Léa Seydoux & Adèle Exarchopoulos recreate intimate scenes from their prestigious Palme d’Or Cannes Film Festival stunner Blue Is The Warmest Colour, directed by French-Tunisian auteur Abdellatif Kechiche. Mikael Jansson captures the sensual magic with styling by Karl Templer. / Hair by Yannick d’Is; makeup by Hannah Murray
When the Cannes jury, chaired by Steven Spielberg, ruled that Léa & Adèle gave such stunning performances that the director should share the award with his actors, the trio celebrated. The Guardian writes:
And then things took a strange turn. The actors gave interviews in which they talked about Kechiche’s tortuous process: how every scene had taken for ever, and how he had insisted on take after take until they felt they were cracking up. They said an explicit sex scene had taken 10 days and that they had to lie on the bed fumbling with each other, cold and naked, hour after hour. “Most people don’t even dare to ask the things that he did, and they’re more respectful,” Exarchopoulos told the Daily Beast. Seydoux said that at times she felt “like a prostitute”. A heartbreaking separation and reunion was shot and reshot until they felt battered and delusional. Exarchopoulos complained that the director had made Seydoux hit her repeatedly across the face in a fight scene. No wonder she cries so convincingly.
Then the director fired back. He said the actors were spoiled, didn’t know what real suffering was, that he felt “humiliated” and that he didn’t want the film released because the audience would no longer be able to watch it objectively.
Now the dust has settled, with the filmmaker admitting that he hired the two actresses with an interest in making a political statement. Like his heroines, Léa Seydoux, granddaughter of the chairman of Pathé, “comes from an extremely wealthy, bourgeois, very comfortable milieu” and plays Emma. Relative neophyte Adèle Exarchopoulos, who “comes from something that is definitely much more modest,” plays Adèle.
Within this context, director Abdellatif Kechiche says that Blue Is ‘The Warmest Color’ in not just about sapphic sex. The theme of social class divisions are a key part of his artistic focus. The LA Times wrote last week that despite its NC-17 rating and three hour length, the film is off to a solid start.