FOTOGRAMAS MAGAZINE (Spanish)
We had the chance to be aware of all this during his short stay in Madrid for the premiere of Queen Margot, in which this gentleman seduces Isabelle Adjani, as he did with Catherine Deneuve in Indochine or Jacqueline Bisset in House of Jade.
VINCENT PEREZ, THE LOVER
Fotogramas: You were born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and your mother is German. Your father comes from Barcelona or Valencia in Spain
Yes, he was born in a village close to Valencia, Puebla Larga; at the age of 15, he went to Barcelona and in the '60s to Switzerland. He worked for an import-export company and my mother looked after my brother Carlos, my sister Estrella and me. I went to Paris when I was 17.
Have you ever lived in Germany?
Oh no! I am not crazy! (laughs)
Do you know the village where your father comes from?
I've been there once, but I remember Cullera better: it is the place where we spent the summer holidays; my mother now lives in Javea.
In your family there are no artists, but you always wanted to be an actor
Yes, I am the black sheep.
So your family did not like your vocation?
It was a bit difficult in the beginning. My parents were not happy with this. Myself, if I had a child wanting to be an actor, it would scare me. My first job was being a photographer for two years, but then I decided to follow my instincts and my desire to be an actor, even if this meant facing many problems.
Your first movie was "Gardien de la Nuit." What was your role?
A playboy. A very small part. Not very interesting. It was an exercise that allowed me to see the movie world from a close distance; what I studied in the Conservatoire of arts and theater in Paris has been much more useful. Every year around 1500 people want to be admitted to this school and only 20-25 succeed. I was there two and a half years. I was very young, only 21, and I decided to start with the acting school of Patrice Chéreau. With him, I began working on stage.
Which other people have had a great influence on your life?
Gerard Depardieu. Regis Wargnier. My teacher at the Conservatoire, Gerard De Sartre. Another teacher at the school of Chereau, Pierre Roman, who's now dead. Roger Planchon
After "Gardien de la Nuit", you made a big entrance into the movie world with "House of Jade", which has been a commercial flop but allowed you to win a Cesar and to get to know Jacqueline Bisset (with whom you had an affair). What do you think about her as an actress and as a woman?
Jacqueline taught me to love the light. For the first time I realized that light can transmit certain emotions. She changed my vision of light. She made me discover Bergman's actresses, American movies, the American way of working. And she is a wonderful woman.
After "Cyrano de Bergerac" you became the most promising young actor in France. What was your relationship with Depardieu?
He is all energy, an extra engine for any movie, because he imposes a certain rhythm in filming and is very generous. I learned a lot from him on the relationship between an actor and the team. With Cyrano I lost a certain kind of virginity. I discovered poetry, because Gerard is a poet. Even today he IS Cyrano. And I am Christian de Neuvillette. Gerard has gone so far in being an actor!
How was your relationship with Isabelle Adjani?
Isabelle is a woman one wants to protect as something very precious. She is like a diamond. She has the poetry of all women who give themselves. When she abandons herself to the camera, you get the impression of entering her intimacy. She is a good soldier. She is strong and fragile. This mixture is explosive; moreover, she is a friend.
Your character in "Queen Margot" represents generosity, frankness, love. You specialize in those "romantic hero" parts. Wouldn't you like playing "the bad guy"?
Sure, I would. But I depend upon what others write, which is something I like in this job, i.e. being in the hands of fate. The older you get, the less you are dependent, but you still are anyway. I dream about playing the bad guy, but now I am 31. I have the impression of having worked on a base and that from now on everything can be done. In my 30th year I played in my first American movie (Talk of Angels, filmed in Spain with Marisa Paredes and Franco Nero as his parents, Penelope Cruz as his sister and Ariadna Gil as his wife, directed by Nick Hamm) and also Antonioni's movie, co-directed by Wim Wenders, starring Irene Jacob, in which I felt, as other actors of the team did, as an extension of this semi-paralyzed man. I've noticed a change in my work. I have the impression of understanding film as few times before, and to understand how a film can enter my life.
After "Indochine" you directed a short movie produced by Regis Wargnier. Are you still interested in directing?
Yes, I am. I wrote a script for a long movie and this year I will start looking for a producer. It is a modern story based on a wonderful book, Psychoanalysis of the Fairy Tales, a children's education through fairy tales.
Do you like children?
I love it. And bullfights. And Spanish people. I think Spain is one of the few countries in Europe where people can be straightforward. I trust them.
Thanks to your relationship with Carla Bruni, you got to know the fashion world. Do you think it has much in common with the movie world?
They are not comparable. The former is appearance and the latter is about asking questions. Fashion is made up of appearances, it is an end-of-century sickness elevating superficiality to the altar of adoration. Movies are the reflection of the human being, and it's about man, woman, life, love, death, fear
[With special thanks to Cinzia Masina for the Spanish translation]