She may be a huge star in her native France but in North America, Vanessa Paradis is better known as Johnny Depp’s partner and mother of his children.
Perhaps that will all change on Friday, however, as the hit singer-turned-actress begins gaining attention for her delicate role in Quebecois director Jean-Marc Vallee’s (C.R.A.Z.Y.) acclaimed drama Café de Flore.
“The story just took my breath away reading it and I was so lucky that (Vallee) decided to work with me,” said Paradis recently in Toronto.
“Each time I read (the script), I was filled with emotion and needed to catch my breath.”
Sharing children with Depp may have indeed influenced Paradis’ fascination with Café de Flore. An intricate drama that meshes two seemingly unconnected storylines, Paradis’ character focuses on the struggle of being a single mother of a Down Syndrome boy.
“The story talks about love and all kinds of love — maternal love, friendship, being a parent, being the child, being the lover, being the wife — and how everything is linked together and can be broken in a second,” she said.
While her relationship to Depp is clearly in no threat of being broken — they’ve been together ever since Depp shot the 1999 thriller The Ninth Gate in France — Paradis agrees that one of the themes that makes Café de Flore tick is that love and loss are often interconnected in the lives of people.
“(I hope people appreciate) all the romantic ideas that are there and the power of love and the danger of love,” said Paradis.
“Is it a happy movie? Is it a sad movie? I don’t know and so I guess everybody can take it the way they want and I don’t think they’ll take it the same way ... but love is huge and love is not just one thing, one colour, one note.”