Actress shows Prom­ise

Char­lotte Le Bon brings a lit­tle light to a dark movie

The Observer (Sarnia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BOB THOMP­SON bthomp­son@postmedia.com

LOS AN­GE­LES — Mon­tre­al­born Char­lotte Le Bon has costarred in Hollywood movies and French films yet she’s missed out on col­lab­o­rat­ing with a Que­bec film­maker. But it hasn’t been for a lack of try­ing.

The for­mer model and comic weather girl on the French net­work show Le Grand Journal au­di­tioned for a part in Que­bec di­rec­tor De­nis Vil­leneuve’s much an­tic­i­pated scifi se­quel Blade Run­ner 2049 with Ryan Gosling and Har­ri­son Ford.

“I did a cast­ing (call),” con­firms Le Bon. “I didn’t get it.”

The 30-year-old did land the role of Ana in the his­tor­i­cal epic The Prom­ise star­ring Chris­tian Bale and Oscar Isaac.

It is Le Bon’s Ana who is mixed up in a love tri­an­gle with her Amer­i­can war correspondent boyfriend (Bale) and an Ar­me­nian med­i­cal stu­dent (Isaac) in 1914 Turkey.

While the on­set of the First World War com­pli­cates their lives, they soon dis­cover some­thing even worse — an in­sid­i­ous plan to elim­i­nate 1.5 mil­lion Ar­me­ni­ans in the Ot­toman Em­pire by the Ot­toman gov­ern­ment.

“I shame­fully didn’t know any­thing about the geno­cide,” says Le Bon. “I learned a lot through the script.”

Knowl­edge­able or not, di­rec­tor Terry Ge­orge pur­sued the Paris­based actress for the role de­spite her com­edy past and the grim sub­ject mat­ter.

“I was in Ice­land sur­rounded by vol­ca­noes when my French agent called to ask me if I wanted to Skype with Terry,” she says of the di­rec­tor.

So Le Bon and Ge­orge dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­ity. Two weeks later in New York she had a chem­istry read­ing with Isaac. A week af­ter that she was hired as the ob­ject of de­sire be­tween the two lead­ing men.

“I had a lot of fear and doubt,” Le Bon says. “At first, it didn’t com­pute that I could be Chris­tian Bale and Oscar Isaac’s love in­ter­est ... I was a night­mare be­fore the shoot.” In Spain, where most of The Prom­ise was filmed, she con­nected with Isaac and Bale in a 10-day re­hearsal pe­riod be­fore em­bark­ing on the four-month film­ing process.

As it turned out, Ge­orge re­lied on Le Bon’s Ana to pro­vide the movie with some wit in a few re-writ­ten se­quences.

“The story is in­tense and needs a bit of light,” she says. “Ana felt al­most too per­fect on the page, and I’m not good for that.”

In­deed, Le Bon does en­joy a gig­gle now and again.

“I was prob­a­bly Chris­tian’s best au­di­ence ever,” she says of Bale. “I would laugh at all of his jokes.”

CHRIS DELMASCHRIS DELMAS/GETTY IM­AGES

Char­lotte Le Bon at­tends the Los An­ge­les premiere of The Prom­ise on April 12.

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