More Than A Diamond: French Actress Louise Bourgoin in “The Love Punch”

FRENCH ACTRESS Louise Bourgoin proves that diamonds aren’t just the best friends a woman can have in the upcoming romantic comedy caper “The Love Punch.”

Starring opposite screen luminaries Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson as the divorced Mr. and Mrs. Richard and Kate Jones. Louise’s character named Manon is an unhappy married woman to a very accomplished business tycoon Vincent (played by French actor Laurent Lafitte). Their paths meet when Richard (Brosnan) finds out that the company he’s been working for had been fraudulently bought and that his and Kate’s along with the other employees’ pension fund had also been taken.

Richard and Kate must do everything to get back what was stolen from them…following the tracks of the evil man behind the company’s buyout led them to Manon who finds life miserable amidst the riches given to her and finally finds her true self when she meets Kate (Thompson), who introduces herself first as a distant relative only to steal back the diamond Manon’s husband gave her.

Both French actors enjoyed shooting in English. “You can play with the language much more”, Louise Bourgoin remarks. “Word stress is very important in English and gives pace to sentences, which is a treat for an actor. But then again, it may get perfunctory after a while, and so we worked with a dialogue coach to acquire a certain accent and enjoy the same freedom we have in French. At the beginning, when I stressed certain words, I thought I was overacting but the truth is, everyone acts like this!”

Emma Thompson enthuses on the two French actors – Louise Bourgoin as the ravishing Manon and Laurent Lafitte as the shameless businessman who ruins Richard.  Emma Thompson can’t praise them enough: “They’re full of ideas, zest and spirit”, she enthuses. “It’s very unusual to meet beautiful actors who are also that funny and who can do the straight acting as well. The point about this work, I think, is you have to able to act very, very well in order to do something that appears not to require any acting. It’s got to do with this lightness of touch and both Louise and Laurent have that in spades”.

Louise Bourgoin explains she was impressed with the originality and ambition of the script. “Joel Hopkins’s script is pretty bold and several scenes could seem unrealistic at first glance, but they blend in seamlessly and they perfectly make sense in the story”, she remarks. “There’s also a screwball quality to it that I enjoyed and that is a real departure from the gritty, realistic dimension of French movies”. The actress portrays Manon, a young romantic idealist who’s just about to lose her illusions… “In the beginning, she’s a young woman whose destiny is all laid out for her – just like Grace Kelly, she’s about to marry a multi-billionaire prince!”, she quips. “But the guy is actually an embezzler and when she finds out, she turns out to be a free-spirited, selfless soul. The truth is she feels she doesn’t belong there and she eventually rediscovers her true self through her meeting with Kate.”

Manon’s clothes also say a lot about her personality. “When I read the script, I saw her as a Beverly Hills-like upstart, on the gaudy and showy side”, she goes on. “Now, the filmmakers asked me to hark back to movies from the 1950s and 60s and to try to look like Audrey Hepburn. What Joel had liked about me when I met him for an audition was the fact that I came in a trench coat, with my hair in a bun and a very ‘French’ look, and he wanted me to remain elegant like that throughout the film. So I had to wear waisted dresses going knee length, glasses and a wide-brimmed hat. I thought it was more interesting than if I had had to wear more contemporary outfits, which would have dated the movie much more”.

“The Love Punch” opens in cinemas nationwide on April 19 (Black Saturday) from Axinite Digicinema.

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