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“What is this musical comedy in Spanish?” Emilia Perez, Jacques Audiard’s completely unexpected project with Selena Gomez and Zoe Saldana

30 years after his first Cannes selection, French filmmaker Jacques Audiard returns to Cannes. In 1994, he presented his first feature at Critics’ Week, Regarde les hommes chute, alongside Jean-Louis Trininand, Jean Yan and Mathieu Kasowitz.

The director and screenwriter, winner of the Palme d’Or in 2015 with Deepan, has subsequently returned to the Croisette several times and is currently in the official competition for the sixth time.

3 years after the Olympics (interview above), here he is back with the opposite project: a feature film that combines musical and thriller, shot in Spanish, in Mexico, with an international cast! Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldana, Edgar Ramirez and Revelation Carla Sofia Gascon.

Emilia Perez headlines this new movie. Story ? A lawyer who will help an underworld figure quit his business and realize his most cherished desire: to become a woman.

At a press conference for the film, Jacques Audiard noted that the project was initially considered an opera before becoming a theatrical film. “It took a long time to turn it into a movie“, specifies the one who came up with the idea during the lockdown, reading the book that led to this Emilia Perez. It is a very loose adaptation of the novel. listen to me By Boris Razon, published by Stock in 2018.

Even if it means making a musical, even if it means singing and dancing, you can also do it based on a tragedy.

Why in Mexico and why in Spanish?– says Jacques Audiard at the Cannes press conference in front of the audience?I’m in a big shock about something in Mexico, the problems of missing people, feminicides are really terrible. All these regions where we can no longer go safely because they are dangerous. The fall of democracy is unbearable for me. Even if it means making a musical, even if it means singing and dancing, you can also do it based on a tragedy..”

Jacques Audiard, Career Reviewed

It’s a real feat for the filmmaker, who after an English-language project (Les Frères Sister) switches to Spanish for this 10th feature.

“When I read the script, I said to myself, this guy is crazy! a joke Carla Sophia Gascon. What’s the point of a Spanish musical when he doesn’t speak Spanish himself! But how to understand each other? He doesn’t speak Spanish, I don’t speak French. I do not speak English. How are we going to do this?

Look, that’s the exact same question that Joaquin Phoenix asked me when we shot The Sister Brothers!

He said to me: Listen, Joaquin Phoenix asked me the exact same question when we made The Sister Brothers. And I said: What did you answer? Telepathy! And it’s true! No words are needed between me and him, we understand exactly what each expects from the other! That’s how it worked!

Another fortune of the film is thanks to the actor Carla Sophia Gascon, which plays a dual role. “It was hard to convince him. At first, Jacques only wanted her for the role of Emilia, not for Manitas. It took me months to convince him. One day he called me: he told me: well, well! Leave me alone’. We did a lot of testing for character development, transformation. “

and add: “Finally, the revelation of Manitas was that it’s not two, it’s just one, it’s a great gift. I needed an exorcist to bring out the character (…) For me, he’s a really great filmmaker, he allows us to create participation.

A message about transcendence

Spanish actress Carla Sofia Gascon, 52, changed her gender at the age of 46. In this press conference, he wanted to send a message about transcendence.

What does this role mean for me as a trans person?“, he repeats.Rather, we should ask ourselves what this means for all trans people. There is definitely a message being sent here to all actors. (…) Today, 52 years old, I arrived.

If I have a message to send, it’s that we are all trans people!

He continues: “SType the word trance on the web, and all that comes up is pornography or abuse. I have received death threats just for existing.

This is a very important topic. If I have a message to send, it’s that we are all trans people! I’m neither smart nor stupid because I’m trans. We can dedicate ourselves to the career we want. We have made a choice for our body that only affects our body. We have the right to dispose of our bodies. As a trans woman, it’s a double whammy, it’s the difficulty of being in control of your body. What Jacques Audiard did was visibility.

Our label doesn’t make sense

We are not trans, we are human first. There is no point in putting labels on us. Humanity has always had to find a scapegoat to carry all that is wrong with the world. (…) We are normal people, Trance is anecdotal. A trans person is someone who is undergoing a transformation. Once he has gone through this, he is no longer in a state of transition. It is what it is.”

Emilia Perez will be released in theaters on August 28, 2024. Please note that the screening of the film is scheduled to take place in the coming days as part of the Cannes Revitalization Program.

Source: Allocine

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