Benoît Magimel: “I tried out for James Bond twice”

Benoît Magimel: “I tried out for James Bond twice”

After receiving two Césars in quick succession for De son vivant and Pacifiction, would the French actor want to try his luck in Hollywood?

Benoit Magimel is on the cover of Vanity Fair. The 49-year-old actor, revealed as a teenager in Life is a long quiet river, has seen his career take off spectacularly in recent years. Acclaimed for several notable roles, he notably received two Césars for best actor in quick succession, for In his lifetime in 2022 and Peacetion in 2023. A first.

However, during the next edition, he will not be in the running: The Passion of Dodin Bouffant features little in the 2024 selection, and not for its actors: neither he nor Juliette Binoche were selected, the three mentions of the film being in the categories of best costumes, sets and photography. We also learned this week that Trần Anh Hùng’s film would not represent France at the Oscars either.

Dodin Bouffant will not succeed Indochine: anatomy of a French failure

However, this work on the pleasure of cooking and eating well was praised by critics, but the phenomenon did not break through across the Atlantic, unlike Anatomy of a fall, by Justine Triet, who has multiplied the nominations – and the prizes! – since her Cannes Palme d’Or. On paper, Dodin Bouffant nevertheless had its chances with its tempting subject (the Americans loved Ratatouille ? They have something to salivate over “The taste of things” !), its inspired staging and its excellent distribution – especially since the international public already knows Juliette Binoche well since the success of English patient (1996).

Interviewed by Vanity Fair just before the announcement of the Oscar and César nominations, Benoît Magimel was notably questioned about his own desires for an international career. A subject on which he remains cautious.

“A lot of French people have crashed into the American dream, even the greatest, Gabin, Montand…he begins. If someone offers me, with pleasure. But in the United States, guys like me, they have plenty of them.

He then says that he has already tried to join big Hollywood productions: “I tried twice to James Bond. A Napoleon which did not happen. (…) The States require immersion, you have to settle there, be part of the thing, get your green card and English lessons.

Throughout the interview, Magimel also confides: “I would love to make a western. But I’m looking for a story linked to France.

For the moment, Benoît Magimel’s career is being written in France. His next film should be the slavery drama Neither chains nor mastersby Simon Moutaïrou.

Benoît Magimel – Pacifiction: “If I feel good about the person in front of me, I go for it!”

The story of The Passion of Dodin Bouffant : Eugénie, an outstanding cook, has been working for the famous gastronome Dodin for 20 years. By spending time together in the kitchen, a romantic passion was built between them where love is closely linked to the practice of gastronomy.
From this union are born dishes, each one more tasty and delicate than the other, which goes so far as to amaze the greatest people in the world. However, Eugénie, eager for freedom, never wanted to marry Dodin. The latter then decides to do something he has never done before: cook for her.

Trailer :

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