Interview

How did you come to this after directing "Alien: Resurrection"?
I started writing the project well before "Resurrection". I had all these notes and anecdotes collected since childhood that I was trying to find a way to bring together. When I was called up for the "Alien" film, I still hadn't found a way of succeeding so I decided to leave it. When I got back, I got straight down to work, and it took quite a long time to find the key for the screenplay. When finally I figured out that it was this young girl who tries to set everyone's lives straight, then everything just flowed together.

Where did you find Audrey Tautou for the role of Amélie?
I saw very few French actors for the role, only two in fact. Audrey happened to be the first one. Usually, I would meet 15 or 20. Here, it happened like a miracle. It took about four seconds for me to realise that it was going to be Audrey and no-one else. It's a very emotional experience because you're imagining someone in your mind for months and suddenly to have that person materialise in front of you, it's like a miracle.

Will you work again with Marc Caro, with whom you co-directed "Delicatessen" and "The City of Lost Children"?
We have remained excellent friends. We dined together recently, and were discussing the possibilities of collaborating again in the future. Before getting to that stage, we perhaps need to follow our own paths and then meet up again.

You have a vivid imagination, judging by your films. How do these ideas come to you?
Ten per cent inspiration, ninety per cent perspiration!



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