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The cream of French cinema flocked to Chaumet’s headquarters on Paris’ Place Vendôme on Monday to toast the 32 talents in the running for the prize for most promising young actress and actor at the annual César Awards, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards.
A who’s who of French thespians and directors had been paired with the young actors as godparents, turning the jeweler’s gilded reception rooms into a life-size game of “Six Degrees of Separation.”
Case in point: Jean Dujardin was joined at the event by “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius. Though he is on screens in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and will be seen next month in George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men,” Dujardin insisted he has not jumped ship for Hollywood since his 2012 Oscar win.
“I don’t want to live there, nor have a career there, because let’s get real — it’s not going to happen. Not to mention that I have a great career here and that I am not going to bite the hand that feeds me. I love playing in my language,” said the actor, who stars with his protégé Pauline Burlet in the upcoming thriller “La French.”
Asked if she had any advice for Lou de Laâge, with whom she starred in “Jappeloup,” Marina Hands said: “Not to listen to anyone’s advice. To do what she wants.”
Hands recently shot Audrey Dana’s directorial debut, “Sous les jupes des filles” (“Under the Skirts of Girls” in English), which features 11 French actresses including Isabelle Adjani and Vanessa Paradis. While that sounds like a recipe for on-set rivalry, Hands believes actors must stick together.
“This job is hard enough as it is,” agreed de Laâge. “I think it’s absurd to see the others as competitors.” However, only 10 of the 32 “revelations” — plastered across the venue in moody photographs and a short film by Antoine Carlier — will be nominated for the César Awards, to be handed out Feb. 28, and only two will win.
“Some will have brilliant careers very quickly, for others it will take a little longer, though it won’t necessarily be worse,” mused Thierry Fritsch, president of Chaumet, which sponsors the annual event.
“For a handful, unfortunately, it will all be over very soon because it’s a cruel, highly competitive world. So when you see them all together, you try to guess. Rest assured, you never guess correctly. There’s no magic formula,” he added.
Jalil Lespert, who was supporting the relatively unknown Tewfik Jallab, reported his biopic of Yves Saint Laurent was on track to register 500,000 admissions in its first week of release. Charlotte Le Bon, who stars in “Yves Saint Laurent,” was among a handful of talents present who already have a high public profile.
Marine Vacth, who made a splash at last year’s Cannes Film Festival in “Jeune & jolie” (“Young & Beautiful”), revealed the success of the movie has not changed the type of role she is offered, but then again she has other priorities: The 22-year-old will soon give birth to her first child.
Meanwhile, Alain-Fabien Delon said being the son of the legendary Alain Delon meant having to work harder — though he appears to have inherited his father’s assurance. “I want to play something dramatic, someone who is dying. But right now, I’m focusing on fashion,” he said, flipping open his suit to reveal a Gucci label.
“I was in Milan earlier today. I closed their men’s wear show,” he said. “As soon as I can, I’m doing it again.”