In an interview with Marlow Stern for the Daily Beast, the leads of the powerful masterpiece Blue is the Warmest Colors recount a very difficult shoot, very awkward sex scenes, and say that they will not work with director Abdelatif Kechiche again.
This follows other reports in the French press from crew complaining about the very harsh production conditions. To be honest, the conditions described in the interview with the actresses above are not that unusual in France. In the US David Fincher, for example, is known for doing up to 90 takes of a scene. Some observers are saying that, while undeniably demanding, Kechiche is being singled out because of the film’s unexpected success.
In any case, I find Léa Seydoux’ behavior profoundly unprofessional. The 28-year old Seydoux is a talented and experienced actress who has appeared in 30 films. Partly because of her award-winning role in the Blue, she has recently made the cover of half a dozen French magazines (including the one below for the new French men’s magazine, Lui).
Seydoux is also a child of privilege, she is the grand-daughter of the head of Pathé, a French studio. For her to diss the director on a promotional trip to the US paid by the production is unacceptable. If she truly hated the filmmaking and never wanted to work with the filmmaker, she should not have accepted to be part of the promotion, and perhaps she should have even turned down a few magazine covers. Or else she should have kept her mouth shut.
Using an old French expression, Léa Seydoux is “spitting in the soup” — biting the hand that amplifies the fame she seeks.
Adèle Exarchopoulos is another story. Like Abdellatif Kechiche she is from humbler origins than Seydoux, and she really is grappling with a new world of celebrity at the age of 19. In a telling interview with Emily Greenhouse, Exarchopoulos wisely states: “We say that we were suffering on this movie … we always said that he is suffering, too, but just said nothing”.
The bottom line is that Blue is the Warmest Color is a masterpiece that tells a simple story about finding and losing love with incredible performances by Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux.
Go see it.
New Yorker: Emily Greenhouse – Did a Director Push Too Far?
Léa Seydoux on the cover of the September issue of Lui magazine.