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Fanny Ardant

  1. Domiziana Giordano, Nostalghia, Italy-Russia, 1982.  For his first film made outside his motherland, Andrei Tarkovsky, hailed as the finest Russian film-maker since Sergei  Eisenstein, saw numerous films to find his cinematographer and leading lady and usually said: “Hated it, loved her…” Fanny Ardant in Truffaut’s La femme d'à côté Jill Clayburgh in Paul Mazursky’s  An Unmarried Woman…  Aurore Clément in Elio Petri’s Buone notizie.  Brigitte Fossey promised to drop everything to work with him and he was much taken by Isabelle Huppert (she and Clayburgh shared the 1978 Cannes festivall best actress award). Italian money insisted on an Italian star. He did not want Marcello Mastroianni or Ugo Tognazzi but fell for Giordano - for the second of her 18 screen roles.  Ingmar Bergman said Tarkovsky was "the most important director of all time.” A minor planet was named after him in 1982:  -3345 Tarkovsky.

  2. Sabine Azema, La Vie et rien d’autre, France, 1989.    Although she agreed to play Irene de Courtil, the insurance companies involved did not - Fanny (and Francois Truffaut) were pregnant.So realisateur Bertrandf Tvaernier ran to Catherine Deneuve and finally, the star of his (more cheerful) Un dimanche à la campagne.
  3. Kristin Scott Thomas, La Belle Epoque, France, 1995.     The last of French cineaste François Truffaut's many actress-lovers - mother of his third daughter, Josephine - was, naturally, promised the role of Louis Renault's mistress in what proved to be his final script. His plan of a three hour movie and a  TV series, 00-14, was restricted to just the TV long-form by French ratings leader TF1.

  4.  Robin Wright, Adore, France-Australia, 2012.   Always up to date with the latest books,  plays, ideas,  etc, it was Jeanne Moreu who told casting icon-turned-producteur Dominique Besnehard about the Doris Lessing book, The Grandmothers. He immediately thought of (who else?) Nathalie Baye opposite, say, Ardant or Nicole Garcia - with old pals  Jacques Doillon or François Ozon directing.  Instead, it became the first English language film helmed by the former actress Anne Fontaine (put up by Besnahard in  his casting days, for Isabelle Adjani’s role in  L’Eté meurtrier, 1982). Her husband, Philippe Carcassonne,  produced with Besnahard’s Mon Voisin Productions,  among five co-producing entities. (In his autobiography, adore appears to be Besnehard’s favourite word). 

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