had to wait a month before I received it. I’d met Asghar, then I went abroad on vacation and I waited to find out if he was going to give me the script, and if he was going to offer me the role or not. When I finally got hold of it, I picked it up like a jewel, a rare object that I was lucky to have in my hands. I found everything in it that I liked in his previous films. A mood, characters who aren’t just monochrome, and who always retain a degree of mystery, and a complex story which continually makes the spectator change his or her mind. I finished reading it enchanted.
How did your first meeting go?
We met two hours before I took a flight, and I’ve never done a test like that! Asghar was looking for
something in my face, I didn’t know what. Then he put some cotton wool in my mouth, he darkened by
forehead, he worked on the corners of my mouth. To the point where I said to the make-up artist: “If
he wants to change my face that much, he might as well find someone else.” We hardly spoke on the day of the tests. Just a little about the character. And when I left, I knew next to nothing.
When he spoke about the character, what did he say?
“She’s a woman with two children, who is in love with a man who has a child, and who has to get divorced from another man.” He asked me if I had any children. I told him I have two, and that my partner also has two. So I’m mother to four children, every other week. It was a way of telling him: “I can relate to what you are telling me, and perhaps I can find an echo of it in my life so that it
works on screen.”
Asghar Farhadi is very keen on organizing rehearsals before his shoots. How long did they last?
Two months. We met up three or four times a week, sometimes also on a Saturday, and we rehearsed for
four to five hours. It’s something I’d never done before, and must be close to the preparation for a stage actor, working as a troupe. Asghar had us do exercises for half-an-hour; we walked round the room, we ran, we relaxed, we did sit-ups. And he always demonstrated the exercises to us, clearly taking the role of troupe leader. After that, we read the script, and sometimes we improvised a little around it. And we always all did the same, even when the scene didn’t involve us. By the end, I was growing more and more impatient. I wanted to get on with filming, especially since Asghar’s
demands were becoming increasingly precise.