Adele Exarchopoulos says ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ was hard but worth it

Adele Exarchopoulos has been winning awards for "Blue is the Warmest Color." Credit: Getty Images
Adele Exarchopoulos has been winning awards for “Blue is the Warmest Color.”
Credit: Getty Images

In addition to winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, the epic relationship saga “Blue is the Warmest Color” netted a special award for its two lead actresses: Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos, who play passionate-then-domesticated lovers. Seydoux is already a star in France, but Exarchopoulos is poised to become the next “It” girl — and she’s still a teenager.

You shot for five months. Did you have any idea what the film would look like?

No. We did so much improvisation because [director Abdellatif Kechiche] wants to capture your soul and really doesn’t want to see you act. He didn’t even realize we did so many takes and shots. Three weeks before the end of the shoot he didn’t even know the end — if I was going to kill myself or die or get depressed and take [pills]. We shot a scene where I take [pills], but then Abdel said he didn’t want to see her die.

What were some major scenes you shot that weren’t in the theatrical cut?

There was a scene where my family discovers we’re sleeping together. My mother discovers Emma naked in the kitchen, drinking milk. She comes into my room, takes the cover off me and sees me naked. She starts yelling, acting hysterical. She wakes up my father. It was this big scene where we naked and vulnerable and yelling. To be angry while naked — that was weird.

Are there more scenes of Adele and Emma fighting? The relationship as seen is relatively calm, with only one big drag-out fight.

Yeah. It was really, really intense. There’s this fight, and then another fight. It was a little more complicated between the two of us in the beginning, because the girl Emma is with was supposed to be a big problem. We shot a lot. With the footage he shot he could make three movies. However he cut it we’d have been surprised. But I love the way it turned out. I think it’s really intelligent.

The relationship spans seven years. You’re still 19 in real life. What was it like playing older?

It was hard to pay the teacher, because it’s hard to find your place in front of 25 children who are so natural and spontaneous. You have to be authoritative.

How did you and Seydoux find your chemistry?

I didn’t know her. I think that helped. It was two people meeting. And it was kind of a crush — a friendship-crush. We became really close and we had this complicity. She was like my sister on the shoot, and she always will be, I think.

Were there any issues with a male director making a film about young lesbians?

No, because it isn’t a homosexual movie. Never on the shoot did we use the word “lesbian” — not because it was taboo, but because it was a simple love story. We want people to forget it’s about two women, because it could happen to anyone. It’s about how people change your life. We all want this to happen to us once.

There’s been a lot of talk in the press about Kechiche being hard to work with. How much of that is overstated?

It was hard, but it’s also hard to make people understand an adventure like this. It’s so human and so personal.

Do you regret saying in interviews that Kechiche was difficult?

No, because we said what we said. But they just pick up the negative things. Yeah, it was really hard to shoot this movie. But it was the best school I’ve ever had. And you remember more when it’s hard. Abdel would ask a lot of you but he would give a lot, too. Sometimes he’s hard to follow. He’d do many takes because he loves to work when you’re really tired. He wants to capture your deepest feelings. For me, he’s the best director in France.

You can read an interview we ran with Exarchopoulos’ co-star Lea Seydoux back when it premiered at Cannes this May here. Seydoux has since had a falling out with Kechiche, who wrote a furious op-ed attacking her and his film’s detractors.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…