La Plage - Virginie Ledoyen: "No question for DiCaprio to confine himself to the role of a handsome guy"

La Plage – Virginie Ledoyen: “No question for DiCaprio to confine himself to the role of a handsome guy”

The French actress tells us about her memories of filming in Thailand with Danny Boyle and the star of Titanic.

Richard is a young American backpacker in search of new experiences and sensations. Fleeing the tourists who invade Bangkok, he takes refuge in a shabby hotel where he meets a young French couple: Françoise and Etienne. One evening, a haggard character, Daffy, bursts into his room and evokes a secret island, a paradise beach, where he would have lived for several years within a small community of free spirits. The next day, Richard finds a map of the island… and Daffy’s corpse.

Fascinated, he persuades Françoise and Etienne to accompany him in his search for the island. After overcoming multiple obstacles, the trio sees their efforts rewarded. They discover a heavenly beach on the edge of a lagoon, and the famous community. There, around twenty young people of all nationalities have built straw huts and lead a festive existence. Richard and his friends are cordially accepted by the community. But when the first violence breaks out, Richard discovers he is ready to do anything to save his little corner of paradise.

Symbol of “young auteur cinema” from the early 90s, Virginie Ledoyen reinvented herself as a female actress exploring every corner of contemporary French cinema. In 2015, on display atEnraged by Eric Hannezo, she revisited her film in First. Here’s what she told us about The beach (2000), of Danny Boylewhich will return this evening on 6ter.

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The big international leap, Thailand, the on-screen romances with Leonardo, the big celebrity and Hollywood dizziness. In a swimsuit, Ledoyen finally decides not to dive and to return to Paris.

“It’s a hybrid film, very dark, poorly understood, no doubt because after Titanic And Trainspotting, no one expected something like this. I played the love interest of DiCaprio, with all the notoriety it may have generated, magazine covers, advertising contracts etc. DiCaprio is a very intelligent person, a super movie buff, Scorsese was his idol and it was already clear that there was no question of him limiting himself to a role of “handsome guy”. Besides, he doesn’t come across like that: he’s tall, a little awkward, tends to get a little stuffy…

On The beach, he had to train like crazy to lose a few pounds, get muscular, etc. After this film, I visited agents, casting directors and so on. But it wasn’t the life I wanted. I was probably also a little scared. And then it must be said that I played the pretty French girl in a swimsuit: the offers I received afterwards were not exciting. It’s not like I was chased by Paul Thomas Anderson. We have to put things back in their place…”

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