The Vincent

August 27, 1996                                                                       

Don't let his devilish good looks fool you, Vincent Perez is a perfect angel. At least on screen.  Perez stars as avenging angel Eric Draven in The Crow: City Of Angels.

It is a sequel to The Crow, a $14-million comic book noir thriller about a rock musician who returns from the grave to avenge his own death and the brutal murder of his girlfriend. 

The Crow's bizarre plot was dwarfed when Brandon Lee, the son of kung fu legend Bruce Lee, was accidentally killed by an improperly loaded prop gun. Whether it was the notoriety of Lee's death or the film's haunting appeal, The Crow grossed more than $100 million worldwide. The search was on to find a replacement, leading producers to France where 32-year-old Perez is somewhat of a legend himself.

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Perez is to France what Antonio Banderas is to Spain. He set hearts aflutter when he romanced Catherine Deneuve in Indochine and Isabelle Adjani in Queen Margot.

Offscreen, Perez was creating a similar stir with actress Jacqueline Bisset, 20 years his senior, and supermodel Carla Bruni.

"I believe you cannot choose who you are going to love and you certainly cannot stop yourself from loving someone just because they are a celebrity.

"You must only accept that there is going to be gossip."

Perez is comfortable with his celebrity status, though he finds all the sex symbol buzz amusing.

"I don't know what a beautiful person is supposed to be or how you're supposed to feel. I love beauty myself and feel good that some people think I have beauty," says Perez.

He's equally grateful some people in high places think he also has talent. He's being considered for several major films.

"I'm not really French, though I am a French movie actor," says Perez. "My mother is German. My father Spanish. I was raised in Switzerland until I was 18."

He then went to Paris to study sculpting, but switched to acting.

"I do not like being alone. An artist must love solitude. I was always a shy person growing up. I didn't want to go more inside myself, so I became an actor."

Perez insists he was not chosen to replace Lee because he resembled the actor.

"I think it was the exact opposite. I think that's why they chose someone European instead of another American actor.

"My interpretation is very different. I have made (Draven) a cross between Hamlet and Jim Morrison.

"He is the kind of rock musician Morrison was and he is driven by revenge like Hamlet was."

[Written by Louis B. Hobson]


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