I recently got the chance to talk to Rupert Wynne-James about his role in French film ‘Populaire’. Here, Rupert talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and which three people he would invite to dinner…
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Well the plot about the movie is that it is a romantic comedy set in France in 1958. Rose Pamphyle – (Deborah François) lives with her father in Normandy and she has been told to marry the local garagist. But Rose decides otherwise and goes off to Lisieux for an interview in an assurance company run by Louis Echard – (Romain Duris). The interview is a fiasco but Rose has a gift – she can type really quickly. So if she wants the job she has to participate in local type-writng competitions. She does this and then becomes the quickest in France and then has to go an compete in the world championships in the USA; a love story revolves around sport and type writing!
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
The character that I play in the movie is an IBM agent and we follow our American champion but at the same time we are very interested by the French in their new technologies in this field. I would be out of the question that we were beaten by a French girl!
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
How did I get involved in this movie? Well I was contacted in Paris where I live by a casting director who knows me. I had to put on a real American accent which I like doing.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
Why is this film unique? Well firstly because it is set in the 50’s and all the cast really fitted into this film perfectly. Secondly was the time taken to choose the clothes and suits so smartly and even for the extras – I have never seen so much care taken by everyone working on the film. Also it is a beautiful film using scenes of Normandy and Paris and the wonderful theatre in Liege where the final scenes were shot.
The film stars Romain Duris, Deborah Francois, Berenice Bejo, Shaun Benson, Melanie Bernier, Nicolas Bedos, Miou-Miou, Eddy Mitchell, Frederic Pierrot, Feodor Atkine and Marius Colucci – with Regis Roinsard onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
What was is like working with the crew and cast? Well fantastic! Regis Roisnard was totally into his film of course and was extremely nice to work with. When we were filming in Liege we were all in the same hotel and the atmosphere was fantastic and festive being at Christmas time. Everybody got on very well and we felt we were in the 50’s! At the end of the film I saw some actors crying and I myself did too! The name ‘Populaire’ was the name of a make of type writer. And talking of type writers it took quite a while to find all the type writers used in the movie! Everybody in Liege was extremely kind to us and we were very well looked after. Thanks everyone!
Let’s talk a bit about you Rupert. What made you want to get into the acting industry in the first place?
How did I get into the acting industry? Well quite gradually and late actually. I used to be a model in London in the 80’s and did TV commercials like with Daly Thompson for Lucozade and was a tennis player and coach as well. Then I was asked to do a short film which was shown during the Cannes Film Festival and since then I have not stopped.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
My advice for someone coming into the industry? Well never give up and make sure you are well surrounded by loyal friends outside the industry as well. It’s a hard world out there but once you get your break it gets easier.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
What’s on my iPod right now? Beady Eye single ‘Flick Of The Finger” and many Oasis songs plus music from films.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Three guests who I would invite to my dinner dead or alive? Sophia Loren because she is beautiful and I think would be very interesting to speak to being such a great actress. Then Marlon Brando for who he was – a great presence and thirdly Leonardo DiCaprio – because he gets better and better as an actor and I would learn many things from him!
Which film was your favourite of 2012 and why?
My favourite film from 2012? ‘Broken’ with Tim Roth – all the actors played well in this movie and some of the scenes were pretty heavy. The film is about a broken modest family with all their problems.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
What do I have coming up in 2013? Well I’m in the movie ‘Three Days To Kill’ by McG, with Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld and Ethan Runner. I play the father of Hugh who is my son who goes out with the daughter of Kevin Costner in the movie. And my brother is a killer and I don’t know that! Also I’m in ‘Grace Of Monaco’ with Tim Roth and Nicole Kidman.
Thanks for the interview!