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Bel Ami Production Notes: Directors Declan Donnellan & Nick Ormerod Talk About Robert Pattinson

>> 2012/01/23

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Casting

“We asked actors that we really wanted to work with, people that we have admired for a long time, explains Donnellan of their casting choices. “Kristin Scott Thomas we know of old. Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Robert Pattinson we have always admired. There’s also Colm Meaney, a wonderful Irish actor who plays Rousset and Phillip Glenister. They are all actors we love.”

Ormerod and Donnellan were thrilled to be working with such a diverse cast. Donnellan describes the moment that the actors turned up for rehearsals.“It was absolutely fantastic to see them arriving one after another. They are all incredibly professional and great fun with wicked senses of humour in their own different ways; Uma, Kristin and Christina are all very different people. We had a ball, an absolutely wonderful time because the material was so fantastic, the roles and screenplay are fantastic. Everybody felt like they were being stretched, especially us because it was our first movie. Kristin, Christina, Uma and Robert would all agree that they were doing things they hadn’t done before, which was what made it so thrilling.”

Talking about Georges’ costumes

Dicks-Mireaux explains how the costumes she designed for Georges help to tell the story of his progression throughout the film. “He wears black virtually all the way. Maupassant writes very clearly about starching, and we spend a lot of time and effort on the shirts. This period is a very transitional period between the boiled shirt and the pleated shirt so we’ve done a combination of the two. We’ve engineered this ingenious way of making sure we can always have the stiff cuffs. I’ve gone for very high collars on Robert because he suits them really well and it makes them all stand up correctly. If you look at the British royal family they seem to wear a slightly broader look. You look at the French drawings and they seem to have a much tighter, narrower look – a bit like Christian Dior suits: that very pinched, nice, narrow, elegant, long lined leg. He had a journey and then right at the end of the journey he sort of dips and goes a little bit more bourgeois and slightly pompous. He thought he might have a moustache at the end.”

Georges ‘Bel Ami’ Duroy

The central character of Georges was a complex and captivating subject for Rachel Bennette, as she explains. “Georges is a difficult character, that’s what makes him so fascinating. He’s quite enigmatic in certain respects and he’s not a typical character in many ways. He’s very reactive as opposed to the active protagonist that you’re used to. So it was a question of trying to get the measure of him.”

“He never works and he still gets it all. That’s what’s so maddening about Georges Duroy,” Donnellan concurs. “He gets the lot with no effort and it’s something we have to live with. Georges has a talent to get to the top and he’s a businessman with one commodity to sell. Another thrilling thing about Georges is his emptiness; people can project anything into him which is another reason why he’s so successful.”

Bennette concludes: “I find Georges really compelling, even if I don’t always like him. There’s something about his audacity, and his daring, and his absolute refusal to be told his place. And there is something quite appealing about that: essentially it is a kind of mad courage that he has.”

You can read the full production notes document with full synopsis, production details etc here

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Biography

Robert Thomas-Pattinson was born on May 13, 1986, in Barnes, a suburb of London, the capital of England. His mother, Clare, worked for a modeling agency, and his father, Richard, imported vintage cars from the U.S. Robert is the youngest of three kids in the Pattinson family, and the only son. He has two older sisters. Elizabeth is three years older than he is, and Victoria is five years older. Pattinson became involved in amateur theatre through the Barnes Theatre Company. After some backstage experience there, he took on acting roles. He caught the attention of an acting agent in a production of Tess of the D'Urbervilles and began looking for professional roles. Since then he has performed in an amateur version of Macbeth at the Old Sorting Office Arts Centre, as well as trying his hand at modeling. more

Musical career

Pattinson plays guitar and piano, and composes his own music. He also appears as the singer of two songs on the Twilight soundtrack:
"Never Think", which he co-wrote with Sam Bradley,
and "Let Me Sign", which was written by Marcus Foster and Bobby Long.
The soundtrack for the film How To Be features three original songs performed by Pattinson and written by composer Joe Hastings.
Listen to Rob's music

Cosmopolis 2012

Water For Elephants 2011

New Moon 2009

How to Be 2008

Bad Mother's Handbook 2007

Filmography

# Maps to the Stars (2014) ... Jerome
# Hold on to Me
# The Rover (2013) .... Reynolds
# Mission: Blacklist
(2013)
# Cosmopolis (2012) .... Eric Packer
# Bel Ami (2012) ....Georges Duroy
# The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012) .... Edward Cullen
# The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011) .... Edward Cullen
# Water for Elephants (2011) .... Jacob Jankowski
# The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) .... Edward Cullen
# Remember Me (2010) .... Tyler Hawkins
# The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) .... Edward Cullen
# Twilight (2008/I) .... Edward Cullen
# Little Ashes (2008) .... Salvador Dalí
# How to Be (2008) .... Art
# The Summer House (2008) .... Richard
# Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) .... Cedric Diggory
# The Bad Mother's Handbook (2007) (TV) .... Daniel Gale
# The Haunted Airman (2006) (TV) .... Toby Jugg
# Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) .... Cedric Diggory
# Ring of the Nibelungs (2004) (TV) .... Giselher
# Vanity Fair (2004) (uncredited) .... Older Rawdy Crawley
PRODUCER
# Remember Me (2010) .... executive producer

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