Lea Seydoux has said she did not know she would have to appear nude in the new Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch until the director showed her an animation he had made of the scene.
The French actress, who can also currently be seen in James Bond film No Time To Die, plays a prison guard who serves as a life model for a violent inmate and artist played by Benicio del Toro in the latest film from The Royal Tenenbaums director.
The film takes its name from the fictional supplement of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, and the structure is divided into three stories told by journalists on the magazine, which is heavily inspired by the New Yorker.
Seydoux’s segment required her to pose naked in a number of challenging positions, but the actress said she did not know what would be a component when she first discussed the role with Anderson.
She told the PA news agency: “I saw him in Paris, and he said, ‘I have this little part that I’m thinking about for you, so would you like to do it?’
“And I said, ‘Of course Wes, I would do anything for you.’
“So then he sent me the lines and only the lines, and it was difficult to understand the character exactly.
“So then, after I went to the town where we shot the film, I started to understand what he what he had in mind.”
— Searchlight Pictures UK (@SearchlightUK) October 25, 2021
Seydoux said it only became evident that the part would require nudity when she saw the animated sequence Anderson had made.
She said: “We never really spoke about the character.
“He’s very shy and I am very shy too, so little by little, I understood.
“He makes these little animated films so I watched the film, and it’s very funny.
“He does all the voices.
“So he played Simone and he did it very well, I have to say.
“And so I watched the animated film, basically, and that’s how I really understood what I was supposed to do.
“It’s so funny because when he sent me the lines, I had, like, five lines.
“And I was like, ‘Ok, that’s the part, five lines?’
— Searchlight Pictures UK (@SearchlightUK) October 22, 2021
“But it’s true that she says a lot without speaking. And this is also what I like about Wes, is that you can express a lot with your body language, and it gives a very funny comic dimension.”
It’s after seeing the film that I really understood the character and it was very funny.
“I really loved that first section, it’s beautiful and very poetic.”
The other segments of the film feature a star-studded cast including Timothee Chalamet, Frances McDormand, Saoirse Ronan, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray.
The French Dispatch is out now in Irish cinemas.