Since it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, young French lesbian first love story "Blue Is The Warmest Color" has been the subject of controversy.
Allegations of rough working conditions for the crew have been doing the rounds for months. Now, the film's two lead stars Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos have spoken about their own tough time on the shoot. Here's some interesting quotes they gave to The Daily Beast:
Seydoux: "The thing is, in France, it’s not like in the States. The director has all the power. When you’re an actor on a film in France and you sign the contract, you have to give yourself, and in a way you’re trapped.
Exarchopoulos: "He [Abdellatif Kechiche, director] warned us that we had to trust him—blind trust—and give a lot of ourselves. He was making a movie about passion, so he wanted to have sex scenes, but without choreography—more like special sex scenes. He told us he didn’t want to hide the character’s sexuality because it’s an important part of every relationship. But once we were on the shoot, I realized that he really wanted us to give him everything. Most people don’t even dare to ask the things that he did, and they’re more respectful—you get reassured during sex scenes, and they’re choreographed, which desexualizes the act."
The pair had barely met when they shot the graphic sex scene for the film. It runs a surprisingly long ten minutes on screen, and took a ridiculously long ten days to film. In fact, the whole shoot went for far longer than expected - five-and-a-half months rather than the originally planned two.
Both actresses say they would not work with director Abdellatif Kechiche again. The filmmaker's indecisiveness proved a big problem:
Seydoux: "Any emotional scenes [Kechiche] was always searching, because he didn’t really know what he wanted. We spent weeks shooting scenes. Even crossing the street was difficult. In the first scene where we cross paths and it’s love at first sight, it’s only about thirty seconds long, but we spent the whole day shooting it—over 100 takes. By the end of it, I remember I was dizzy and couldn’t even sit. And by the end of it, [Kechiche] burst into a rage because after 100 takes I walked by Adele and laughed a little bit, because we had been walking by each other doing this stare-down scene all day. It was so, so funny. And [Kechiche] became so crazy that he picked up the little monitor he was viewing it through and threw it into the street, screaming, 'I can’t work under these conditions!'"
For the full interview, click here