Status 'protected' Cannes star Léa Seydoux

'From the beginning I worked with people who respected me - more or less'

by Richard Mowe

Léa Seydoux with her The Second Act co-star Raphaël Quenard
Léa Seydoux with her The Second Act co-star Raphaël Quenard Photo: Richard Mowe
Léa Seydoux, the star of The Second Act, Quentin Dupieux’s Cannes Film Festival opening film, considers herself fortunate at the start of her career not to have been subjected to the kind of inappropriate behaviour suffered by some of her contemporaries.

At a media gathering after last night’s world premiere in the 77th edition of the festival the one-time James Bond girl confessed: “I’ve been a very fortunate person as an actress. From the beginning I worked with people who respected me - more or less. It’s difficult to compare, however, as some women were really victims and went through a very serious experience.”

Having emerged relatively unscathed she sensed that her stature and standing had protected her. “When you’re a young actress, you are vulnerable,” she said.

Director Quentin Dupieux treats serious subjects with a light touch
Director Quentin Dupieux treats serious subjects with a light touch Photo: Richard Mowe
Flanked by her male cohorts in the film (Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel, Raphaël Quenard and Manuel Guillot) she noted the subject was treated by Dupieux “with a light touch". She added: #MeToo is very important but it’s also necessary to talk about it with humour as it is dealt with in the film.” She admitted, though that at times it was “politically incorrect” but in a good way.

Just to “lighten up” the proceedings director Quentin Dupieux interjected about the scene in which Quenard's character tries to kiss her: “This really happened! Raphaël really tried to do this, he tried to kiss her - and I made the most of it.”

Seydoux suggested that over the years she has seen a change in attitudes - for the better, “especially in very intimate scenes that are being shot. I can sense there’s been a great change. I’m sure all the men present here likewise tend to agree with me. There is something that should be self-evident.”

The actress concluded: “It’s a wonderful thing that women are speaking out. It’s about high time that they did.”

From Judith Godrèche’s outspoken short film Moi Aussi due for a special screening in Un Certain Regard and support from jury president Greta Gerwig the #MeToo movement is having heightened moment at this year’s Cannes, which continues until 25 May, with doubtless other broadsides to come from the likes of Demi Moore, Julianne Moore, and Cate Blanchett among others. And the prospect of more #MeToo revelations to come has also been swirling around the festival.

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