Francois Ozon Interview
|Written by Sheri Elfman on March 17 2011|
Gay director Francois Ozon's latest film is a comedy about the transformation of a 'Trophy Wife'
"Potiche" is the newest film by openly gay French director Francois Ozon. Starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu, the film is set in 1977 in France. It's about a "Potiche" which translates to "Trophy Wife", and her ascent to the top of the business world. Based on a 1970s play of the same name, the film is comical and focuses on the war between the sexes and classes. It will be released in theaters nationwide on April 1.
This is Ozon's second time working with the legendary Deneuve. He previously directed her in the world-wide hit "8 Women." We spoke with the handsome director about his new film, the actors that he chooses to work with and his inspirations.
Hotspots Magazine: What was it about the play "Potiche" that appealed to you and made you want to make it into a film?
Francois Ozon: I thought it was a liberating part for an actress – it's about a woman and her emancipation and was quite modern.
You worked with Catherine Deneuve before. How is it working with her and was she who you immediately had in mind for the role?
Yes, we did work together and we wanted to work together again when I found a good story. When I saw the play I thought it would be amazing to see Catherine in the role because she is the opposite of a potiche in real life. She said yes from the start.
Had you always wanted to work with Gérard Depardieu?
He is such a genius as an actor- it's a cliché, but there is such a magical chemistry between them [Depardieu and Deneuve] and they love to work together. We last saw them in Truffout's The Last Metro and it's good to see them together again.
You often portray strong women in your films? Are they are inspiration to you?
Women are very interesting and their parts are more interesting. My scenes are about emancipation of characters with woman it's always stronger. I love to work with actresses — very often they are more clever.
Your films often feature gay characters or have a gay appeal. Is that important for you to portray as a gay men?
No. It's very natural and I don't make a big deal. The son is gay [in Potiche], but it's not a big deal. It was fun for me to portray that he is close with his mother and to be very cliché.
What is your favorite film?
I really love "Gone With The Wind". We watch it every Christmas and I love the character of Scarlett O'Hara.