Bait and Switch: French Starlets on Stage

Sara Forestier, Alice Taglioni and Elodie Navarre can now be seen on Parisian stages.

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Sara Forestier

Photo By Marianne Rosenthiel

Alice Taglioni and Elodie Navarre

Photo By Basile Dell

Paris isn’t the world’s most renowned theater city, but that seems to be changing with film actresses such as Julie Depardieu, Isabelle Carré and Mélanie Doutey taking the stage earlier this year. Now, a new trio of film starlets are swapping a movie camera for a curtain call.

First noticed in Abdel Kechiche’s 2003 film “L’Esquive” (“Games of Love and Chance” in English), which won her a César for most promising actress, Forestier, 24, has been racking up screen credits, including Alain Resnais’ “Wild Grass” and, earlier this year, “Gainsbourg.”

This month, Parisians can catch her onstage in “Interview,” a play based on Dutch director and controversial figure Theo van Gogh’s famous film of the same name about a well-known journalist, Pierre (Patrick Mille), who is forced to interview a starlet, Katja Schuurman (Forestier), against his wishes.

And the movie world continues to beckon: In November, Forestier will be seen in “People’s Names,” and later next year she has a project she describes as a “universe [that] is very close to Woody Allen’s,” and next spring she’ll shoot “M,” a film about illiteracy. And if she has her way, she’ll soon be behind the camera. “My fantasy is to direct and to produce,” Forestier says.

“Interview,” through Oct. 31 at Studio des Champs-Elysées, 15 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris.


A former pianist at the Music Conservatory of Paris, Taglioni had her first film role in “La bande du drugstore” and has since appeared in “The Valet” and “The Pink Panther.” This fall, the 34-year-old is making her theater debut in “Chien Chien,” in which she plays a woman who has lost the father of her young son. Next April, she’ll switch gears when she stars in Eric Valette’s action movie “La proie” (or “The Hunted”) as a cop.

The 31-year-old is proving her diversity — and multitasking ability — this fall, double-booking her schedule with screen and stage roles. Navarre is spending her days shooting Emmanuel Mouret’s new comedy, “L’art d’aimer” (“The Art of Loving”) opposite Gaspard Ulliel. By night, the actress can be seen in “Chien Chien,” Fabrice Roger-Lacan’s play about two childhood friends.

“Onstage, it’s more about technique,” explains the slim brunette. “In films, there is more emotion.”

In “Chien Chien,” Navarre stars opposite her real-life best friend, Alice Taglioni, in an emotional tug of war that often has the two girls behaving cruelly and violently toward each other.

“Chien Chien,” through Oct. 10 at Theatre de l’Atelier, 1 Place Charles Dullin, 75018 Paris.

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