Woman who directed Cassel as sleazy husband denies 'My King' has strong message

Reuters News
Posted: May 18, 2015 4:47 PM

By Hortense de Roffignac

CANNES, France (Reuters) - French movie director Maiwenn said she had no axe to grind about adult relationships in her film "Mon Roi" ("My King") about a woman lawyer who marries, and divorces, a manipulative chef who is just a hair's breadth away from being a lout.

"I don't want to give any message," the director, whose birth name was Maiwenn Le Besco but who goes by her first name, told Reuters in an interview in Cannes on Monday where her film is in competition.

"I like to make films, and make people imagine things."

Emmanuelle Bercot, herself a movie director, plays the lawyer Tony who married Vincent Cassel's Georgio, who gives the appearance of being a successful restaurateur but whose business affairs -- and personality -- are murkier than the image of the Jaguar-driving bon vivant he likes to project.

The film is shown from a flashback angle after the divorce and when Tony is recovering from a skiing accident which has shattered her knee forcing her to take months off work to stay at a rehab center.

Cassel said his role was to try to keep his character from being a one-dimensional creep.

"As she's a female director and I played along with a woman, who's also a director, I didn't want this guy to end up being the bastard of the story and the woman a victim," Cassel said.

"It has never been in Maiwenn's plans to be that radical and simplistic but at some times I would say, 'No, no, it's not possible. Guys -- put yourself in our shoes, it's not easy.'

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"We have to reconcile many things. We must be a good-hearted man, a good father, and a man has drives, whether we want it or not. So I wanted it to be tangible."

Bercot said the atmosphere on the set had been excellent.

"I laughed a lot during this shoot. We gave a lot during the takes but in between it was very joyful, very easy," she said.

(Editing by Michael Roddy and Robin Pomeroy)