vendredi 30 octobre 2009


In “2012”, director Roland Emmerich literally blows the world away in a spectacular way never before seen on screen and shows us the worst that can happen to our beloved planet: Earthquakes, tsunamis a-go-go, eruptions in your face, mega-explosions, highways and buildings destroyed... very impressive technical success, no doubt. But the interest in “2012 would be a bit limited if it was only about world destruction because what usually makes the audience care about a movie is its people. In “2012”, gorgeous French American actress Béatrice Rosen plays Russian beauty Tamara, one of the main characters trying desperately to escape the impending Apocalypse.It’s her first major role in a Hollywood blockbuster after appearing a year ago in Christopher Nolan’s second Batman movie, “The Dark Knight. In this exclusive interview for, Béatrice tells us about those two major experiences and her blossoming international acting career.

Frédéric Ambroisine: What are your origins?

Béatrice Rosen: My mother is French and my father has Hungarian origins but was raised in the US. I was raised entirely in Paris. [Béatrice was born in New York]

FA: Did you study acting or other studies related to cinema?

BR: I went to a regular high school. I started theater courses when I was ten years old. I did a lot of theater. On Wednesdays and Saturdays we acted in small theatres to train ourselves, to rehearse. Then we acted in the Théatre de Boulogne. I went to a regular high school, and I earned a diploma in science, the French “Bac” [Baccalauréat]. After that I studied acting full time at the Cours Florent.

FA: Did you already know what you wanted to do after high school?

BR: I didn’t know exactly, but I had registered in college in Paris. I had to make a choice, and since I graduated a year early I decided to try acting because I had always wanted to do it. I told myself I would try the full time acting course, Cours Florent, for one year to see if I liked it. I ended up loving it, and then I started to work immediately in the film industry shooting movies. So in the end I never went back to science.

FA: Did Cours Florent help you find your first film job, or did you get it by yourself?

BR: It’s not really the Cours Florent that helped me find a job. But it gave me a good foundation. They offer master classes; actors like Vincent Lindon taught some classes. Actress Isabelle Nanty did as well. There were great teachers there. Cours Florent gives you the foundation to do your job. But you mostly really learn on set when you’re shooting. Also, theatre and cinema are two completely different techniques.

FA: You got your start in TV series and French movies.

BR: Exactly. I did a bit of everything: short movies, a lot of commercials, photoshoots and medium-length films. I was selected in the contest “Jeunes Talents” [Young Talent] organized by l’Adami [Civil Society to administer the rights of artists and performing musicians] at the Cannes International Film Festival, the same year as Audrey Tautou I think. I did a lot of things: TV series, TV movies...

In the short "Blindfolded" (2006) & with Sean Bean in the TV movie "Sharpe's Peril" (2008)

FA: Did you start with small roles?

BR: Absolutely. It was very progressive. I learned my craft by working. There are two types of careers. The Sophie Marceau type: at her first audition, she immediately got a lead role in a big movie, and her career started that way. And there is another type of career, which is built step by step. That was my case. Some parts here and there. There is one thing that I’m really grateful for: I was never typecast; I was never labeled. I did comedies, thrillers, and action movies. The kind of roles I have had so far are completely different from each other.

Béatrice Rosen: Man-hunting in the French short "Clown" (1999) &
kidnapped in the dark comedy "Bienvenue chez les Rozes" (2003)

FA: Is there one role that got you noticed and put you in the limelight?

BR: It was a bit of a mix. It was not just one role. Of course, when I was in the 2004 American movie “Chasing Liberty”, it opened a lot of doors for me in the US. After that, many agencies contacted me. That movie played a major part in my career, for sure.

Béatrice Rosen and Mandy Moore in "Chasing Liberty" (2004)
Photo: Jaap Buitendijk - © 2003 Daughter Productions LLC

FA: How did you succeed in making the transition from French movies to US movies? From auditioning for French movies to starring in Hollywood productions?

BR: I spoke English and I had an agent in London. From time to time I would go there for one day, via Eurostar, to audition for projects that my agent found for me. I got my part in “Chasing Liberty” in London. They needed a European girl. Originally the character was for a German girl but since they liked me they changed the German character into a French character. They changed the name and profile of the character. The shooting was done in Prague. I was delighted to work on an American movie, but I didn’t really get the American film experience because it was shot in Europe. When the film was released, the production company with whom I had a contract for a second movie flew me to Los Angeles for the premiere. That’s where I signed with an American agency, and we had general meetings with film studios.

FA: Have all of your jobs been obtained through agents?

BR: Yes. I had the lucky opportunity to get an agent very quickly. I was still in high school when I got one. I had the luxury to go to the Cours Florent already having an agent. I could apply what I was learning in class at auditions.

