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Liya Kebede, Gad Elmaleh Join Gabriel Byrne In Costa Gavras' 'Capital'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
December 5, 2012 4:46 PM
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Some clean up/follow-up work that we should've announced already, but missed. ...

In May 2011, we reported that short-tempered super-model Naomi Campbell was being sort by the acclaimed filmmaker who brought us the 1969 political thriller Z - Costa Gavras for his then upcoming thriller, which he was prepping at the time, to direct, titled Capital, with Gabriel Byrne attached to star.

Skip ahead to over a year later, the film, completed, made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of this year, and opened theatrically in France just about 2 1/2 weeks ago - November 14.

I was reminded of it earlier today, while researching something else, and remembered that Naomi Campbell was was being sought for it. So I looked it up to learn that, while she wasn't cast in the role that she was offered, Ethiopian model/actress Liya Kebede (Desert Flower, The Good Shepherd), was.

The film, which takes place in the world of high-finance, in Europe, is based on a 2004 satirical novel of the same name by Stephane Osmont .

The film centers on a character named Marc Tourneuil, "a product of France's elitist Ecole Polytechnique, who is appointed as numero uno at Europe's Phoenix Bank, the target of a hostile takeover by U.S. hedge funds. Answerable to new shareholders and fighting off enemies in the French establishment, Tourneuil makes a desperate play for a debt-laden Japanese bank in order to stay in power."

French-Moroccan actor Gad Elmaleh plays Marc Tourneuil, while Gabriel Byrne plays the president of one of Europe's largest investment banks, and one of Phoenix's new main shareholders.

As for the role that was offered Naomi Campbell, but went to Liya Kebede? She plays a super model that Marc Tourneuil becomes enamored with, and pursues!

I haven't seen the film, so I can't tell you how involved her role in the film is. I read a few reviews from writers who saw the film at Toronto, but few even mentioned her. One of those I read that did mention her said this:

The screenplay, written by the director Jean-Claude Grumberg and Karim Boukercha, suggests that the financial industry is an immoral, dog-eat-dog world, where even someone as smart as Marc can be outsmarted, and where all men have their vices - Marc's being his obsession with a famous model (real-life model Liya Kebede) despite being married to someone else.

So that suggests that she actually plays a character that's somewhat intergral to the overall plot. 

The $11.4 million budgeted Capital was shot in several cities, including Paris, London, Miami, New York, and Tokyo. It doesn't have a USA distributor.

Watch the trailer below, although Liya Kebede's barely in it; just a quick flash (she's a busy actress however, with roles in 3 feature films scheduled for 2013 releases):

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