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‘Blue’ Is The Ugliest Color? Abdellatif Kechiche Fires Back At His Palme d’Or-Winning Actresses

'Blue' Is The Ugliest Color? Abdellatif Kechiche Fires Back At His Palme d'Or-Winning Actresses

Yikes. It’s always a bummer when behind-the-scenes drama overshadows a movie, especially when the movie is supposed to be really, really great, but sadly that seems to be happening with “Blue is the Warmest Color,” the Palme d’Or winning coming-of-age drama out this fall. A couple of days ago the actresses from the film put the their director Abdellatif Kechiche on blast and talked about how they never wanted to work with him again. And now the director has fired back, apparently culminating in an explosive, tearful confrontation at a press conference for the film. 

So to recap: just a couple of days ago an interview ran on The Daily Beast where actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos discussed their unpleasant experience on the film. It wasn’t exactly a happy one. Out of that conversation came accusations that Kechiche wasn’t in command of the film and that his searching for moments would often wear out the actresses. “He warned us that we had to trust him—blind trust—and give a lot of ourselves. He was making a movie about passion, so he wanted to have sex scenes, but without choreography—more like special sex scenes. He told us he didn’t want to hide the character’s sexuality because it’s an important part of every relationship,” Seydoux explained in the interview. “But once we were on the shoot, I realized that he really wanted us to give him everything. Most people don’t even dare to ask the things that he did, and they’re more respectful—you get reassured during sex scenes, and they’re choreographed, which desexualizes the act.”

Both agreed that they wouldn’t work with the director again, who they paint as temperamental and demanding. Well, the director has shot back.

According to an interview with a Los Angeles journalist named Ramzy Malouki (the interview isn’t online in full but there are Twitter blow-by-blows), Kechiche responded that [sometimes rough French to English translation] “If Lea was born in cotton, she would never say that.” At the Los Angeles press conference, supposedly, things really blew up, with Kechiche saying, “How indecent to talk about pain when doing one of the best jobs in the world! Aides suffer, the unemployed suffer, construction workers could talk about suffering. How when you are adored, when you go up on red carpet when we receive awards, how we can speak of suffering?”

Seydoux, who is the granddaughter of Jérôme Seydoux, CEO of Pathé, started crying during the press conference (!) and said, “I have given a year of my life to this film I had no life during this shoot. I gave everything. I have not criticized the director I…. I’m just complaining about the technique. It was my dream to work with him because, in France, he is one of the best directors. My family has never helped me. Let’s stop talking about privileges.”

Awkward. Either way, we can all find out if this back-and-forth was worth it when the NC-17 rated “Blue is the Warmest Color” finally opens domestically on October 25th.

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Wow they just found out that he got off watching those scenes… nothing but porn in artsy fartsy sheer and tattered clothing.


I'm french so I can tell that in France Abdellatif Kechiche have a very bad reputation here. Working with him is a Nightmare for the actors. "Blue is the warmest color" have more than 750 hours of rushes, a little bit long for a movie don't you think?
Pus, it not only Seydoux and Exarchopoulos who complain about their director, the French Audiovisual and Cinematographic Union criticised the working conditions from which the crew suffered. According to the report, members of the crew said the production occurred in a "heavy" atmosphere with behaviour close to "moral harassment", which led some members of the crew and workers to quit. Technicians accused him of harassment, unpaid overtime and violations of labour laws.
So personnaly I totally understand the choice of Seydoux and Exarchopoulos to never work with him again.


ilove you


This is getting so ugly. I feel so sad for the film. Too much negativity. Abdel should really relax a little bit or he won't get good actors to work in the future!


Reminds me of when Kate (or should that be, 'Ingrate') Winslet complained that James Cameron made her stand in a studio water tank which — gasp! — wasn't heated. Oh the horror, the horror!


You're telling a story about the humanity in your characters but in the process you denigrate your cast treating them like your pawns I say message fail, and you're a hypocrite. The "Art" and RED CARPETS can take a back seat to human dignity. Where's this man's humanity?

Aaron Helton

DURKA DURKA MUHAMMID JIHAD!!!!!!!!! "Artists"???? AHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHA These are not artists.


I love it when artists bitch at each other. Sometimes the backstory is better than the film.


When the director is named David Fincher or Lars Von Trier ,the actors have no problem how complicated the filming can be


It seems to me that, whomever you are, if you give yourself wholeheartedly to a role then you have a right to complain if the director is hard to work for or is unnecessarily demanding. The idea that Seydoux is not allowed to have an opinion because she is rich and famous is pretty stupid. It seems the director was embarrassed and wanted to get her to shut up by shaming her for being famous. Bad tactic.


It might of have been morally unethical or emotionally difficult. But wise up. At least it wasn't like a John Landis shoot.


This is amazing. Please never stop fighting in public.

good god

It's not exploitation if the actors knew well what was going to happen and agreed to do it. Key word is "agreed". And anyone who thinks this is bad work ethic then they've clearly never worked on an independent film. Actors are the most well pampered people in all of film history. I feel more sorry for whoever the boom mic operator was, honestly.


"How indecent to talk about pain when doing one of the most spoiled and peculiar jobs in the world!" [If you're an established actor.]

Fixed it.


Really, Indiewire? Actually, I would say it's a"bummer" when a director takes advantage of actors put in his trust and exploits them and makes them feel unsafe which would be apparent to anyone who read Seydoux and Exarchopoulos' interview at Telluride. No one should be subjected to that. (And, yes, I've seen the film.)


Omg, more drama please!!

Spill the beans, playlist reporter!! =)


I love this film and the drama going behind it. Lol. I love Lea Seydoux though.


Is the film that bad that they need to create drama so people will go see it? I’ll pass, seems cold and ugly.

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