How is it making love to Academy-Award winning actor Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”)? Not as easy as it looks, beautiful actress Cecile De France told me Wednesday night on the red carpet at the North American premiere of “Mobius” at the Tribeca Film Festival.
“Mobius” is a low-tech spy thriller set in the present, post financial crisis world against the glossy backdrop of the moneyed sections of Monaco, Brussels and Moscow.
The French actress plays a brilliant international banking hot shot, and Dujardin portrays a Russian spy in the post-KGB secret service. Double-dealing and financial shenanigans abound.
There’s also a shady Russian tycoon played with sleazy perfection by Tim Roth. I’m not going to pretend I can even follow the plot, but it’s fun to watch the beautiful clothes, people and places. And then there’s the plus of Dujardin, with his perfect three-day stubble and sexy smoldering glares.
De France described “Mobius” to me as “a mixture between a spy movie and a love story, and I think the love story is more important in the film,” she said. “Our goal is to make the audience dream and also to thrill them.”
Rochant, best known for his 1994 spy thriller “Patriotes,” was inspired to direct another suspense thriller because of his wife. “She asked me to do a movie like ‘Notorious,’ which is a love story inside a spy thriller, so I tried to do my best to do that kind of movie.”
For artistic reasons only, of course, I asked de France again about the sex scenes, which feature the actress experiencing some rapturous orgasms.
“The love scenes were difficult to do because the director is very demanding,” De France said. “Jean was very cool because he relaxed the atmosphere and his humor de-eroticizes it all, so it was very good to lust with him and I thank him for that.”
But were the sex scenes uncomfortable to do? Now is a good time to shoo away the kiddies.
“It was very precise,” De France said. “Eric asked me to work on the sound, on the breath, on the spasm, on the trembling, on the shivering. We worked on it like choreography. We were joking because we said we were making love, the three of us (Rochant), like a ménage à trois.”
She continued, ““It was very precise, each spasm, you know, and the orgasm was like the little death,” De France said. “George Bataille, the French poet, said the orgasm is like a little death, so we worked on that. It was a conscious decision to work on each sound, no cries, everything is on the breath, on the gentleness on the sweetness. It’s not the love like we’re used to seeing, devouring or animalistic or famished. The mood is a lot of sweetness, of well being, of simplicity of humor.”
Who but the French can talk about l’amour like this?
Later, following the screening at the Q&A, a woman in the audience asked De France about the “intense chemistry” between her and Dujardin. “Did you know each other? Had you worked together before? Do you have a personal relationship?” she asked.
De France, joking, did a pelvic thrust on the stage as a response. The audience laughed. “It was the first time we met,” De France said of Dujardin. “This guy is always in a good mood. You can have a good time with him. He’s extremely attentive and caring.”