Léa Seydoux on ‘No time to die’ and more


The stories of “The French Dispatch” by Wes Anderson take place in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé. Léa Seydoux – who plays a prison guard who models for an inmate – finds the name hilarious.

“It’s so great! This is exactly the image an American can have of the French: they are so bored”Seydoux said with a laugh.

This year has been anything but boring for the actress. Anderson’s long-awaited photo follows the equally-anticipated juggernaut, “No Time to Die,” starring Seydoux as Madeleine Swann opposite outgoing Bondsman Daniel Craig. “The French Dispatch” screened last week at the New York Film Festival and premiered last summer in Cannes, alongside three other films starring Seydoux: the Philip Roth adaptation of Arnaud Desplechin, ” Disappointment ” ; Ildiko Enyedi’s period play, “The Story of My Wife”; and the satirical drama “France” by Bruno Dumont.

The wild painting makes it difficult to have a single image of Seydoux herself.

The 36-year-old actress first broke into arthouse circles in 2008 with the French student-teacher romance “La Belle Person”. She shared the Palme d’Or in 2013 in Cannes for the explicit “Blue is the hottest color”, with its director, Abdellatif Kechiche, and her co-star, Adèle Exarchopoulos. “Specter” in 2015 brought her into the Bond franchise, following an episode of “Mission: Impossible”.

“Léa Seydoux has a charm that is impossible to replicate on screen,” Cary Joji Fukunaga, who directed the new Bond film, said in an email. “She is paradoxically both elegant (almost feline, silent, observant, moving with elegance in a scene) and truck driver.”

Despite his sometimes imposing roles, Seydoux in conversation walks to the rhythm of his own drummer. At a Midtown boutique hotel, she stopped frequently, sometimes falling silent, but she radiated affability and curiosity. His first comments weren’t on Bond, or “Wes”, but rather on the existential critique in Dumont’s “France”.

“She knows she is part of the capitalist system,” Seydoux reflected of her character, France de Meurs, a television journalist in crisis. “And she wants it – that was her ambition. But she is aware of the fact that she is also a tool of the system. And she is aware of her own alienation.

This was not what I expected to hear in the “bond bubble” as her press secretary was referring to the film’s press operation at the hotel. But Seydoux moved freely from Bond’s talking points to a casual analysis of his roles.

“When I played Madeleine, I was in the ‘first degree’: there was no distance, there was no irony. My positioning as an actor is something that I really love, ”Seydoux said. On the other hand, “with Dumont, the subject is the philosophical dimension”.

When I asked Dumont about his performance, he said simply: “Léa Seydoux brought Léa Seydoux! I liked its naturalness. I was interested in working with his nature to build an artificial character. (“France”, also a selection from the New York Film Festival, opens in December.)

In “The French Dispatch” (arriving October 22), Seydoux plays the guardian and lover of a great incarcerated artist, Moïse (Benicio Del Toro). His liveliness and his wit keep the comedic rhythm going.

“The pace, the body language, the way you move – Wes understands that you can’t move normally. Everything must be tch-tch-tch-tch“said Seydoux.

Anderson offered her the role in a text on her cell phone, which she read aloud to me: “The film is kind of a collection of short stories. So I’ll send you just the parts you need to read… ”About the pace of her character’s work, she laughs,“ I think I’m really like that!

Seydoux grew up in Paris with a business father and a mother with “an artistic mind,” she says. His grandfather acquired the French film studio Pathé, which dates back to the early days of cinema, but she says they weren’t close.

“It was a bohemian family but not a happy bohemian family. I was very sad as a child,” Seydoux said. “I really suffered from the fact that I was different. I struggled with it. To read In previous interviews, the actress has described a very shy childhood of being “completely in my own world”.

For Seydoux, her breakthrough, “The Beautiful Person,” felt like she had her “first family of sorts,” she said. Making films gave it meaning: “What I love is feeling needed, and I love sharing with people. It connects me to the world.

There is no doubt about Seydoux’s determination in his career. Other actors may have faltered after the grueling process of creating “Blue Is the Warmest Color”. The notorious filming involved repetitive taking of long sex scenes and, she told me, Kechiche’s numerous threats to fire her. Public disagreements followed.

She proudly said she would do it again. But she did achieve something about the choice of directors.

“I don’t have to be in pain to be the best I can be,” she said.

Seydoux does not shy away from new adventurous roles. She just shot “Crimes of the Future” by David Cronenberg with Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart. The parcel? “It’s a dystopian future where people eat plastic. They have growing organs. And I am a surgeon. I am removing these organs.

Next comes a family drama, “One Fine Morning” by Mia Hansen-Love, which she partially shot over the summer, before contracting a Covid-19 infection on set. Seydoux had to skip Cannes and quarantine herself in Paris (where she lives with her partner and their little boy). Her character is a single mother who takes care of her sick father and finds love.

At one point, the range of his roles reminded me of a quote from a playwright on choice of subject: “Nothing human is foreign to me. Liking the line, Seydoux hands me his phone and asks me to type it.

Then she comes back oddly for a joke.

“So you think I’m human?” Yes! “

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