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Hollywood Gossip, New Projects, First Looks.
in Interviews / 06.11.2019

Interview with Chantal Ladesou: “I reserve my extravagance for the stage, which is the only place I allow myself to do nearly anything”

On the occasion of the premiere of the comedy Who's that Granny we publish an interview with the actress Chantal Ladesou (grandmother Aurore in the movie) and we invite you to the cinemas from November 8th to see the comedy in which she plays the main role!

In Who’s that Granny, the team behind the success We are Family is back for a new comic adventure!

After two years of living together as a happy family in their own apartment, the patchwork bunch of seven half-sisters and half-brothers are forced to split up and move out.

They reluctantly go their separate ways for summer vacation. But when little Gulliver gets sent alone to his eccentric Grandma Aurore, known for her penchant to party and zero parenting skills, the kids take matters into their own hands: they all show up at her house for the summer!

Life with Granny Aurore is anything but ordinary. She doesn’t cook, she goes out clubbing every night and never gets up before 2:00 pm. Looks like they’ve got to teach Aurore how to be a real grandmother. It’s a tough mission to take on, because Granny Aurore is a real tornado of energy and extravagance. But honestly, a grandma who can also be your best friend, doesn’t that sound like a dream?

In We are Family, the children were the ones who called all the shots. Did you expect the sequel to hand over that role to their "granny", meaning you?  
Chantal Ladesou:  I was totally surprised. Gaby (the director, Gabriel Julien-Laferrière) hinted to me that my role would be bigger this time, but not to the point of becoming the film's main character and having the honor of being in the title! When he had me read his new script, of course I was wildly happy about it! Not because "Granny" had snatched the star role from the kids, but because I got to play her again, and this time with the opportunity of fully exploring her imagination and complexity. And I also have to admit, it was the first time anyone offered me the lead role in a film. After about thirty films playing supporting roles, my little acting ego got a great boost!

Did the responsibility of taking on the title role of a movie frighten you?
If I had parachuted from out of nowhere, into totally foreign territory, I probably would have really flipped out. But in this case, since I already knew the crew and my character, everything was smooth and easy. I took being promoted to this "granny" as a stroke of luck. I don't get to have that much fun with a character in a movie very often.   

Why did you say yes to being in the first film of this adventure?  
I loved the story of this separated and remixed family. At first sight, everyone blended together in a pretty random way, as emotional impulses surfaced. The screenplay was well-structured, and at the same time funny, looney, empathetic and warm, just like a lot of "Benetton" families I know! What I also liked about it is the way it turned the world upside down:  faced with the adolescent immaturity of their parents, the children were the ones who took control and decided to live together in the same apartment. In the middle of that joyful bazaar, my eccentric granny character delighted me. The part wasn't very big, but I liked its craziness and freedom. Acting-wise, it was as great as it promised to be.  

Besides your role, what made you so thrilled about the sequel?
First, the script. Even if it doesn't have the same structure as the first film - which is actually a good thing! - I also thought it was well-constructed. At first, with all those little scenes about these blended families going to various places on vacation with their children, it seems scattered, like a patchwork, multicolored and cool. And then it gets tighter, brings together its little group and closes up like an umbrella. That "centrifugal" construction seemed to be smart as well as charming. Besides that, I was happy to get back together with that "family" of actors, adults and children alike. The adults because in addition to being "aces" on set, they are all exquisite and funny human beings. The kids because each one is endearing in their own way.

They say that acting with children can turn into a nightmare.  
It's true that it can be a hellish exercise:  children get tired fast, their powers of concentration can be short-lived, they don't always respect the "blocking" and acting can bore them quite quickly. It's very hard to get a kid motivated again when he's lagging or doesn't want to do another take.  