FA: You alternate between TV series and movies. How do you organize your schedule to act in both TV and movies?

BR: It depends. It’s really an atypical job. For example, I shot two TV series simutaneously. I did three episodes of “Charmed” while shooting “Cuts” at the same time. Luckily, both series were shot at Paramount Studios. It was funny because I had an assistant who was always waiting for me. In the morning I was in “Charmed” at studio 15, and the assistant would be waiting for me in a little golf cart to bring me to studio 23 were I was shooting “Cuts” in the afternoon. I had to switch costumes and learn my lines for “Cuts”. I did that for some time. It was fun. When I’m not shooting I go to meetings and auditions, and sometimes I have two jobs at the same time. I had to refuse another series named “Veronica Mars” because of a scheduling problem. I couldn’t take the job because everything fell on the same days.

Béatrice Rosen as Maya in "Charmed" (Season 8, Episode 3 - 2005)

FA: Have you been able to make a living by acting since the very beginning?

BR: That’s why I didn’t go back to school. Since the very beginning I started to make a living. I spent two years at the Cours Florent but I was working so much that I often couldn’t attend class. So it was useless to continue paying for a third year. When you are in a movie it is difficult to have other commitments.

Béatrice Rosen plays a real kick-ass model in "Charmed" (2005)

FA: Are “Charmed” and “Cut” your first American TV series appearances?

BR: The first TV series that I shot in the US was cursed because everybody had health problems during the production. It was delayed so much that they finally cancelled it. In this first series, “Commando Nanny”, I had one of the lead roles. But ultimately fate didn’t allow this show to make it. They lost so much money that they ended up giving up. Everyone had accidents. The lead actor broke his foot two days before production started. Then the actor who played my father discovered that he had a serious health problem. It was just a disaster.

"Commando Nanny" (2004 - Mark Burnett Productions)

FA: Can you describe the characters you play in “Charmed” and “Cut”?

BR: Here’s something funny about “Charmed”: I shot the pilot produced by Aaron Spelling [1923-2006], a mythical producer who created series like “Beverly Hills 90210”, “Melrose Place” and so on. I shot the pilot for his company but it never got picked up. They gave me three episodes on “Charmed” because the pilot shoot went very well and we had a very good relationship. In “Charmed” I played a model that speaks several languages and is accused of murder. A trio of witches [Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, Holly Marie Combs] help me out of trouble because they figure out that I’m innocent. In “Cuts” I played an American girl. It was a sitcom. We shot it in front of a live audience.

Béatrice Rosen: armed and tripled in "Charmed" (2005)

FA: Since then you have had several roles in the US, including “The Dark Knight”. What is the difference between working for big studios and for indie productions?

BR: I had already worked on all kind of movies. “Chasing Liberty” was not an indie film, it was a studio film, but it has nothing to do with “The Dark Knight”. Before “The Dark Knight” I had never worked at such a high level. Anyway, I think it’s very rare to work in a movie of that caliber. All the people on this movie were Oscar nominees or Golden Globe nominees. It was quite amazing and obviously very impressive. I admired Christopher Nolan before working with him. He’s really an amazing person. And there’s an obvious difference in budget between “The Dark Knight” and an indie film...

FA: What was the working relationship between you and a big production director? Since he has a lot of things to handle, do you think that you were able to spend enough time with him, or did you have to prepare by yourself?

BR: I was about to mention that! “The Dark Knight” was an atypical film because in general, big comic action movies like that are not necessarily very artistic, but “The Dark Knight” was fantastic. Christopher Nolan really took the time to come and talk with me about the character. He’s such a perfectionist. Roland Emmerich is the same, and that’s why those guys work at the highest level. The studios trust them and give them a big budget to handle because those directors are not really affected by pressure. Roland Emmerich carries a 200-250 million dollar budget on his shoulders, and every morning he arrives full of energy, smiling, and is nice to everyone. He’s in good mood, he’s relaxed. I had the impression that it was the same for Christopher Nolan. He really creates a peaceful atmosphere even if there is a lot of pressure and large stakes. They both are really exceptional people and incredible perfectionists.

Christian Bale and Béatrice Rosen in "The Dark Knight" (2008)

FA: You play a Russian in “The Dark Knight”. How did you land this role?

BR: I studied Russian as a second language in high school, and I’ve always been attracted to the Russian language. People often ask me if I’m Eastern European. I don’t know, people think that I look Russian, and I think maybe that’s because of my Hungarian background. So my agency sent me to the audition and I said to myself, “I’ll go because hey, it’s Batman, it’s Christopher Nolan, and it’s going to be an exceptional movie.” I could feel that already. But honestly, I didn’t think I would get the part. I just said to myself, “I’ll do my best.” So I started working on my Russian accent, and then that was it! They had a worldwide audition, so I could hardly believe it when I heard the good news!

