Luc Besson speaks
Luc Besson, talked exclusively to Comingsoon.net about what is rumored to be his last film, an animated movie geared specifically towards kids about a young boy named Arthur and his diminutive friends, the Minimoys. Plus he elaborated on the inner workings of his prolific production company EuropaCorp.
Comingsoon: How did you assemble such an amazing voice cast?
Besson: You know, a few days ago I saw the American poster and I realized the cast. (laughs) Oh, my God! There’s all these people in the film? I couldn’t believe it, because in fact, I see them one-by-one over the course of four years. Madonna, I recorded her three years ago, and De Niro like four months ago. I was so happy to get out of the room with the nerds to come here and spend two days with Robert and then I go back and then three weeks later, I see Jimmy Fallon. You don’t really have the feeling to have this cast. You don’t do a dinner with everybody where you can say, “Thank you very much for being in my film.” (laughs) You realize later in fact, and I’m lucky, it’s wonderful. You call, take a coffee and talk, and they say “Yes” right away almost all of them. I guess I’m happy I’ve made some films they can watch before. For David [Bowie], I know it was the story first. The first thing he asked, he said, “Oh, it looks interesting, can I have the book?” because he has a child and he wants to make sure what we’re going to say in the story was proper, which I really liked in fact. I liked that he took it seriously. I think when you talk to kids, you have to be careful and serious, so I was happy he reacted like this. The fastest one was Madonna, of course. “Oh, yeah? Okay, when?” That was it. She’s gorgeous for that. You call and she just says, “Sounds good, when?”
CS: How involved were Madonna and Snoop Dogg in the look of their characters or were they all designed beforehand?
Besson: I had to thank Madonna because she said “Yes” before she watched the drawings (sic). Snoop, I didn’t know him. Madonna, I know her, because we made a video together, and David I know through his wife that I met a long time ago, so we’re friends. But Snoop, I never met him. I got his manager, and of course, they loved “The Professional” and “Nikita” and all that stuff. I have a good awareness of all these guys in gangs, and they love me.
We filmed Snoop with nine cameras because nobody can move like him, it’s just impossible. Maybe an octopus. Otherwise, no one can play this part. For the rest of the cast, like David and Madonna, we have a camera just taking the lips, both sides, because we recorded them before [filming the actors]. So the actor who plays David–this great actor [named] Christensen]–he hears playback, so he’s acting with the voice of David Bowie.
CS: Why did they change the names of the characters to the “Invisibles” for the American release, even though they’re still called Minimoys in the movie?
Besson: I don’t know. Yeah, Mr. Weinstein thought it was better, and you have to trust the people you work with, if they think it’s better, as long as they don’t change the film.
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