So it was pretty logical that when I imagined myself faced with seven kids of all different ages, no matter how much I wanted to do it, I was a little uneasy about shooting We are Family. My fears soon disappeared. All seven behaved like real pros. Gaby had done a good job getting them ready. He'd taken them all out to the countryside. Not to rehearse, just so they could get to know each other and become friends. Between the water fights, pillow fights and all the rest of the tomfoolery, night and day, it made for a pretty raucous weekend. But the seven of them had bonded. On set, coached and managed by Karin Catala, a woman who is gentle, yet energetic and motherly, not only were they extremely disciplined, they also really worked together and were very respectful of everyone. Some of them even came and asked us for bits of advice, which they followed so carefully it was touching. After shooting the first film, which had gone smoothly for the whole team, the little troop kept in touch, so getting back together for Who's That Granny?! was a real joy. The only difference was that the kids had grown up and Gulliver (Sadio Diallo) and I had been promoted!

Do you still identify with the granny you left behind two years ago?
Yes, her personality hasn't changed a bit. She is just as extravagant and independent as ever. But now that she's front and center, she progresses in plain view. Beneath her eccentricity and lifestyle, which seems so rebellious, you discover an amazingly powerful woman. Besides succeeding in bringing everyone together, she has her own special way of taking the children under her wing, helping them to break out of their cocoons and overcome their fears, which fuels that really symbolic sequence I love so much, jumping into the water from the top of the cliff. In the second film, it's not the granny who's changed, it's the children who have grown up and become even more reasonable, as well as the parents, who have become more mature as they have aged and now take their educational role more seriously.

What do you, Chantal Ladesou, have in common with this "granny"?  
A lot of things:  exuberance, joy, sarcasm, a touch of madness, the absolute necessity of feeling free, and also being sensitive and affectionate to the point of not being able to express it sometimes. The only thing we don't have in common is her promiscuity. Not only am I very prude in that respect, but I've been married for 47 years to a very jealous man who wouldn't tolerate me even lifting a finger! And that's mutual, actually! (laughs) But to get back to my granny, I'm probably a little more traditional in my daily life than she is. I dress more conservatively and my behavior is less eccentric. I reserve my extravagance for the stage, which is the only place I allow myself to do nearly anything.

Are you also the kind of actress who sticks to the script?   
In the theater, especially in my "solo shows", I like to indulge in little verbal digressions. But in films, even if I let myself go sometimes, I generally stay on track with the script, especially if the dialogue is good. For this film, as well as the previous one, I was lucky:  Gaby had tailored my dialogue for me. I had some fabulous lines, like "Don't call me granny, it gives me wrinkles!" When you have lines like that to deliver, you don't change a single comma. The comic impact they have is equivalent to a rocket ship!

For you, what's the difference between acting for theater and film?
In theater, there is immediacy. You can't go back, so too bad if you screw up! But you can pace around freely - for example, leave the stage and join the audience. It's a lot of adrenaline, but it's also a source of stimulation that I have a hard time doing without for very long. Movies give you a different feeling. Lighting, timing, blocking - everything has to be spot-on. You project your voice less, the acting is more internal, you look for precision. I like the discipline, it makes me focus. The only thing that annoys me is when we have to redo takes. I feel like I'm losing simplicity and spontaneity.

Who do you think Who's That Granny?! was made for?  
For everyone. It's a bright, energetic family comedy that gives some good advice for life and brings along lots of wonderful values, such as mutual respect and accepting differences. My husband really liked it, and so did my daughter, which proves that it's intergenerational. Of course, they're not in the least bit biased!

Are you, Chantal Ladesou, a granny in real life?  
Yes, but my grandchildren aren't as old as my character's grandkids are. My grandson is three and my granddaughter is only one. It's too bad, I'll have to wait a while before showing them the movie!




in Interviews / 17.05.2019

Interview with Elodie Fontan: “I've been a fan of Nicky Larson since I was little”

Élodie Fontan was born on July 9, 1987 in Bondy, Seine-Saint-Denis, France. She is an actress who appeared in more than fifteen television and film productions since 1996.

