“Jeanne Dubarry deserves her own movie”

A special woman, Maiwenn. Starting with a name and a personal history worth remembering before talking about his film opposite Johnny Depp, which is currently in theaters. The 47-year-old French actress and director was born into a multi-ethnic family of artists with whom she didn’t get along, in fact always introduced herself only by her first name. His father is a Breton of Vietnamese origin (Patrick Le Besco), his mother is French-Algerian (Catherine Belhoja). As a child, she made her debut in theater and cinema, at the age of 12 she met director Luc Besson, they got together when she was 15 and he was 29, and when she was 16, their daughter Shanna was born. Director turns their love story into a movie Leongreat success that gave Natalie Portman, then leaves her for Milla Jovovich, the star Fifth Element, where Maiwenn also plays a role. A well-known actress in France, Maiwenn began writing and directing her stories in 2006. Polisse, Excuse me, Mon Roy – based on his sensitivity, not reworked by personal events. He has a busy life, professional and personal. She had a second husband, real estate developer Jean-Yves Le Four, with whom she had a son, Diego, in 2004. Another relationship ended.

It is no coincidence that he now says to an irreverent, rebellious woman, far ahead of her time: Jeanne Dubarry – The King’s Favorite, presented at the last Cannes Film Festival and from today in cinemas, is based on a figure who actually existed but not very well known in eighteenth century France, whom she herself interprets with great irony. Marie-Jeanne Becou, ​​better known as Madame du Barry, was the last mistress of King Louis XV. “I fell in love with him when I saw Marie Antoinette Sofia Coppola, who entrusted this role to Asia Argento,” she said in an interview at Cannes. “And since then it has become almost an obsession for me. It seemed to me that he deserved the film only for himself: so I began to delve into his story and write the script. Jeanne was of very modest origin, the illegitimate daughter of a seamstress, but thanks to her charm and love of culture, she conquered the men of high society, until she seduced and fell in love with Louis XV. He wanted her to stay at Versailles until her death, causing resentment and gossip. She was removed after her death during the reign of terror following the French Revolution. The surprise of the film is also in the role of the monarch, entrusted to Johnny Depp, who plays in French for the first time.

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Sincerely, press office

Jeanne Dubarry was definitely an individualist and a very free woman for that time. Did she identify with her?

“I found your story interesting. Meeting with Louis XV, which became at the same time the pinnacle of his rise and the cause of his fall. However, what makes me tell stories is always human relationships. And I, of course, also identified myself with some of Jeanne’s character traits: curiosity, temperament, the desire to get rid of feelings of social inferiority.

In terms of mentality, she is similar to a woman of our time.

“Many people have told me that this is a modern film, but I definitely did not make a decision at the negotiating table. It’s true that I didn’t want to make a classic biopic or get too caught up in the language and details of the time. I wrote the script based on my sensitivity, I wanted to emphasize the spontaneity and sincerity of this character. The things that surprised and obviously were quite unusual in the rigidity of the French court of the eighteenth century: everyone pointed to him for it.

There are many funny moments in the film, due to the fact that Jeanne Dubarry did not know the court records and even overlooked them a little. What is your personal vision?

“I was, of course, looking for my mark. I avoided improvisation and parodies, I tried to reveal my individuality, respecting the era.

According to Johnny Depp, she dared to take on the role of the French monarch “a slacker from Kentucky.” Why not choose a French actor instead?

“Obviously, I was thinking about my French colleagues, but then the cooperation that would have convinced me did not take place, and I needed a strong translator, for me charisma stood above nationality. Johnny lived in France for many years – for 14 years of his relationship with Vanessa Paradis Ed – and when I met him, I discovered that he knew Louis XV even better than I did. He feels at home in France, loves this country and our culture, painting and music. It turned out to be an ideal choice, one might even say an obvious one.”

Jeanne Dubarry favorite of the kingpinterest icon

Stephanie Branchu

The sex scenes between them are almost incomprehensible. Why such a choice?

“And think, initially there was not even a kiss! I only got into it after I got Johnny involved. I don’t like too explicit or gratuitous sex scenes and I’m embarrassed to shoot them. Moreover, it seems to me that modesty came up to describe the era. First of all, I wanted love to arise between them. I like the kiss scene, the only one, because the king sits, takes off his wig and at that moment he is no longer a monarch, but just a man in love. Louis XV, speaking of Joan, said: “She is the only woman who made me feel like a man, and not the king of France.” It impressed me a lot, and I tried to translate it into cinematic language.”

The story is dramatic, but at the same time full of humor.

“I can never talk about serious things without humor: I think that life is a big joke. It’s important to downplay moments, and in films I’m always looking for moments to break the rhythm by putting in a few funny moments. And Johnny Depp is the perfect actor for that, irony is his style.”

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