The Vincent

June 2000                                                                    

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VINCENT PEREZ by Kim Basinger

Even Ocicats Want to Get Close

Kim: I have watched you since you were in Indochine (1992) with Catherine Deneuve. You've done other movies - Cyrano Bergerac (1990), Queen Margot (1994), and The Crow: City of Angels (1996) - but I think American people know you best from Indochine. It was such an important film. Do you feel pressure to do a different kind of movie to broaden your American audience?

Vincent: I do many different kinds of movies in Europe, and it's true that I do a lot of period movies. I think the French are quite good at them. But first what I look for in a part is the idealistic side of the character. I don't really care what role it is. I'm always happy to do a modern piece.

Kim: You and I worked against some beautiful natural backdrops for I Dreamed of Africa.

Vincent: The sky was bigger in Africa than anywhere else. Sometimes I was a little late to the set because a family of lions would be in the middle of the road, and we couldn't pass through. It was such an amazing thing to witness: the cycle of life, the predators becoming prey, etc..

Kim: You were photographed by Bruce Weber with an ocicat (named Uno) for this issue of Interview. Did you and the animal bond?

Vincent: I'm not sure. I was very surprised by this ocicat. Even though he was putting his paws on my face, he didn't hurt me at all. He was very careful and very wonderful. He was very calm and very zen, much more than I was. Sometimes I have the feeling animals understand what we are thinking.

Kim: Do you find a difference between being an actor in Europe and being one in America?

Vincent: When you're working in front of a camera and you're preparing a scene, it's exactly the same. The major difference has to do with the industry. I think in America, moviemaking is an industry, which is not really the case in France.

Kim: You mean a real business like dollars and cents; it's box-office. We have great filmmakers and actors in America, but art often gets lost. That's why independent film has become popular.

Vincent: It's the same everywhere in the world.

Kim: Few people know you're also a director.

Vincent: Well, I'm just starting.

Kim: Don't be shy. You know what I would love? For you to direct a group of American women in France. And I want to be one of them.

Vincent: That's a very good idea.

Kim: I'll call your agent then.


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