Élodie Fontan started very young in French commercials for Nissan, Quick and Euro Disney. She gained notoriety in 2009 by playing Alyzée, Clem's best friend, in the Clem series, broadcast on TF1.

Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon (Nicky Larson and Cupid's Perfume) is a name of the latest French action comedy directed by Philippe Lacheau in wich Élodie Fontan appears alongside Philippe Lacheau, Tarek Boudali, Julien Arruti and Pamela Anderson.

It is an adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime series City Hunter (known as Nicky Larson in France) by Tsukasa Hojo.

Nicky Larson is the best bodyguard, an outstanding private investigator. He is called for a high-risk mission: to recover the Perfume of Cupid, a perfume that would make irresistible the one who uses it.

This weekend, in Romania, Prorom and Ro Image will release the comedy Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon, and we invite you to read an interview with the leading actress Élodie Fontan.

How did you feel when Philippe Lacheau came up with the idea of making a movie about Nicky Larson?
I remember that moment: I was on the train in a promotional tour for Babysitting 2. Like the boys, I've been a fan of Nicky Larson since I was little, and this idea seemed great to me, though none of us had any idea if we could get the rights. Especially because I did not know if I would have a role in the movie or not…

How did you imagine Laura?
I had a strong attachment to this character. The challenge was to make her realistic - which is not always easy with the manga characters, because of their gestures, while preserving the characteristics of his character. Laura is an impulsive girl, she has a very tough face, but at the same time she's very protective with Nicky, she's taking care of him. So she is very calm and she manages a lot of things, but she can also be crazy. Finally, it was nice to interpret all these different emotions. Besides, this is the first time I played such a character, and it was very dear to me.

Did you made some researched for this character?
Before I started the project, I rewatched most of the animated episodes and I never missed Laura's look: on stage, during lunch breaks or makeup. I was happy to go back to an episode every time to find the right tone or mimic of my character.


What instructions did Philippe Lacheau give you?
He wanted Laura to be faithful to the manga series, but to adapt her to me, so that she would remain credible. Because people who do not know Nicky Larson's world to appreciate it and understand her, she does not have to be too crazy. And Philippe and I made sure she never became annoying.

What she "borrowed" from you?
I gave her some gentleness. I wanted her to be very loving and very protective with Nicky, probably more than in the animated series. Actually, I think I softened her and made her more balanced.

Did you like the idea that she would bring emotion to the movie?
What I liked above all was to have a character in my hands that allowed me to use my all acting skills. Through her I could go from comedy to drama or anger, and that's a gift for an actor. I remember when I read the script, the scene where Laura understands that Nicky is sacrificing for her touched me a lot, and I can hardly wait to play it. But seeing it, I think it's actually a beautiful sequence that brings a lot of emotions and a different tone. The film is very rich, there is action, comedy, laughter, emotions, and that's also the memory I keep from the cartoon.

How did you prepare for action scenes?
I've been boxing for a long time, and I have always dreamed that this discipline would serve me in cinematography one day. That's why, when the guys wrote the script, I suggested that they include battle sequences with Laura.

Did it take long before you found Laura's look?
No, it was pretty fast, it came naturally. The costume designers knew Nicky Larson's world very well, and we had the same ideas for Laura's character. We wanted to be as loyal as possible, giving her a touch of modernity. The capillary part was a little more delicate, it was necessary to find the right color, the good haircut, which was far from me! I knew hair was important for the character, but I think the bet was a winning one, since I was asked during the promotion tour if I really cut my hair…


This duo with Philippe has brought you closer to him?
Surely. We worked long before the shooting and I knew exactly the direction we wanted to take. Nicky Larson is the third collaboration between us, and from one movie to another, we are naturally more "closer" on the screen. The other actors were the same: we are all very close, we see each other a lot outside the set and the more we work together, the more the automatisms are triggered. But Philippe is quite efficient because he knows what he wants, how to pass on his ideas and how to take us where he wants.

