Press Conference: “Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky”

Director Jan Kounen presents his film

For the feature Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, director Jan Kounen took the microphone to answer questions from the press. He was flanked by actors Anna Mouglalis, Elena Morozova, and Mads Mikkelsen, writer Chris Greenhalgh, and producers Claudie Ossard et Chris Bolzli. Highlights follow.

Jan Kounen on his interest in the project:
“It was a film no one had done before, and especially, it was the story of two larger-than-life personalities I knew little about. Making a film is embarking on a journey with an era, some characters, and a subject, for a year or even two. Once I had received this special, iconoclastic gift from Claudie, I put all my other plans on hold. I had been on sabbatical, but I put all my other work aside, because I had to start this film. It resonated with me: the wonderful Roaring Twenties, the Ballets Russes, these two characters, the feminine, the masculine, the relationship between the artists, their art, and their love affair. It was all about hybridization and mixing.”

Claudie Ossard on choosing Jan Kounen:
“I’ve known Jan and followed his career attentively for a long time. As for the subject of the film we’re discussing today, I’m convinced of Jan’s talent, in the first place. That’s fundamental – without talent, don’t even bother. Also, his senses and intuition are keen. He is an artist. I knew he was the right person to tell the story of the encounter between two great creators. In addition, Jan is fond of music: Stravinsky, the Rite of Spring – I was sure he would be touched by it. I gave him the script and I was really impatient to get an answer from him.”

Anna Mouglalis on her role:
“It was a wonderful gift. Eight years ago, when I began working for Chanel, I had no idea I was getting ready for this role. I was completely inhabited by Coco’s spirit. She is constantly talked about at Chanel. I had spent so much time in her private apartment, taking naps on her couch, filling her ashtray. The Chanel spirit is still very much alive. I was so happy about the film. I was excited to be playing Coco, but especially from this particular point of view: Chanel, involved with Stravinsky, discovering music as a spiritual pathway out of suffering. She is often represented as a sorrowful person, but in this film, she is discovering wonderful things.”