Our interview with Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos is an intimate affair; only a handful of journalists share a table with the two beautiful actresses (and their English translator). Léa, best known for her role in Inglourious Basterds is polished in a sleek dress and bangles up her arms. Adèle, still a rookie to the feature film world, seems extremely down to earth as she even eats a chocolate chip cookie during our talk. Their unorthodox approaches to typical “Hollywood” conventions make for fantastic on-screen performances in Blue is the Warmest Color, as well as making for interesting conversation. We begin:
WERE YOU INSPIRED BY ANYONE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE WHEN FILMING THIS MOVIE?
LÉA SEYDOUX: Yeah, I was inspired by someone that I know… This man that I’m talking about, I was deeply, deeply in love with him. Crazy in love.
ADÈLE EXARCHOPOULOS: For me, every experience is so different so I just tried to remember old love and the many states you can be when you’re in love. Especially your first love, when you think you’re gonna die.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE ON THE SET DURING THE SEX SCENES? THE ATMOSPHERE?
LS: The atmosphere, of course, was very difficult. [Director Abdellatif Kechiche] shoots with three cameras, sometimes four, so we were surrounded by cameras. It’s difficult to find intimacy sometimes. It’s difficult, but I think it was a very important part of the film.
IS IT TRUE THAT YOU SHOT THE ONE SEX SCENE OVER 10 DAYS?
LS: We spent many, many days… I don’t know if it was 10 days. We could spend 2 days on the same scene, then go back to another scene.
AE: It’s always difficult to make a sex scene, but in every scene there’s art.
LEA, DID YOU HAVE A HARD TIME CUTTING YOUR HAIR AND DYEING IT BLUE?
LS: Yes because [Abdellatif] wanted me to have blue hair many months before the shoot. It was kind of strange to look at myself, but I like to transform myself; Because of the hair I started to walk different. It’s really a process that I like and in France, you don’t really have that possibility. It’s rare [in France] to make a deep transformation.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THE DIRECTING PROCESS?
LS: I think it was the repetition of doing hundreds and hundreds of takes. That was very difficult because you lose yourself, which is a good thing but it’s also very disturbing. We could spend, like, one week on one scene and it was the same scene the whole day. But I think it’s an experience, and it’s unique because it’s [Abdellatif’s] way of working and, as an actress, it was interesting to [push myself].
AE: I always wanted to work with him because he always gave justice to women. Even if it’s shocking sometimes, like the sex scene where it’s long and boring, I know he would always choose the best take.
WOULD YOU EVER WORK WITH A DIRECTOR [LIKE ABDELLATIF] AGAIN IN THE FUTURE?
LS: Yeah, but for me it’s not the thing I like the most.
THE SHOOT ENDED UP GOING OVER SCHEDULE BY THREE MONTHS, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
LS: All we did was work, we had no choice. At the end we shot seven days a week. We couldn’t see the end sometimes and we were scared, but the result is here and the fact that people like it and we won the Palme d’Or [at the Cannes Film Festival] and that says something. I think it will be a very important film for now and the future. We’re very proud of the film and that’s what makes me feel like it’s worth it.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE AFTER FILMING- DID YOU NEED A BREAK FROM EACH OTHER?
LS: No, we were very, very close. We’re very close friends now.