What is the most beautiful memory from the shooting of the movie?
The scene in the factory where there is a general fight will be memorable. Very strict shooting times put us under great pressure, because we could not overcome them, and the filming program was so busy that sometimes wondered how we could shoot all the sequences in a single day. So we were a little tense, especially Philippe, but it's a beautiful sequence, worthy of an American action movie!

What was your reaction when you saw the movie?
I was very proud, because I can say that so far this is my best role and my best film. The bet was not obvious from the start, but it proved to be a success. Besides, I was amazed by the music, extremely well chosen, by the direction, by the editing ... Regarding the actors, we were all very happy to make this movie and I think that's is something that you see on the screen.

Interview by Clara Géliot.




in Interviews / 13.05.2019

Interview with actor and director Philippe Lacheau: “Nicky Larson was one of my favorite animated series”

Philippe Lacheau was born on June 25, 1980 in Fontenay-sous-Bois, Val-de-Marne, France. He is an actor, writer and director, known for Babysitting (2014), Babysitting 2 (2015) and Alibi.com (2017).

Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon (Nicky Larson and Cupid's Perfume) is a name of the latest French action comedy directed by Philippe Lacheau who also co-wrote the screenplay with Julien Arruti and Pierre Lacheau.

It is an adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime series City Hunter (known as Nicky Larson in France) by Tsukasa Hojo.

The film features Philippe Lacheau, Élodie Fontan, Tarek Boudali and Julien Arruti in lead roles, along with Didier Bourdon, Kamel Guenfoud, Sophie Mousel, Hélène Lamberti and Pamela Anderson in supporting roles.

Nicky Larson is the best bodyguard, an outstanding private investigator. He is called for a high-risk mission: to recover the Perfume of Cupid, a perfume that would make irresistible the one who uses it.

This weekend, in Romania, Prorom and Ro Image will release the comedy Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon and we invite you to read an interview with the actor and director Philippe Lacheau.

How did you come up with the idea of adapting Nicky Larson for the cinema?
I belong to the club generation Club Dorothée and Nicky Larson, who landed on French television in the 90s, was one of my favorite animated series because it was a real comedy. There was also action, police investigations, love stories, but it was especially funny. Nicky, beyond making me laugh, is the best in everything he undertakes: it's both a detective, a bodyguard, a lovelace... the James Bond of comedy in short. Unconsciously, it was therefore a kid's dream to embody the hero of my childhood in the cinema.

Have you acquired the rights easily?
Not at all! It was a very long process. We got some help from Stephane Huard, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment France, who through their American and Japanese studio affiliates has allowed us to meet manga creator Tsukasa Hojo. Prior to granting our rights, the Japanese author asked for a right to read the script. After eighteen months of writing, I went to meet him, with my manuscript under my arm, full of fears. After 48 hours, the verdict came: he liked it! I was very happy because he found that the script was loyal to his manga creations, and he made the most beautiful compliment I could ever get from him -- that he would have himself invented this original story.


How was the writing process?
In order to perfectly absorb the universe of Nicky Larson, Julien Arruti, my brother, Pierre Lacheau, Pierre Dudan and myself (the same team from Babysitting) we analyzed 144 episodes of the animated series that were broadcast in France and reread 37 numbers of manga. But I also saw the various adaptations that have been made abroad, including a Chinese movie with Jackie Chan. It was important to see everything to refresh our memories, we had to recover the tone to write. The most important thing was to keep the universe and the characters.
So I found the idea of a quest around Cupid's perfume, a perfume that has the power to make you irresistible. But the real challenge was to attract all the new generation that follows us from Babysitting, but who does not know Nicky Larson. This required a lot of rewriting.

