PARIS — Alysson Paradis still feels like a stranger to today’s overheated celebrity world, but the young actress is certainly becoming its newest citizen.
Critics quickly took notice of her first movie role, a juicy one, in Rodolphe Marconi’s “The Last Day.” In the film, which came out in France late last year, Paradis plays the sister of Gaspard Ulliel.
She knows that role already. Alysson is the little sister of Vanessa Paradis, the actress, singer and sometime Chanel model who is the companion of Johnny Depp. But Alysson is certainly a friendlier sibling than the mean one Ulliel had to endure in the film.
There isn’t much of a family resemblance between the two sisters, either. In fact, Paradis feels separate from her contemporaries. “I have a 1930s look,” she explains, sipping tea at Le Fumoir here.
Not surprisingly, the Thirties are her favorite fashion period, as well. “I like the way women looked in those days,” explains Paradis. “So perky, alive, beautiful.”
Naturally, the 20-year-old would love to play in a period film, but that will have to wait. There are no corsets or flapper dresses in her next role. In the forthcoming film by Crystel Amsalem — “Quand les anges s’en mêlent” or “When Angels Get Involved” — Paradis portrays a bisexual jazz singer. The movie will first be presented at the Paris Film Festival at the end of March before a national release in France in May.
She already started work last month on a third movie project, so for now, Paradis will have to put aside her favorite hobbies — painting and sewing her own clothes. “I need to do something with my hands,” she explains, nibbling on one of her nails.
Perhaps she could use them to wave off all the attention she’s getting these days.
“A guy said hello to me in the street the other day and I thought I met him before. But he told me he knew me because he watches television,” she says with a laugh. “I’m still naïve.”
This story first appeared in the March 7, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
But there is one side of fame that suits her fine — wearing designer clothes at special events. “I love Chanel. I’ve done photos dressed in Chanel. It was marvelous,” she enthuses.
The feeling is mutual. “She’s gifted,” raves Karl Lagerfeld, who photographed Paradis just before she cut her hair short. “She looks a little like a tiny Monica Bellucci. She is marvelous.”