Michel Hazanavicius talks about the origins of his film, The Artist, In Competition, accompanied by his two leading actors Bérénice Béjo and Jean Dujardin, his producer Thomas Langmann, his composer Ludovic Bource, and his director of photography Guillaume Schiffman.
Michel Hazanavicius on his choice of a silent film
"It was an idea that I'd had for a long time. Silent films are pure cinema and are responsible for producing some of the biggest directors. I knew that I didn't want to do a pastiche as silent films are best suited to melodrama. Take the example of Chaplin: he did nothing but melodramas, but always with a comic tone."
Bérénice Béjo on her role
"I watched City Girl by Murnau… I realised that the actors were very modern. I did research on Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson and Marlene Dietrich, who I must have watched in more than 150 clips on YouTube. I then read the screenplay whilst thinking about all these actresses. I did this until I reached the point, where during the shooting of a scene, I said to myself "I am Peppy Miller"".
Thomas Langmann on his collaboration with his director
"With all this mania for 3D films, Michel was someone who wanted to create a film about the big names of cinema and wanted to do something different, that's what I really liked. (…) Accompanying a dreamer, that's the essence of my work".
Written by N. S.