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'Blue Is The Warmest Colour': Lea Seydoux Felt Like A "Prostitute," Director Says Sex Scenes Didn't Go Far Enough

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by Kevin Jagernauth
October 7, 2013 4:45 PM
20 Comments
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We can't even keep score with the back and forth between "Blue Is The Warmest Color" director Abdellatif Kechiche, and the stars of the Cannes Palme d'Or winning film, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. While they may have all been smiles and hugs on the Croisette, in the run up to the film's release this fall both in France and the U.S., bitter feelings have risen to the surface. The actresses have been very vocal about why felt was an unbearable shoot, while Kechiche has gone so far as to suggest the movie shouldn't be released at all. And the battle of wills continues.

Speaking with The Independent, Seydoux has again been open about her experience on the movie, and in particular, the much talked about, lengthy and explicit sex scene which has helped earn "Blue Is The Warmest Color" an NC-17 rating. “Of course it was kind of humiliating sometimes, I was feeling like a prostitute. Of course, he uses that sometimes. He was using three cameras, and when you have to fake your orgasm for six hours...," the actress said. "I can't say that it was nothing. But for me it is more difficult to show my feelings than my body.”

But is there a line she wouldn't cross? “Yes, cunnilingus!” the actress laughed. “We had fake pussies on. You have something to protect and tape it under. I don't make love on screen. We can fake these things, you can't fake feelings, but you can fake body language.” 

But for this part, the director defends his methods, which require multiple takes and sometimes excruciating sessions trying to get it right. "Concerning the love scenes, I didn't ask for anything other than the expression of a form of passion. I felt like showing this carnal and passionate love, entirely guided by desire. From a purely aesthetic point of view, that it was based around two women was entirely okay by me, but I also did plan to shoot a scene with three people, with Adele and two men, which I didn't film," he told CineObs, admitting that he would've preferred to take it further.

"For me, the scenes as they are in the film don't go far enough. It's true that we did start them over often, but for very evident reason. I couldn't ask Adele and Lea to make desire last, they had to want to do the scene," he continued. "It's like the meal in 'The Secret Of The Grain' that I filmed many times. We filmed until the actors weren't hungry anymore and then we filmed the next day."

Still, Seydoux does offer an olive branch, conceding that the result is a movie that is by many accounts (including ours) a resonant and powerful piece of work.  “It's not because you do 300 takes you're a genius—that is just his method,” Seydoux said. “I, for example, don't like to do too many takes. If I do too many takes, I'm too self-conscious. I think I'm better in first scenes. With Abdellatif, I knew that he was going to film 100 takes. Sometimes I would come in and say, 'I don't give a shit' because I knew that he would get what he wanted. I think the result is what is important. I think it's a beautiful result and beautiful film, I want to do beautiful films and it's not about me.”

So with that in mind, be sure to see "Blue Is The Warmest Color" when it opens on October 25th. New pics below.


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20 Comments

  • rounder | October 17, 2013 4:05 PMReply

    Keep in mind that one of the two 'women' characters is only 15 in the film. Evidently Spielberg thinks that statutory rape is 'beautiful'.

  • Parole | July 10, 2014 11:49 AM

    The actress is 19, but the people that go see the movie will bond with a 15 years old character, and will take that into their world. What you see becomes your possibilities.

  • Lola | October 19, 2013 7:43 PM

    The character is 15. The actress is 19. It isn't that hard to google these things.

  • vandywisky | October 10, 2013 4:26 PMReply

    These actresses sound dimwitted. They are actors portraying characters in a story. They both chose to do the movie to make money and further their careers. If they didn't want to do the sex scenes, then don't accept the role. They aren't the first actresses that have to do intense simulated sex scenes. That being said, if the director is unhappy with the final cut, then he shouldn't have ended the shoot or perhaps reshot some scenes. If he wanted to film a threesome and include it in the movie, then he should've done it because it already has the NC-17 rating in the USA, which means it won't make any money but it might get lauded at award ceremonies.

  • Liling | October 8, 2013 10:10 PMReply

    Sounds crazy, although the actress said "it is more difficult to show my feelings than my body." The picture still full of warmth and passion. The aestheticism of the movie is totally different from other black movie I've seen before. Subtle emotion implication or the underlying way to tell the story. It's a new scene to me.

  • a.p | October 8, 2013 1:36 AMReply

    lol, this is insane...

    Oh, and I've read that he will release a longer dvd version with more "hardcore" sex scenes, according to him he cut a lot of things that could shock people...... Damn!

  • a.p | October 8, 2013 1:50 AM

    Hmm, I can't post the link...

    Just google "Le vie vies d'Adèle" , it's on the site lapresse.com

    Quite interesting interview with Kechiche actually, I'm curious to see what will change with this new cut. Apparently he's adding more 40-50 minutes to the film.

  • ALE | October 8, 2013 12:52 AMReply

    It's a classic situation of vulnerable young actresses being pushed into something irrational in filmmaking by a tyrannical director. You don't know until you walk on their shoes. The film may be beautiful but at what cost? Honestly I wouldn't let that Director near my daughter. Don't think he wasn't indulging himself.

