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Interview with "Love Me If You Dare" Star, Guillaume Canet

A Twisted Romantic Comedy


Guillaume Canet Love Me If You Dare

Guillaume Canet stars in the romantic comedy, "Love Me If You Dare"

Photo © Paramount Classics
A smash hit in France, "Love Me If You Dare" hits theaters in America following a round of festival appearances where it proved to be immensely popular.

Writer/director Yann Samuell describes his film's setting as taking place in a world filled with desire, mischief and uncorked emotions. Childhood friends Julien and Sophie create a game where they pass a tin box (given to Julien by his mother) back and forth. Whoever has the box must take a dare and as the game progresses, the dares become bigger and riskier. The two are constantly in trouble because of the game, however they're unable to stop playing, even as they reach adulthood.


Did you do a lot of research on narcolepsy for “Love Me If You Dare?”
Yeah, a lot. I met some narcoleptic people, which was really interesting because they are really different and they [do not react] the same way. [We met some] people who are cataleptic, too. That’s something you add to the narcolepsy. It’s something more [with your nerves]. You fall asleep as soon as you get real emotion – like you get real angry or you get sad. That was really interesting because the film was a comedy and I didn’t want to be rude with those people because it’s a disease, so we had to be very kosher about it and pay a lot of attention about not being rude with them. [We tried to] show the disease, how it is really. So that was real interesting and I know that all the people that we met were really happy that we were doing a film on this because there are not so many films on it, and the disease is not so well known.

Why do you think the father in this film is so angry about the game?
The father, I think, in the film represents the rules of the society and how the society is putting pressure on us. We have some rules, like to get married, to have a wife and kids, a house, and a job – to fit in this square life. And I think the father represents that in this film and so he doesn’t want this game because he knows that this game is about passion and about going against those rules. It’s about living their lives as they want without asking themselves the question of what they are going to do in the future, what job they are going to do, how they’re going to win their bread. How they are going to make money in life. I think that’s why the father has that [anger] and also at this certain moment of his life, he lost his wife, which is really difficult and hard for men. His kid doesn’t really realize what happened to his mom at this moment because he was totally into this young girl, Sophie, and he was in love with her. That’s why I think the father is against her and this relationship.

And you’re married to actress Diane Kruger?

Will your next movie be the first time the two of you have worked together?
The film I directed, “Mon Idole,” she was in it. That was her first part. The film that we’re going to shoot now will be our second.

Is it easier or harder to shot a film with someone you are personally involved with?
You know, on my film, I think I’ve been less indulgent with her than the other ones because she was my wife and I didn’t want anyone to think I would be easier with her, which is quite stupid. But you know you never want anyone thinking she had the part because she was my wife. I wanted people to realize [she could act] and that’s what happened. Everybody knew very quickly that she was very good in the part. There’s always this pressure to be not too nice with her, which is totally stupid.

How did you two meet?
We met a long time ago through work, five years ago.

Does being a director change your views on acting?
Yeah, totally, because I understood how the script is important when you do a film. When you read the script as an actor you can have some little details that you don’t like. If you don’t like them and if you don’t buy it while you’re reading it, you can be sure you won’t buy it and you won’t like it in the film. So when you’re a director and you can have this distance when you do a film, you are really less indulgent on the script. You are very careful about everything [an actor] is saying and everything that’s done in the film. And also it can really help you on the set because you know all the technical problems and you know a director has a really, really hard job and you have to understand and work with everybody. It really helps you to work with everybody – all the crew.

What do you think of American romantic comedies?
It depends on the film. There are some really, really good – and some not so good. (Laughing) It depends.

What are your favorites?
I don’t know, there are so many. There’s “When Harry Met Sally,” which is really, really a good one. I don’t know. In England there are some good ones.

"Love Me If You Dare" Photo Gallery
"Love Me If You Dare" Trailer, Credits and Websites

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