Léa Seydoux reflected on her tumultuous period making the 2013 Blue Is the Warmest Color award winner. The drama – a coming-of-age Sapphic romance – was met with controversy when it premiered at that year’s Cannes Film Festival, with some issues with its R-rated graphic sex scenes.
Behind the scenes, the two main stars and several crew members eventually spoke about director Abdellatif Kechiche’s filming techniques and behavior on set, which he denied.
A much-talked-about seven-minute sex scene in the film took 10 days to shoot, Seydoux confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter in a new cover story. Kechiche also insisted on 100 takes just for one shot used in the film, according to the French actress.
“It took a year of my life and I gave everything for this movie. It really changed my life on so many different levels,” said Seydoux, 36, who is also known for her roles in Daniel Craig’s James Bond films Inglourious Basterds. 2009 and last year’s French Dispatch.
Seydoux and her co-star Adèle Exarchopoulos became the first actresses to win the Palme d’Or along with Kechiche for “Blue is the Warmest Color” (the award is usually given to the director).
At the height of the #MeToo movement, intimacy coordinators became a new addition to film and television sets. Professionals act as advocates for actors when filming romance scenes, often speaking through the motions, choreographing the acts and making sure everyone feels comfortable.
Even if they had an intimacy coordinator at the time, Seydoux told THR it wouldn’t have been enough to remedy his experience making the film: “No. Not really. It went further. It was the whole movie, not just the sex scenes. The way we shot this movie was just insane. The guy is just crazy.”
In 2013, Kechiche said he did not want the film to be released amid the controversy surrounding it, telling French magazine Télérama at the time that he felt “humiliated, dishonored, living with a curse” because of allegations about his filmmaking style. .
Seydoux told The Independent in 2013 about signing on to the project: “It was difficult and that’s what it is. When I decided to make the film, I knew it would be difficult. I think I wanted it. I wanted to see what it was like to make it this far.”
Exarchopoulos told the channel that she felt “embarrassed” while filming some of the sex scenes. “He’s been shooting for so long I was thinking, ‘Dude, you can stop right there!’ She added that the director wanted the cast to “really smoke a joint and drink beer; sometimes too much” for on-screen realism.
Seydoux added: “Of course it was kind of humiliating at times, I was feeling like a whore. Of course, he uses it sometimes. He was using three cameras, and when you have to fake your orgasm for six hours… it was nothing. But it’s harder for me to show my feelings than my body.”
Kechiche told the channel: “If Seydoux had such a bad experience, why did she come to Cannes, try on clothes and jewelry all day? Is she an actress or a red carpet artist?”