“This actress born with a masterpiece”: the real life of Adèle Exarchopoulos

By Clement Ghys

Posted today at 01:47

Nothing is naughtier than the beach in Cannes during the Festival. The sand is covered with barnums decorated with sponsor logos. Lounge music constantly covers the noise of conversations and interviews. But this Thursday, May 23, 2013, under one of these tents, dozens of journalists and photographers crowd, hiding the bad taste of the decor. Their cries drown out the sound from the sound system speakers.

All eyes are on a director and his two actresses: Abdellatif Kechiche, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. The evening before, following the press screening of their film, The Life of Adele: chapters 1 and 2, conversations were heated. No one seems to come out unscathed from this story in three hours of a romantic relationship between two young women.

Fans and detractors alike ignite this fresco of passion, from the shy encounter to the tragic breakup, passing through the rawest sex and snotty sobs. All comment on the faces captured in close-up of the two actresses: Léa Seydoux, 27, who has already filmed with Christophe Honoré, Benoît Jacquot, Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino, and Adèle Exarchopoulos, a 19-year-old unknown.

The film rocked the sixty-sixth edition of the Cannes Film Festival. All the newsrooms want to publish the portraits of the two actresses, the veteran and the beginner. Under the tent, while they try to negotiate a few minutes of face-to-face interview or five additional minutes for a photo shoot, the journalists exchange noises and rumors.

Adèle Exarchopoulos should not have such an important role but Kechiche would have been so struck by her acting that he would have put her in every shot. He would have baptized the character with his real first name so much he wanted to stick to his reality. The shooting would have been very long, five months, with very strong tensions between the director and his actresses. It is rumored that Steven Spielberg, president of the jury, would have left the screening upset…

Three days later, during the closing ceremony, the American filmmaker awarded the Palme d’Or to The Life of Adele. For the first time in the history of the Festival, the reward is not given to the director alone but also to his two actresses, Steven Spielberg having requested an exemption from the official authorities.

Lea Seydoux the older sister

“Spielberg? He’s too kind.” Adèle Exarchopoulos comments today with disarming sincerity, as if the compliments of one of the greatest directors in the world were worth those of anyone. “Anyway, it was all crazy. » A nice understatement. The young stranger found herself in the middle of a media tornado. Hassan Guerrar, press officer for all of Kechiche’s films, reviews the “baby who had arrived in this whole story and whose life has changed”.

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“This actress born with a masterpiece”: the real life of Adèle Exarchopoulos