Jean Dujardin Up For Love Interview
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Virginie Efira, Cédric Kahn
Director: Laurent Tirard
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Running Time: 98 minutes
Synopsis: Jean Dujardin stars in this French, romantic, laugh-out-loud-comedy that is all about the long and short of falling in love.
When successful lawyer, Diane (Virginie Efira) gets a call from the man who has found her mobile phone, she is immediately intrigued and charmed. As she and Alexandre (Dujardin) chat and make plans to meet, it becomes evident that the chemistry between them is great indeed. However, when they meet the next day it turns out there may be one small problem.
New relationships are always awkward and for Diane & Alexandre the challenges in their relationship could be somewhat of a tall order. Despite his charisma and good looks, Alexandre comes up a bit short (almost 2 feet, actually). Is Diane out of his reach or can they meet in the middle?
They're both looking for love but society is watching and judging. A perfect match in every way but one, will this new couple be up for the challenge? Will they be Up For Love?
Up For Love
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Interview with Jean Dujardin
Question: What attracted you to this adventure?
Jean Dujardin: Theoretically, this kind of comedy is not my style, but I was curious about how I could play it technically. Then I said to myself, that this might be the only time in my life when I could measure 4 foot 7 and I was charmed by the idea of playing a rather perfect little person who does not inspire mockery or ridicule.
Question: How did you approach your character, Alexandre?
Jean Dujardin: I immediately asked Laurent how he was going to proceed. I understood that this was not to be a comedy, but a romance or a fairy tale about a beautiful woman and a little frog. So I had to play my character straight, neither as a wise guy nor sarcastic. As Virginie did too. In fact our job was not to be funny, we were supposed to tell a love story and that's that. I also had to play on my knees, look up at Virginie, dance alone, talk alone… it was hard but interesting. The comedy in the film comes from the secondary roles, like the ex-husband, the mother or the secretary, who watch and judge us.
Question: Did you intellectualize his difference to embody him?
Jean Dujardin: No, because I acted on the principle that in his head, Alexandre isn't little: he's actually a big man (a big little man) who has a good life, a good job, a big house. In fact, he's larger than life. But I did however intellectualize the problems it could cause for my stand in, Brice, who does measure 4 foot 7. He spoke to me about the difficulty of being that different. But I didn't want to play a complainer. I wanted my character to come across as an optimist. And when I had to play a little sad, I checked with Brice that my character's sadness didn't look too phony. Because he has a certain reserve, and he also has his pride, and I didn't want to betray that. I really wanted to stay true-to-life.
Question: What did this character teach you about yourself?
Jean Dujardin: He made me feel humble (laughter). When you suddenly measure 4 foot 7, and you play on your knees, or on a chair, you become modest. But that height also modifies the way you look at things. It's like seeing the world from a child's height again. But this film does not speak only to people who are short, it speaks to all those who have complexes and that is very interesting.
Question: There is a nice relationship between Alexandre and his son. Do you like playing fathers?
Jean Dujardin: Yes, even if it does remind me that I'm growing old! But I accept it, because I have to find new roles for myself. If you have children who are 15-16 years old in real life, it's not hard to play. And with César Domboy, there was instant complicity. Like a lot of actors of his generation, he's a smart kid. He works fast.
Question: What do you like about Laurent Tirard?
Jean Dujardin: His cinema is elegant, and he prevents you from going overboard. It's streamlined, and very constructed: it's pleasant to be a part of. Tirard doesn't talk a lot, but when he gives you an indication or makes a remark, it's always on the money. I like that about him: instead of acting like your bosom buddy, slapping you on the back, he draws you into his universe. I love his silences and his reserve. He doesn't have an oversized ego: he knows what he wants: he wants to travel, to have fun, and to try new things. And that's exactly how I conceive of my career.
Question: What do you like about Virginie Efira?
Jean Dujardin: I've known her for a long time in real life, and so playing with her was both pleasant and self-evident. I had great confidence in her, so all I had to do was let myself go. Virginie never acts up, she's in it for the pleasure. She's intelligent, and she never get upset: she laughs at herself and thinks with you, without ever giving the impression that she's working. It's very pleasant to act with someone, without having to wonder what they think of you, if they're going to feel tired or really into it. Virginie is not the kind of actress who brings her personal problems to the set. She has the elegance of always being there to serve the project. Besides, she's the one who carries the film: there's something radiant about her. She's no longer the Meg Ryan she was when she was starting out; she's grown beyond the girl next door. Virginie is now a beautiful woman looked at by men and liked by women. She has that attractive kind of aura, as it becomes clearer from film to film.
Question: Do you like to improvise?
Jean Dujardin: I do, but you can't do it with everyone. Good improvisation is done with a good comrade. It makes your day crazier when it works. But on this film, I was very well behaved, because I didn't want my character to come across as a loudmouth.
Question: What was the atmosphere like on the shoot?
Jean Dujardin: It was very studious and very technical. In any event, it's the kind of adventure you embark on knowing that you're in for delayed-action pleasure, because it's complicated to make. Complicated for the director who's directing actors against a green screen, but also for the actors, who feel isolated because they're not playing together … it's hard for everyone in fact. However that may be, it was a first for this kind of film and I'm happy to have set foot on this terra incognita, because that's what I like about this profession most.
Question: What did you think when you saw the film?
Jean Dujardin: I found it very gentle, very sensitive, and very elegant. Where other directors may have run riot, Laurent avoided that pitfall and always remained sober. It is not pure comedy, but it's the first time I feel I've participated in a film whose family audience potential is so strong.
Up For Love
Release Date: December 1st, 2016