"I'VE ALWAYS BEEN AN OUTSIDER"
Multi-Cultural Actor Understands Role All Too Well
Click! That's the sound that Vincent Perez has to hear before he decides to work on a
film, whether its Queen Margot, in which he appeared as the romantic temptation
for Isabelle Adjani, Cyrano De Bergerac, in which he played Christian to Gerard
Depardieu's Cyrano, or Indochine, in which he played opposite Catherine Deneuve.
And now - Click! - he's the handsome hero in Swept from the Sea, a period romance
in which Perez portrays Yanko Gooral, a passionate Ukrainian who is washed overboard in
Cornwall, England, when his ship is destroyed by a storm on its way to America. Yanko, who
is received with hostility by the villagers, falls in love with an independent woman who
feels like an outsider herself.
At a press gathering last fall at the Toronto Film Festival, the actor says he identifies
with hero in the film, directed by Beeban Kidron.
"I've always been an outsider and I relate to the character of
Perez, who is the son of a Spaniard and a German who grew up in a small
village in Switzerland speaking French.
"When faced with a stranger and differences, people are generally curious or
In his own case growing up "in the tiny island of Switzerland, which
is quite separate from the rest of the world," people were generally afraid of the
"It was like racism or xenophobia."
As someone who acts primarily in French films, does he feel like an outsider in Hollywood
"Oh, yes, but for me, Hollywood is not life. It is a factory."
Perez, who lives in Paris and Los Angeles, had a taste of the star machinery when he
played the title role of The Crow: City of Angels last year.
And his career certainly didn't suffer when People Magazine named the 33-year-old actor
one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World." He says jokingly:
"Are you impressed by that? It's fun. We're talking about it
now and we all can have a good laugh. But it really doesn't change my life. And next year,
they'll have to find 50 new people."
He says he is now considering many offers.
"I'm just trying to make the right choices. I've been refusing big
movies to do small movies and I'm trying to stay honest with myself and to do really good
work. If I don't hear that little click, I don't think I am able to play a part."
His next role will be playing Mexican hero Emiliano Zapata in Alfonso Arau's film. He also
has two French films, Le Bossu, opposite Daniel Auteuil, and Those Who Love
Me Take the Train, on his roster.
[Written by Frank Rizzo]