Luc Besson - About Russian Women, History And Goons

Luc Besson - About Russian Women, History And Goons
Luc Besson - About Russian Women, History And Goons

Video: Luc Besson - About Russian Women, History And Goons

Video: Luc Besson - About Russian Women, History And Goons
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Luc Besson never hid the fact that Russia inspires him - not only with its rich culture, but also with women. Besson's spy thriller "Anna" with the Russian face of top model Sasha Luss and the actor Alexander Petrov's dream of Hollywood came true, became the second "Russian" project of the year by the author of "The Fifth Element" and "Leon". At the end of June, the film Kursk about the tragedy of a submarine in the Barents Sea in 2000 was released in domestic distribution, where Besson acted as the executive producer and inspirer of the project. The audience perceived the picture, which was filmed with Western movie stars in Belgium and France, ambiguously. However, the French visionary director's attraction to everything Russian has already flared up into a fire, from which, like Venus from the foam of the sea, came Anna - an action thriller about a pretty KGB agent who embodies the ideal of a Russian woman.

- This year you have released two films at once, the plots of which are one way or another addressed to Russia - "Kursk" and "Anna". The first, where you act as a producer, is about submariners, the second, your own project, is about the KGB. Why are you so attracted to the country and its history?

- Russia is an eternal mystery for me. I showed my vision of your country in these films, and it may disappoint someone. I admit this possibility. I really wanted to tell and convey to the world audience your amazing ability to combine inner strength and self-sacrifice. What actually happened then on the submarine is known only to those who were there. We started from the book theory (the film is based on the novel “Time to Die: The Untold Story of the Kursk Submarine Tragedy” by Robert Moore. - “RBC Style”). And not the point. It is much more important that these people are not forgotten. As for Anna, for me it is a collective image of an ideal Russian woman - wise, patient, reasonable, strong and beautiful. It simultaneously has something of Nastasya Filippovna and Nikita (the first is the heroine of the novel "The Idiot" by F. M. Dostoevsky,the second - the film of the same name by Luc Besson in 1990. - "RBK Style"). And I was glad to sing this image in my picture.

- I think Russian women will be flattered. And how did the actor Alexander Petrov end up in Anna? Has anyone recommended it?

- Our casting director selected him for samples. In addition to Alexander, more than 50 people auditioned for this role. But when I saw him at work, I realized that I was not mistaken. He's a good actor. Luke Evans played another Russian character, but Alexander coped with his role brilliantly. He has a classic acting school, it bribed me.

Alexander Petrov on the set of the film "Anna"
Alexander Petrov on the set of the film "Anna"

Alexander Petrov on the set of the film "Anna" © press service

- Is it true that the main role was written specifically for Sasha Luss?

- Yes, because Sasha is a great fellow. She is not only smart, but also resourceful, her psyche is quite plastic. On the set of my previous film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, she proved to be a fearless and hardworking actress. With external fragility and beauty, she has a fighting character and freely improvises. These are good qualities for a professional actress.

- There are legends about your castings …

- True? I wonder what they say?

- That you come up with unusual tasks for the actors, Sasha Luss just told about one of these.

- Oh, yes, I have my own secret methods. (Laughs.) And I also trust my intuition very much, it has never let me down.

Photo: press service
Photo: press service

1 of 6 Sasha Luss in the film "Anna" © press service © press service © press service © press service © press service

- Now many Hollywood studios have begun to address the topic of Russian history. Why do you think?

- Because this topic is a real endless ocean. You have a rich history for creating interesting creative solutions, for sure enough for three centuries, or even more. The era of Ivan the Terrible, Rasputin, the death of the Romanovs, Stalin - how many vivid images. But I have not listed everything. I have one interesting idea, but I would not like to talk about it yet.

- You are well versed in human characters, what traits in people are unacceptable to you?

- I do not like boors and goons, these are people with a tiny heart, so tiny that it is not even enough to just breathe. These are some kind of moral cripples. I do not like the deliberately pretentious nouveau riche. And as I have always said and say, an evil heart is a dead heart, in my world such people have nothing to do. Stupidity can still be somehow forgiven in view of the fact that the level of development is laid in us by genes and nature. But evil is an exclusively personal choice of each person.

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren

1 of 5 Luc Besson (center) on the set of the film "Anna" © press service Luc Evans © press service Cillian Murphy © press service Helen Mirren © press service

- For you, absolute creativity and commerce are opposites, antonyms or not?

- If my eyes are obscured by dollars, I will not see the camera. (Laughs) In fact, creativity has always been more important to me. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but one of my favorite artists, Vincent Van Gogh, created simply because it was his natural need. Yes, I get decent money for my work, but this does not mean that I am a tradesman-artisan. Here it is rather the opposite: the films have high box-office receipts because I am honest with my viewers (Lucy raised $ 463 million, Fifth Element - $ 264 million, Taxi franchise was also included in the list of the most successful ones. - RBC Style). There can be no lies in art. Or it will not be art at all, but only a pitiful caricature of it. You can tell the difference between Van Gogh's work and, say …

- From the work of Edvard Munch and Pavel Filonov …

- Munch has amazing pictures. And where can you see Filonov's works?

- In the Tretyakov Gallery, I think you can. Much more canvases are presented in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. Or in private collections.

- Interesting … (Clarifies how the artist's surname is spelled correctly.) In general, you understood me correctly, the style of a real creator is always recognizable.

- You once said that a dream should always remain a dream, and if it comes true, you will be sad. Do you still hold this opinion?

- I live in dreams - this is my air. It's not that I feel sad when they are embodied, probably, sometimes I want surprises from fate. In essence, I am a child, all the time I wait for some miracles.

You have a rich history for creating interesting creative solutions, for sure enough for three centuries, or even more.

- What destroys you?

- Monotony. It's boring, and it depresses me. Fortunately, it almost never happens in my life. (Smiles.)

- In your films, you quote Dostoevsky and Chekhov, in fact, determining by this the further fate of the character. What quote from Russian classics would you describe your life path?

- It is most accurately reflected by a short monologue from the play by Chekhov, which sounds from the lips of the main character in the film "Anna" when she is tested for professionalism by the character of Helen Mirren. I put much more meaning into it than it seems at first glance. I am sure you will understand me.

- Can you formulate the main principles that guide you in your work?

- I do not compromise when it comes to creativity. I will never take on my team a person without talent. I know that the majority are content with just good specialists, but I need gifted people who are able to truly create, unique in their profession. It costs a lot. It is difficult to find such people, but it is possible. It is important that a person has his own vision and the ability to convey it correctly. This is the only way masterpieces can be born. And you should never be afraid to “look beyond the horizon,” limiting imagination kills sparks of inspiration. The freer you are in your thoughts, the more successful your projects are. This is confirmed by my personal life experience, you can trust me. (Laughs.)

Three facts about the movie "Anna":

Photo: press service
Photo: press service

© press service

- In the image of the main character, the story of the "Russian Cinderella", supermodel Natalia Vodianova is clearly guessed. According to the plot, Anna has the same expressive blue eyes and fragile appearance, the heroine works as a seller in the market. Also, Luc Besson showed without embellishment how the career of Russian models begins: folding beds instead of beds and one refrigerator for 15 people in a small Parisian closet.

Photo: press service
Photo: press service

© press service

- Alexander Petrov got a role reminiscent of his previous work in the films "Attraction" by Fyodor Bondarchuk and "Ice" by Oleg Trofim. Petrov's persuasiveness in the image of a daring inhabitant of Moscow streets came to Besson's taste.

- In one of her interviews, Sasha Luss said that the audition for Luc Besson was very unusual. The director asked the model to do both obvious things - sing or talk on some topic - and non-obvious things - come up with a new language in five minutes, then tell them all the objects around them or say a few phrases in it. After four hours of such experiments, the model was invited to participate in the film with a prerequisite - to take acting courses.