The 47-year-old actor opened the Cannes Film Festival with an absurd and chilling film directed by Michel Hazanavicius. The feature film has just opened in French-language cinemas.
- Fabio Dell’Anna, Cannes
Creepy, funny and completely screwed up. The latest film by Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”) called “Cut!” Cannes Film Festival just opened this Tuesday 17. We were there to meet Romain Duris, who plays the role of a director willing to do anything to reach the end of his project. A Z-series fan, he’s trying to get his actress to look terrified in a sanitized factory when real living dead appear out of nowhere and storm his team. Those who don’t shy away from ridicule will love this adaptation of the Japanese feature film “Don’t Cut”.
“It’s an ode to the Z series and cinema. This film makes you want to direct because you can see what’s behind it. In the end, it’s within everyone’s reach,” he tells us on the roof of a building by the sea. The 47-year-old comedian, who humorously says he’s “more scared of ghosts than having extra fun filming a 35-minute sequence during this project. He shares these details during our meeting.
Have you dreamed of starring in a zombie movie?
It’s a childhood dream, yes. It reminded me of how we tried to scare ourselves when we were little. The staging, the fake blood, the red paint…
What aspects of your character called Rémi fascinated you?
I’ve touched on the character of the character before. He is someone who has many doubts and questions. I’ve never acted as a director and I’ve never shot a sequence. During this shoot I had a chance to take a long continuous shot lasting 35 minutes. Also, there was a lot of brothel, blood… It was quite pleasant. We did it about fifteen times over 4 days.
Do you prefer that?
I agree. It created a tremendous focus on the set. I am thinking in particular of the technicians behind it. We intervene at different times. As we change places, we wonder if they’re succeeding in the part we don’t see. It’s theatre!
Why did you agree to star in this film?
First there is Michel Hazanavicius, the director. He is inspirational. We all want to see how he makes movies. is it funny How is he dealing with it all? To be honest, I had four things that convinced me: the script, the first Japanese film called Don’t Cut, the director and the cast. The file was hard to refuse.
Michel Hazanavicius’ wife, Bérénice Bejo, plays your wife. How was your collaboration?
She’s super comfortable… I loved this set because the atmosphere and the shooting are directed by the director. We were each in a concentration that belonged to our characters. For example, Bérénice was very active because her character in the film is quite athletic. She did the best she could.
In the first few seconds of the film, we learn that one scene was shot several dozen times. Which scene have you had to repeat the most times in your career?
So that… (he thinks for a long time) I had acted in a play with Patrice Chéreau, which was a monologue by Bernard-Marie Koltès. I had to repeat the scene I don’t know how many times… And it took an hour and a half. It shaped me. And Patrice Chéreau remains quite a mythical figure.
This feature film shows a completely screwed up shoot. Does it really exist?
There can be bad times, yes. The onslaught also causes chaos. You don’t always come across directors who have made ten films. I’ve had times when it got a little cocky, and that’s okay. Not everything is mastered in the cinema. That’s the beauty of this job.
Did this role make you want to be a director one day?
I have the ability to find myself on sets fairly regularly. I think it’s a great job. To get my turn, I need a story. I love creating images and magic. I really like the aesthetic side of cinema. But one of the most important elements is: the story. You have to know why you want to make a film. Spending three years of my life taking people and money on board… The story has to be essential to me. Like a matter of life or death.
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