  • ALE | October 8, 2013 7:29 PM

    Beloved Stephen Spielberg a pervert? A vile man? Well who said that they should burn in hell!! LOL
    Mr. Spielberg is a real artist, a Master Craftsman and has been for decades, always relevant, and from what I know an excellent human being. You can rest assure he has never denigrated his subjects.
    Ten days, three cameras to shoot a sex scene, hell you can shoot a complete hardcore porn in half a day LOL.
    Seriously like I said I'm sure the film is BEAUTIFUL and I'll provably like it a lot but the guys tactics are questionable. (Subdue your eagerly voiced opinion) How funny are all the pretentious artist wannabes, you gotta be involved in film to pretend to know what you're talking about. I'm on sets all the time, trust me it's more than just about "the Art" lots of people are involved, actors who are also artists, companies, investors, etc. Directors wear many hats during production one is that of a good leader, a collaborator, artist sure...Tyrant sometimes, unfortunately

  • AZ | October 8, 2013 1:42 PM

    C'mon ALE, 'vulnerable young actress' vs 'tyrannical director', kind of a presumptuous cliché, and a touch sexist. As for the something irrational, what a lesbian sex scene? Nothing irrational about that, but something irrational about an actress taking a part in a film that sets out to unflinchingly explore a lesbian relationship only to complain that she felt uncomfortable with it, there's a touch of homophobia in there also, naturally no young actress could complain about yet another sex scene with Channing Tatum, Gosling or whoever. Has this woman ever been in a serious motion picture before? Whatever, this latest interview feels more olive branch than fuel.

  • PINCHENT | October 8, 2013 11:06 AM

    I always wondered about Drew Barrymore's alcohol and drug use at age 9.

  • pinchent | October 8, 2013 11:05 AM

    @LSJOARINONRMGOIA , Nooo, a beloved American director could NEVER be a pervert. And men of God, as well.

  • lsjoarinonrmgoia | October 8, 2013 3:18 AM

    I'm also sure that a unanimous prize from the jury that included Naomi Kawase, Nicole Kidman, and Lynne Ramsay would show the accuracy of the film without any preconceptions. Also, America's beloved Spielberg must be a pervert for his view on the film. What a vile man. Let's wait till the movie comes out and dumb asses can be subdued in their eagerly voiced opinions once people start to think for themselves.

  • a.p | October 8, 2013 1:51 AM

    *Les neuf vies d'Adèle

    Sorry

  • slgdnalen | October 8, 2013 1:42 AM

    The exact idea of someone who doesn't believe in artistic integrity, which is very much an American sesibility. Maybe this is just a case of there being fewer women directors that are publicly dominant and demanding of sexual scenes, or in general. We have Campion who showed Kate Winslet peeing and the great Catherine Breillat who is the closest to this form of director partially because she's French but also due to her unabashed passion for her art and honesty. Watch A Real Girl if you wanna see some real shit. Most people making comments about this movie haven't seen enough of them, or of this particular director, to have an intelligent argument against it except for a bandwagon quick to judge hot button without much thought premise.

  • Jaques | October 7, 2013 10:56 PMReply

    I don't understand, they were not forced to do these things. They made a choice. They are overreacting.

  • WOB | October 13, 2013 5:30 PM

    They felt under duress; doing an act they truly did not want to do - one which later had them genuflecting - feeling like prostitutes. I wouldn't expect a Frenchman to understand, but there are ladies who have a conscience ... a moral line that they hesitate to cross. These actresses obviously reached that point, no overreacting required.

  • be | October 7, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    Kechiche is a perv. It was evident in Secret of the Grain too with that ridiculously long belly dance scene filmed in extreme close-ups. I also remember a random shot of a woman's boobs that served absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Not surprised he wanted to film a threesome and thought the sex scenes in the film "didn't go far enough." He'd probably only be content if he's filming straight up porn.

  • Durcy | October 8, 2013 12:37 AM

    Oh my God. A straight man finds women beautiful. Why that has never ever happened in film! It has to be a first.

    Now on to some serious discussion. I read the whole Independent piece. Seydoux is very clear in stating she is proud of this film, at one point saying "I think the result is what is important. I think it's a beautiful result and beautiful film, I want to do beautiful films and it's not about me.” In fact, Seydoux has praised the film repeatedly. What has occurred is first class cherry picking by the media with that one line taken from The Independent article being the latest case. In France, there was the media taking some clumsy remarks by Seydoux and spinning them into accusations of lesbophobia. Here we have lines being spun to create scenarios depicting the film as out and out perversity. Take the Daily Beast interview where Seydoux and Exarchopoulos bring up Kechiche doing over a 100 takes and throwing a tantrum. By the time the spin was done, it was presented as being about the sex scenes when the scene in question was a crossing the street sequence. But I guess that doesn't make for flashy headlines.

  • efjoaina | October 7, 2013 7:54 PM

    Uggghhhh.

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