PLAYERS’ CLUB: Shakespeare wrote: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Karl Lagerfeld took the adage literally, setting his Chanel haute couture show in Paris on Tuesday on a crumbling theater set. His front row was fittingly churning with thesps, including Kristen Stewart, Rose Byrne, Michael Pitt, Vanessa Paradis and Bobby Cannavale. Earlier, Rihanna — who wore her cream Chanel maxi-cardigan with nothing but pearls — had joined Carole Bouquet, Virginie Ledoyen and Cécile Cassel for the first of two shows.
Stewart was flanked by French director Olivier Assayas, with whom she is preparing to shoot “Sils Maria,” a drama set — as luck would have it — in the world of theater. “I play a personal assistant to an actress. It takes two very particular people to have that relationship be functional — one that services the other — because Juliette Binoche is playing the actress that I assist, and she is one of the most powerful women I think I’ve ever seen in film,” said the “Twilight” star.
Noting that her character is no pushover, Stewart said she would have to hold her own against the Oscar-winning Binoche. “I’m going to try desperately to not be squashed by a woman like that, and it’s not going to be an easy thing,” she said with a nervous laugh.
Assayas said he had written the movie around Binoche, with whom he previously worked on his 2008 film “Summer Hours.”
“I wanted to do a sort of portrait of an actress in her 40s, and I thought it would be more interesting to set it in the theater, because it gets rid of the material constraints of cinema,” he explained. “It’s about that very fine line between reality and imagination — actors are always somewhere in between.”
Byrne, attending her first couture show, was getting to grips with the set. “It’s so thrilling — it’s not what I expected at all,” the “Bridesmaids” star said. Byrne just wrapped “This Is Where I Leave You,” costarring Jason Bateman, and will be seen opposite Zac Efron in “Townies.”
Cannavale, her leading man in real life, will appear in Woody Allen’s upcoming “Blue Jasmine” alongside Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin. The American actor, who also stars in the TV series “Boardwalk Empire,” said he usually prefers stage to film.
“I just like doing it every night, having a different experience every night, and frankly I like the roles better on stage than I do in films,” Cannavale said.
Pitt, who termed the decor “shabby chic,” noted he was discovered by a casting agent while acting off-Broadway in 1999. Bouquet, meanwhile, is keeping a foot in both camps. Before tackling the role of Medea onstage next year, she will head to India to shoot a movie directed by Atiq Rahimi.
“You completely adapt to the city, to the location. It’s also an internal voyage, a personal journey, of course,” she said.