Catherine Deneuve

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Toronto Sun, By Bob Thompson - July 13, 95

    La Deneuve Is Still La Belle De Jour

Elegance and grace arrive with the image of loveliness that is Catherine Deneuve.
But there is much more to her than that. She's a lighting expert, too.

As Deneuve glides into the hotel suite for an interview, she spots some harsh afternoon cross lighting coming from a nearby window.
She quietly asks for the curtains to be drawn, and within seconds she has what she wants - a kinder, gentler shading.

Yes, she is experienced after 35 years in the movie business.
Deneuve, you might say, is also a dedicated trouper.
The 51-year-old Paris-based actress is filming in France, but agreed to fly here to do a promotional tour for the the re-release of Luis Bunuel's 1967 Belle de Jour, which opens in Toronto next week.

In the film, Deneuve portrays a bored housewife who works at a brothel to keep her afternoons interesting.
"I was a very strange choice at the time," she recalls of the more demure parts that came before this one. "Now, I am often remembered for Belle de Jour."

Perhaps, there are a few other things Catherine Deneuve is remembered for: Such as a TV model-spokesperson for makeup and perfume. Or as an Oscar-nominated actress for Indochine. Or as the sexually-repressed psycho in Roman Polanski's Repulsion.
Or even as the mother of 32-year-old Christian, whose father is director Roger Vadim, and to 23-year-old Chiara, whose father is Marcello Mastroianni.
"People wonder about me," says Deneuve, "but I don't say much about my private life. I'm not someone who is always speaking about private matters."
Although, the mom in her confides revealingly: "I thought I would stop worrying about my children, but I worry about them more now that they are grown up. I always thought there would be an age when I wouldn't worry anymore, but there isn't."

One thing she is newly concerned about is the state of the film business in France. "It's much more difficult to do a film today, so I appreciate it much more when I do."
As she says, the shooting of Belle de Jour recalls a more easy-going time in her life and in French filmmaking.
"I am happy that it will be shown again," she says, referring to Belle de Jour, a controversial movie of its time.

A Belle de Jour element that stands the test of time?
"It says a lot about fantasy, and I don't think fantasies have changed since then."
And Catherine Deneuve knows of what she speaks.


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