Why is this movie a very personal one?
He sends me back to my childhood. Maybe that's why this is the movie that I'm the most proud of, because everything that comes to this moment of my life is sacred. I was fortunate enough to enjoy the moments when Dorothee (the one who made the Club Dorothee show in France in the '90s) was on our movie set, and I watched her with a child's eyes, reminding me of the show we enjoyed in our youth. It was as if I had met a friend I had not seen for many years. Moreover, it is personal because it brings together my friends, my parents, who appear in the movie, and the names of the characters are sometimes borrowed from relatives.

How did you prepare to become Nicky Larson?
I was so motivated that I exercise for eight months with diets and training, and  I put 8 kg of muscle. In parallel, I worked diligently for choreography of the action scenes, I learned how to shoot with a Magnum gun, machine guns and other heavy weapons, then I dyed my hair. I remember the day the costume handed me Nicky's outfit: seeing me in his blue coat, his red shirt and his black pants made me feel very excited.

Was it from the beginning the idea to work with the same team again?
This is a question I cannot answer. It was an incredible opportunity to work with my friends and, as long as the public follows us, we will continue. This is an incredible luxury and it's great to see that from one movie to another some actors such as Didier Bourdon, Chantal Ladesou and Gérard Jugnot follow us and the “band” grows.

Newcomers immediately joined Nicky Larson's world?
It was interesting because, unlike some "special guests" like Audrey Lamy, Raphaël Personnaz or Jarry, who knew the animated series, the others had not heard of him. But they immediately found him funny, and they followed me with the same enthusiasm. It is fortunate that all these actors have joined us for one or two days because the scenes in which they appear have a size much higher than the scenario indicated. For them it may not have been a lot, but to me it was a lot.

Did you direct your actors as in your other movies?
With my friends I did not change my way of doing things. But I was very afraid, for example, to give directorial directions to Pamela Anderson! When we created the character, we thought it would be great to have her in the movie, because like Nicky Larson, it was a representative image of the 1990s. It was a real surprise that he accepted! And suddenly I woke up under pressure: I speak English very badly, and I did not know how to direct an American star on a shooting set. Would she do all I ask? Would she have extravagant demands? Does he ask for anything in return? Soon I got answers to my questions because the meeting was great! He did not refuse anything, because he was amused to play with his glamorous image.

Where did you shoot?
A little in the South, a little in the Paris region. The original manga is happening in Tokyo, but the filming would have been too expensive and it would have been strange, because the characters speak all French. So we decided to move it to us, but without marking the place. Like Gotham City in Batman, Nicky lives in a city that does not exist, and cannot be located. We filmed in Paris in La Defense, Beaugrenelle, but we added 3D buildings, and we removed the Eiffel Tower from some pictures... The only place mentioned is Monaco.

What were your sources of inspiration?
In the pure comedy, I have a true French culture, because my models have always been Francis Veber - my absolute master - Alain Chabat, Les Nuls, Les Inconnus and Le Splendid.
Among the French comedies of recent years, the series of Taxi movies were probably the most successful. But let's not forget Belmondo, including Le Magnifique, by Philippe de Broca. But this time I have to confess that I was more inspired by the American comedies, because they are very bold. The first time that I saw There’s Something About Mary, by the Farrelly Brothers, was a real shock. And I grew up with American Pie, these genres of movies that pushed the limits! This is an example for me.


The budget was important. Did you have any extra pressure?
When we pictured such a movie, we were scared at first. But to be credible, it was necessary to have money. I did not have the means for a Mission: Impossible kind of movie, but when the idea is to make a James Bond with accent on comedy, the bar is up. That's why we wanted the budget to be appropriate. So we used the best professionals, technicians who worked with Luc Besson and who did a great job in scenes that needed explosions, chasings and very realistic fights.

In the end, the movie is like you want it to be?
I am very happy, yes, because my purpose was to make the most funny movie and to mix it with action and feelings. And, thanks to my great editor, I have the feeling that I have succeeded.

