Alice Taglioni Paris-Manhattan Interview

Alice Taglioni Paris-Manhattan Interview

Alice Taglioni Paris-Manhattan Interview

Cast: Alice Taglioni, Patrick Bruel, Woody Allen
Director: Sophie Lellouche
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: PG
Running Time: 80 minutes

Synopsis: Dreamy pharmacist Alice (The Valet's Alice Taglioni) is totally obsessed with the works of Mr. Allen. She surrounds herself with images of him, continually quotes lines from his films and even prescribes her customers DVDs of his movies to help alleviate their ailments; it's little wonder she's still single in her thirties! Alice's increasingly concerned family hopes to cure her fixation by setting her up with a handsome French gentleman (Patrick Bruel),but even he quickly realises that he's no match for the man of her dreams...

Playfully poking fun at France's ongoing love affair with the acclaimed New York auteur, Paris-Manhattan features a slew of the great one-liners, and is a fun and brazenly nostalgic comedy for anyone ever bitten by the Woody bug, or the City of Lights.

Paris-Manhattan Release Date: December 13th, 2012

Interview with Alice Taglioni

After studying piano at the Conservatoire de Paris (National College of Music and Dance) for 15 years, Alice decided to study theatre and become an actress. Her early career consisted of supporting roles in television series and modelling (she was selected to compete for Miss France in 1996). She soon appeared on thebig screen in 2002 playing Nathalie in La Bande Du Drugstore by Francois Armanet and found greatsuccess and fame with The Story Of My Life (Mensonges Et Plus Si Affinites…) by Laurent Tirardwith Edouard Baer and Clovis Cornillac. She then acted in more than 10 films including The Valet (LaDoublure) by Francis Veber, with Daniel Auteuil and Gad Elmaleh.

Question: What encouraged you to play in this film?

Alice Taglioni: Three years ago, Sophie Lellouche wrote me a letter telling me how much she liked my work and energy. This letter made me feel like working with her. As soon as I read the script, I agreed to play this wonderful character. Alice's freshness and naivety - in a good way - and her constant evolution from the first page to the last one seduced me. Furthermore, I had never participated in a romantic comedy and I very much liked the spirit of this one

Question: Can you tell us more about Alice, your character?

Alice Taglioni: Alice is a young, lively and happy woman, very close to her family. She's a bit immature and lives outside of reality. Stuck in a late state of childhood, she goes from her world full of dreams and fantasies to the grown-up world. I really liked how she evolves in the film. Alice has been devouring Woody Allen's films since her childhood and eagerly waits for the next one. From his works, she draws a philosophy that helps her live and make decisions. Woody Allen is somehow her guide, and through his humour and his perception of human relations he enables Alice to better understand the psychology of life, of her family and the people she meets. He is therefore very important in the film.

Question: Alice spends a lot of her time helping the people who surround her…

Alice Taglioni: She is a pharmacist, although she treats her clients as much with films as with drugs. She wants people to be happy; so much she forgot to focus on her own happiness. She always tries to understand and help others and can only feel happy if they are. She resides more in ideal and fantasy than in reality. She sees beautiful things everywhere but a lot of things shock her. Her integrity prevents her from trying easy love stories. Her affective honesty curbs her life and personal evolution. She sometimes becomes disenchanted and doesn't take as many risks as she thinks she does. She is then going to face her opposite, Victor. Sophie Lellouche says Alice is an "unhappy optimist" and Victor a "happy pessimist". They are going to react to each other.

Question: How would you depict Alice's family?

Alice Taglioni: It is a united family but, as every family, they refuse to face the truth and therefore avoid considering certain subjects. In this family with powerful upbringing and cultural principles, some issues that could be easily solved are often denied: the mother's alcoholism, the sister's unhappiness, and the immaturity of the youngest one… All the while believing in its modernity, this family happens to be stuck in social and religious divides. A lot of people can identify themselves to this kind of situation: family dinners with a very tense atmosphere while everyone tries and acts as if everything was fine. Things become interesting when we root out the evil.

Question: How do you react regarding the fact that you and your character share the same first name?

Alice Taglioni: Everyone wondered why we shared the same first name. Alice is the title of one of Woody Allen's films, but there can be more reasons. As far as I'm concerned, I can clearly distinguish my role from my personality. For each film, we borrow a first name. If it is the same as mine, it doesn't matter to me: it is a character I decide to play.

