Vanessa Paradis On New Film, Café de Flore

Vanessa Paradis discusses music, motherhood, and her new film at TIFF 2011

Vanessa Paradis

In town to promote her latest film Café de Flore, iVillage.ca’s Robyn Shanks got the chance to sit down with Vanessa Paradis (aka Ms. Johnny Depp) to talk about the film’s Canadian director, her love of music and what it’s like being a mother in the biz.

Music is a huge part of this movie. What kind of music is a part of your life at home?
“No, it kind of varies? There’s always a song of the moment, and you know a song that we listen to and that changes, you know, every month or every six months or so, but yeah there’s songs like, children as you grow up that mark a certain time or a moment in your life and then they become a very special song.”
What’s your favourite song right now?
“There’s this song by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, 2 Against 1 that Jack Black, I mean Jack White sings, that’s the one thing that I’m listening to a lot.”
Did you get to have any influence on the music in the film?
“No, not at all. Jean-Marc is such a good DJ, he’s really a good, good DJ – he wrote the script around one song, you can imagine how good he is about doing this. No, no influence. I just shared the music.”
Is it tough for you to be on set and away from your children while you’re filming?
“It’s always hard to be away from them, but I mean you know, everybody does what they have to do, everybody has work in the day, or you know, sometimes at night, and then when we’re all done, we all meet, and we get together. Nobody lives their life always stuck to each other.”
Did having children change you as an actor?
“Being a mother changes your life, so it affects everything around you: your life, your work, everything. And then it’s hard to say in which way or what and to just be precise because it’s not always completely noticeable, but of course it does.”
Is there any one art form that you gravitate to more than the other?
“No, I don’t enjoy one more than the other, but, music is maybe the thing that’s the closest to me because regardless of what you’re singing is part of your life or not, or just something that you imagine that you create, it’s more of your own world than being part of a movie is stepping into someone else’s world, so it’s more personal, but I LOVE doing everything that I get to do. I really do.”
With this film being two separate stories that come together, what was your experience like filming in Paris, and then finally getting to see the final cut of the movie?
“Big surprise. Although I had seen a little edit of the Canadian part which was shot first [in Montreal] and when Jean-Marc Vallée came to Paris, he showed it, maybe it was just a small 20-minute thing, but he showed us what we were getting into. I mean, that was so good to see that.

“And now [seeing it] it’s wow, we all gasped. Big knife into our stomach, it was so emotional, so beautiful already, with no effects, no proper editing, no music, no nothing. So it wasn’t a full surprise, but still, there was a lot of things we hadn’t seen, and you know, combine them together with everything else that we did with the editing, with the sound…I only saw the movie last night, so it’s pretty fresh and I still am very moved by it, and it seems that even though I shot the movie, I read the script, I know exactly what it talks about, when you see it you get this image…you talk about it, because it’s a movie that talks about love: what it is, what it could be, what it should have been, what it will not be, and that relates to everybody. It keeps working in you.”
Is it hard for you to watch yourself on film?
“Oh yes, that’s hateful. You wish you had done a totally different job.”

Café de Flore is set for limited Canadian release September 23.

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Check out the trailer for Café de Flore below: