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From "Moloch Tropical" To "Midnight In Paris" Get To Know France's Halle Berry - Sonia Rolland

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 1, 2011 at 9:07AM

If you follow Sergio's weekly weekend box office reports, you'll know already that Midnight In Paris is now officially Woody Allen's highest grossing film in North America, with a total box office take of about $47 million as of this past weekend, overtaking his previous best, Hannah and Her Sisters, which grossed roughly $40 million.
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If you follow Sergio's weekly weekend box office reports, you'll know already that Midnight In Paris is now officially Woody Allen's highest grossing film in North America, with a total box office take of about $47 million as of this past weekend, overtaking his previous best, Hannah and Her Sisters, which grossed roughly $40 million.

I haven't seen the film yet; In fact, it's been awhile since I've seen any Woody Allen films; the last Allen movie I saw and loved was 1989's Husbands And Wives. A masterstroke I thought; really enjoyed it, and still do. Easily one of my favorite Woody Allen movies, alongside Annie Hall, Stardust Memories (his homage to Fellini), and Interiors (his homage to Bergman).

In Midnight In Paris, our protagonist, played by Owen Wilson, is transported back to the 1920s, an era he admires and idolizes in the novel he is writing, where he encounters art luminaries of the era like F. Scott Fitzgerald,Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, Pablo Picasso and Josephine Baker amongst others.

I'd like to draw your attention to the actress who plays Josephine Baker in the film, Rwandan beauty, Ms Sonia Rolland. Those familiar with Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck's last film, Moloch Tropical, will recognize Ms Rolland, as she figures prominently in it, as wife of President Jean de Dieu Théogène, played in the film by Zinedine Soualem.

The 30-year old Rolland, who lives in Paris, France, was born in Kigali, Rwanda, to a Rwandese Tutsi mother and a French father. The family escaped to France preceding the Tutsi genocide, when the actress was in her teens.

Crowned Miss France a few years later, in the year 2000, she would go on to represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant, placing 9th overall in the final standings.

Since 2002, Rolland has been afforded a number of onscreen opportunities, both in TV and film, so her acting career has been a relatively short one, with her most prominent role coming in the French TV series Lea Parker, in which she starred as the titular character, which ran for 2 seasons, from 2004 to 2006.

Lea Parker was a police drama based on a graphic novel of the same name (though it could also be that the graphic novel came after the TV series; I couldn't find any info to confirm either). The lead protag is described as "an elite officer in the DOS (Special Operations Division), a secret cell of the national police." Essentially, she's an undercover cop for the French Secret Service, and leads an elite police unit who specialize and are assigned to tough cases!

I've never heard of the series, and obviously haven't watched any of it; I'm wondering if anyone reading this has. As far as I know, it was a weekly prime-time show that aired on in France, and has also been seen in a few African countries.

I embedded a clip from the series below.

Apparently, Ms Rolland is quite famous in France, though she's making her mark in the African continent, where she founded an association to help post-genocide orphans in Rwanda.

Her IMDB resume shows that she doesn't have anything upcoming at the moment.

Anyone seen Midnight In Paris? How'd she do as Josephine Baker? Does she even get much screen time?

Here she is in a clip from Moloch Tropical, a film I saw and reviewed on this site last year HERE.

And here's the intro clip from Lea Parker:

This article is related to: casting, FYI


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