Midnight in Paris, summer in Hollywood
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Barely a year ago, few people in America had heard of Lea Seydoux. Now they're talking about the 26-year-old actress/model as the next French star to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin to Hollywood stardom.
Though she was a budding star in France, it wasn't until Seydoux strolled along the banks of the Seine with Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris and kicked butt as an ice-cold assassin in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol that American audiences took note.
"I think it is difficult for French actors to have a place in Hollywood," Seydoux says. "But now I feel, and maybe I'm wrong, it seems that perhaps Hollywood is more open."
English-speaking moviegoers will see Seydoux in a more substantial role in Benoit Jaquot's Farewell, My Queen, based on Chantal Thomas' best seller. The film is set at the court of Marie Antoinette in the final days before the outbreak of the French Revolution.
Seydoux plays Sidonie LaBorde, one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting. Like many in the French court during the fateful month of July 1789, Sidonie is unaware of the social unrest brewing on the streets of Paris. Instead she reads romantic literature to the queen (Diane Kruger) in the intimacy of her boudoir at the Palace of Versailles, where Marie Antoinette has retreated from the burden of her royal responsibilities.
That Seydoux has ended up pursuing a film career might have seemed inevitable: She is the granddaughter of Jerome Seydoux, chairman of the film-and-television company Pathe, and the grandniece of Nicolas Seydoux, CEO of the film-and-television production giant Gaumont.
However, she says, she didn't grow up dreaming of being a movie star.
"I was maybe 18 years old. It was quite late. It came ..." She snaps her fingers briskly. "I woke up one morning and I decided to become an actress."
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