Interview by Clara Géliot.




in Interviews / 15.04.2019

Exclusive interview with Anna Todd: “If you like to be entertained, go see After!”

Here is an exclusive interview with the bestselling author of After series, Anna Todd. Anna visited Bucharest, Romania in october 2018 and we talked about the After movie that is going to be released in cinemas this weekend.

Hi Anna, nice to meet you! Because you’re an author I have to ask you.. You prefer read the book and then see the movie or vice-versa?
Anna Todd: Definitely the book first. Because I've always been a reader my whole life. So I rather read the book and then see the movie.

What was the inspiration for the After book besides the One Direction thing that everyone knows? Is there a specific book? Or a specific movie?
Anna: Yes there are a lot of different ones, honestly. For the book was mostly like Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Hemingway… When you read the After series you can see that the characters talk a lot about literature, so there a lot or parallels between those stories and mine. I was also inspired by the movies like 10 Things I Hate about You, She’s All that… because of the ending. Is kind of the same. Like it’s a deal kind of… the girls been tricked it in that situation. Also I got inspiration from Vampire Diaries… The character Hardin is not the typical romance hero. In my books he is more harsh than most…

I’m glad you mention 10 Things I Hate About You… I think is one of the greatest comedies of the ’90. They also made a sequel, but it didn’t have anything in common with the first one…

Anna: Yes… I hate when they do that! They do that with the Cruel Intentions… I loved that movie. Cruel Intentions is like After 2, you will see. But they do this with the second Cruel Intentions – and I was like “What was this??”. Like… I did not want that!

But you think that this first movie – After could be the beginning of a franchise? Or is just a standalone movie?
Anna: The After movie is the adaptation of the first book.  And even some of material from the first book we save it for… hopefully After 2. Because the first book is soooo long. It was impossible to fit it all.

You were involved in the production of the movie - you also worked at the screenplay?
Anna: Yeah, I got really lucky because we sold it to a smaller studio first, so I had a lot of control… I was at every casting, I chose the cast… I’m also a producer on the movie, I was on set every single day. So I was very involved. So I know exactly every scene.

So the Movie is a lot like you imagined to be…
Anna: Yes. Honestly it was a lot like this. I got to help choose some of the locations… if the bedroom didn’t look right or something in the room didn’t seem right we will move it. So I had a lot of control (laughing). We were really lucky.

Yes, you were! Not a lot of authors can do that…
Anna: Yes. Most of them can’t. So I got really lucky.

So when they choose the actors, you have some control?
Anna: Yes. Basically everyone that I want got the roles. But not just because of me, because we were all grup voting. But with Hero, specially… Hith him basically was “I will quit if you don’t hire him like… Now”. Because I knew it’s him. We met so many… and he wasn’t my favourite in the beginning, until I met him in person. And then I just knew… and everyone agreed with me. And then on the set they all said “Thank you”. Because he is perfect for this role. He is a Fiennes. Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes are his uncles. So he came from this business, he knows how to work hard and he is not like “lazy” or “millennial”… is really great!

How was with the director of the movie?
Anna: I got to meet a couple different choices. And she and I hit if off, and It was great. So I had some meetings with her before we started pre-production, and I worked a lot with the script… Some parts of the script I actually wrote myself. So it was a really collaborate effort.  A lot of times when the studios will buy adaptations they say “We want to keep closes to the book”… but they don’t. With mine, they didn’t have a choice, because I was always there (laughing).

The director read the book first?
Anna: Yes, she did. And also a big part of the cast, they read the whole series. So it was really good to have this people who really want to make it closes is possible. Of course, there are some things that we need it to change because of timing, but it was really good.

In the movie some things differ from the books...
Anna: Yes it’s a different medium. And I tried to tell my readers.. it’s never gonna be exactly the same, and for me it doesn’t bother me if the people say “the book is better”… because I made the book! (laughing). So I’m like… thank you!