The stars of Palme d’Or-winning dramaBlue is the Warmest Colour have said that making director Abdellatif Kechiche’s film was “horrible” , and that they are unlikely to work with him again.
- Blue Is the Warmest Colour (La Vie d’Adèle Chapitre 1 et 2)
- Production year: 2013
- Countries: France, Rest of the world
- Runtime: 179 mins
- Directors: Abdellatif Kechiche
- Cast: Adele Exarchopoulos, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Aurelien Recoing, Lea Seydoux
Adèle Exarchopoulos, 19, and 28-year-old Léa Seydoux said the Franco-Tunisian film-maker ranted and raved at them as he sought to achieve optimum realism during the production.
The 10-minute love scene at the centre of the film took a gruelling 10 days to shoot, they revealed, while a fight scene was the result of a continuous one-hour take during which Kechiche refused to allow his stars to simulate blows.
“You can see that we were really suffering,” said Exarchopoulos in an interview with the Daily Beast website at the Telluride festival in the US, where the film is set to premiere. “With the fight scene, it was horrible. She was hitting me so many times, and [Kechiche] was screaming: ‘Hit her! Hit her again!’”
Seydoux added: “In America, we’d all be in jail. [Kechiche] shot with three cameras, so the fight scene was a one-hour continuous take. And during the shooting, I had to push her out of a glass door and scream, ‘Now go away!’ and [Adèle] slapped the door and cut herself and was bleeding everywhere and crying with her nose running, and then after, [Kechiche] said, ‘No, we’re not finished. We’re doing it again.’”
Of the sex scene, Exarchopoulos revealed: “We spent 10 days on just that one scene. It wasn’t like: “OK, today we’re going to shoot the sex scene!” It was 10 days.” She added: “One day you know that you’re going to be naked all day and doing different sexual positions, and it’s hard because I’m not that familiar with lesbian sex.
“At Cannes, all of our families were there in the theatre, so during the sex scenes I’d close my eyes. [Kechiche] told me to imagine it’s not me, but it’s me, so I’d close my eyes and imagined I was on an island far away, but I couldn’t help but listen, so I didn’t succeed in escaping. The scene is a little too long.”
Blue is the Warmest Colour was a critical hit at this year’s Cannes film festival, where it became the first example of a Palme d’Or being awarded to both the director and its two lead actors. Despite her comments, Exarchopoulos described the shoot as a “good learning experience for me, as an actor” while Seydoux added: “Thank God we won the Palme d’Or, because it was so horrible. So now it’s cool that everyone likes the film and it’s a big success.”
Blue is the Warmest Colour has previously been the subject of controversy, albeit of a less serious nature. In May, Julie Maroh, author of the award-winning 2010 graphic novel on which the film is based, described Kechiche’s drama as “ridiculous” and branded it “porn”. She also expressed disappointment at the absence of lesbian actors from the adaptation.
Male director? Check.
Het actresses? Check.
Male director is not turned on enough by het actresses’ performance of male director’s idea of “Lesbian” sex? Check.
“Lesbians” batter each other? Check.
Male director makes actresses actually injure each other? Check.
Het actress can’t bear the sight of herself being “Lesbian”? Check.
And this is traded as a “Lesbian” movie then, to hell with the original Lesbian author’s idea.
I’m so fed up with heteros hijacking our culture and colonising our love.