In this Screen Tests interview, actor Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) compares a dancer's devotion to ballet to that of a priest, recalls the revolutionary spirit behind his work in La Haine and tells the story of how he came to work with his wife in Gaspar Noe's notoriously explicit film, Irreversible.
I guess I became an actor because my father was an actor,
you know, and I really grew up watching him on sets,
on stage, and you know, he had so much fun with what he
was doing that for me, it was totally natural
to become one.
I took ballet, jazz, name it, I did like, acrobatics,
capoiera, you know it was, I thought I needed to learn
Well, yeah, sure, on a macho tip, you might think ballet
is you know for girls, but once you experience it,
it's one of the hardest things ever,
so I guess you know ballet has a lot to do with boxing
or being a priest.
Because you know, you can't eat, you have to suffer
every day, you have to dedicate yourself to something,
and you're not going to make any money out of it.
I really worked and did everything I had to do with
people of my age, of my generation, you know.
We were young and angry and we thought we were here
to revolutionize French cinema.
Didn't happen, though.
It was black and white, it was about the suburbs,
it was something not against the government,
but you know, it was questioning the police system,
The heroes were like you know three young kids
that nobody knew really.
And a black, an Arab, and a Jew.
You know, in a strange way, when we went to Cannes
and we had the prize and everything,
I felt something was wrong.
Because you know, we were talking about kids being shot
by cops, you know, and here we were at Cannes Film Festival
When La Haine was showing in theaters in Paris,
it was crazy.
I mean, I would literally you know wear a hat
and go and watch it.
It was crazy.
Some theaters people would scream, smoke joints,
you know, drinks, it was like a party, really.
Only kids, you know, you have to understand
when La Haine came up, people
you know they were not used to see those kinds of
that part of France.
People thought that France was all about La tournee fair
and eating camambert, you know, and but
you have black people in France?
Gaspar was a very renowned director.
The story is, five o'clock in the morning at Bandouche,
I'm sure you heard about it,
back in the days, you know,
that club and five o'clock in the morning
and he comes you know with a glass and he says
hey, you want to make a movie with your wife
and real explicit scenes?
What do you mean, explicit scenes?
Yeah, real sex, you know.
I said, Gaspar, come on, you're drunk, leave me alone,
I don't want to talk to you.
But I mean that stayed in my mind, you know,
and that night I went back home and Monica wasn't,
I mean she was sleeping but I kind of woke her up.
And I said, Gaspar asked us if we wanted to make a movie
with real sex, explicit, you know, explicit sex scenes.
And she said, what did you answer?
I said, I answered no.
She said, why?
The next day, I called him back, I said,
you know, what did you mean by explicit sex scenes?
To work with my wife is actually a plus because you know
you don't have to be polite, you can go straight
to the point.
Plus, you know, it's a nice way to spend some more time
Well I love my work and I really love the moment
where you have to act, you know, that famous moment
between action and cut.
You know, the moment where you create the instant, really.
But the rest, I'm not crazy about it.
You know, the waiting, and everything that goes with it,
you know, it becomes work.
Within, where that moment is more about passion, really.
no, I mean the only thing I wait for when I'm shooting is
the end of the movie so I can be free again.
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Vincent Cassel on Explicit Sex Scenes with His Wife Monica Bellucci | Screen Tests | W Magazine