Question: Even if it is a romantic comedy with a glamorous couple, neither of them is a softie…

Alice Taglioni: Even if it is a romantic comedy with a glamorous couple, neither of them is a softie…Both characters don't discover life; they have already lived one on their own. They both come to realise what they are made for and what they don't want. Alice moves from a childish world to the adults' world. She frees herself from her family, from her sister who is her role model and idol, from her religion's traditions and from Woody Allen. Alice and Victor's encounter is special because they don't seduce each other; they first question each other and then become aware of the deep nature of their relationship.

Question: The dialogue feel like a table tennis game. Both characters have a lot of personality and Alice is very picky…

Alice Taglioni: We talk a lot and, even if they're sharp, those discussions are not confrontations. Alice and Victor test each other. She is spontaneous and full of energy whereas Victor is logical and uses the right word at the right time. They don't feel like they are made for each other (especially Alice). As a result, she's not trying to charm him, she's not cautious. That is one of the character's sides that appealed to me. Anyway, I don't like seduction. I wouldn't say we are alike but I like to play her energy, her frankness and freedom.

Question: How did the acting with Patrick Bruel go?

Alice Taglioni: I've known Patrick's works for a long time and I am really glad he agreed to play this character, very different from what we know of him. His character is quite unexpected but suits him. Playing with him is simple, easy, obvious and I wasn't surprised. We share this knowledge of music, tempo, rhythm and… of poker. But we are different as musicians. Patrick is a self-made-man whereas I studied piano for 20 years. We also share an interest in comedy. It is a genre I already experienced and enjoyed because it is based on rhythm and music, which I have been trained for since a young age. As a result, it is as if we were singing a duet, being in tune, following the same rhythm and we easily harmonised with each other. It was very easy to play Sophie's very well written score and we enjoyed it.

Question: The film is full of unusual scenes for a romantic comedy. Were you looking forward to playing some of them?

Alice Taglioni: The film is indeed full of surprising situations. Even if the funniest to watch are not obviously the easiest to play, I was looking forward to playing the family scenes, quite comical, and also the "robbery". I was very happy during the shooting of this film because it offers life and happiness. There is something refreshing, simple and sincere, somehow like Sophie and her characters.

Question: What makes this comedy different from the others?

Alice Taglioni: The characters are not in their twenties, they have already had a life. However, even if it is not a priority, each of them secretly wishes to find true love and start a family. They are indeed going to find love, without looking for it. Thus, the film doesn't match with the classical scheme of the romantic comedy. Each time Victor tries to seduce this girl, he fails. Yet, her comments are like tips to help him touch her. Between the two of them, it is a bit like playing tag. Another man, charmer and playboy, appeals to Alice and is a serious competitor of Victor.

Question: How did the shooting go?

Alice Taglioni: The shooting was representative of the film, cheerful and bubbly. I really enjoyed playing with Patrick but also with the other actors. This film focuses on human relations and it suits both Sophie and I. Everything went smoothly. Sophie managed to show us the right tone and make us stick with the film's spirit. That's why having a good director is important. The director is the conductor and the actors the instruments (tuned I hope!). During the shooting, Sophie was outstandingly relaxed. She observed the decency of keeping her difficulties and doubts to herself. For a director, it is a talent. She knows how to direct actors, who she respects as well as the rest of the team. I wish every actor had the chance to work with her.

Question: When you watched the film for the first time, did anything strike you? Something you would have never thought of during the shooting?

Alice Taglioni: I was first seduced by the characters' freshness, their enthusiasm. I am glad this film recreates the energy and kindness that the script encapsulates. Even if there are very few scenes between father and daughter, their relationship is sweet and helps you understand a lot of things about Alice and her sister. Playing this with Michel Aumont was a real pleasure. Marine Delterme is also very touching. Plus, I liked the film visually: Sophie's mise-en-scene associated with Laurent Machuel's photography is magnificent and it is rare for a comedy.

Question: Do you know today what this role means in your career?

Alice Taglioni: This role made me dive into comedy again, that I had left aside, and reminded me how much I like this genre. I loved playing in this film. I tried not to have a high opinion of myself - I hope I never do. I had a wonderful time at work, with the others, discovering a woman like Sophie. This film made me feel good, light-hearted.

Question: The shooting started with Woody Allen and Patrick Bruel. How did you react?

Alice Taglioni: Having the opportunity to be close to Woody Allen, play a simple scene in front of him, was amazing. I don't play much with him but it was a true moment of cinema. I wasn't fazed, just happy seeing him here, happy for Sophie, for all of us and for the film. We were all happy and that was a very promising start for the shooting.

Paris-Manhattan Release Date: December 13th, 2012