Béatrice Rosen as Russian ballerina Natasha in "The Dark Knight" (2008)

FA: How long did you spend working on your accent before going to the audition?

BR: I had very little time. I think I had only two days before the audition. I had to recall my Russian classes from school. I called an actor friend who speaks Russian, and we trained together. He gives Russian lessons on the side to make money. So for 20 dollars I worked with him and rehearsed for an hour.

FA: That 20 dollars was a good investment!

BR: Oh yeah, for sure! (laughs) Those were the most productive 20 dollars I ever spent.

Christopher Nolan directing the restaurant scene with Béatrice Rosen and Aaron Eckhart

FA: How many days did you spend shooting the Batman movie?

BR: I spent one week in London for the restaurant scene with Christian Bale. It went very well. I did my week in London and went back to Los Angeles. I was delighted. It was an awesome, fantastic experience. And then a few months later, in September, against all odds, they called me and flew me to Chicago for another week to add me into the boat scene, which was unexpected.

Aaron Eckhart, Béatrice Rosen, Christian Bale & Maggie Gyllenhaal

FA: Did you receive more scripts in your mail box after “The Dark Knight”?

BR: Yeah, but again, everything moved gradually. Obviously it clearly helps to appear in “The Dark Knight”; a movie like that opens doors and people want to meet you. I remember when I was auditioning for “2012”, famous actors and actresses were coming to audition for other parts. There are so many actors that producers and directors have the luxury to make famous actors audition. So “The Dark Knight” opened doors and allowed me to meet a lot of people, but it’s not like I was on the front page of every magazine overnight.

FA: Did your agent get you the part in “2012”?

BR: Yes, and I played a Russian as well, so this time I was confident. My agent got me an appointment to meet with the producer and director. I went back several times; it was like a rollercoaster. Then one day, I was in Wales on the set of another movie, “The Big I Am” and my agent called and said, “ ‘2012’ is not gonna work. It won’t be you”. I said, “Too bad, that’s a pity.” But in fact, two weeks later, my agent called me back to tell me that they were making me an offer.

FA: What scene did you do for your “2012” audition?

BR: They made me do three different scenes

FA: Are all your scenes in front of a blue screen?

BR: Hmm…a lot of them. The audition was like a regular audition, you know. There’s nothing in the room so you have to pretend. There was dialogue but also a lot of action, so you have to use your imagination a lot.

FA: Where and for how long did you work on “2012”?

BR: “2012” shot in Vancouver for four and a half months.

FA: What is “2012” about?

BR: It’s about the Apocalypse, based on a Mayan prediction. December 2012 will be the end of the world... that’s it. I really can’t tell you any more because I signed a confidentiality contract. We’ll wait to see the movie. But in fact, I saw it last Saturday [July 25th, 2009], and the movie is really awesome.

Béatrice Rosen as Tamara in "2012"
©2009 Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved.

FA: What can you reveal?

BR: Nothing. (laughs)

FA: Can you reveal anything about your character?

BR: My character is called Tamara. She’s Russian, and that’s all I can say (laughs).
Concerning confidentiality, when we were shooting “The Dark Knight” in the UK, it was very secretive as well. When we were passing through customs, or when we were making a phone call, we didn’t have the right to mention even the title of the movie. We had to use an alias for the title.

FA: Tell me about your collaboration with Roland Emmerich. Usually the technical aspect has a very important place in his movies. Does he have the time to take care of his cast?

BR: His personality is different from Christopher Nolan, but... For example, Christopher Nolan arrived on the set everyday in a suit. He’s very polite, very kind. Nolan always hires the same crew members so everybody knows each other. He works in silence and peace. It’s quiet, pleasant, nobody shouts, and it’s very efficient. He can move forward very very quickly... Roland Emmerich is the same. His sister was also a producer on the movie. Roland arrives on set each day with a smile. He works 18-20 hours a day. Because it’s very technical, he redoes each shot until it is perfect. So we did a lot of takes. He’s a real perfectionist. He comes on set, explains everything to the actors and is very present.

Roland Emmerich on the set of "2012"
©2009 Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved.

FA: Who are the actors you were involved with on the “2012” set?

BR: Most of my scenes were with Amanda Peet, John Cusack and Thomas McCarthy, who is also a director. He recently did a movie called “The Visitor” which won a lot of film festival awards. I had also several scenes with Lisa Lu [lead actress of the Hong Kong blockbuster “The 14 Amazons”], a wonderful lady, very professional. It was such a great cast; everyone enjoyed working on Roland's set. Lisa was a trooper because some of the scenes were pretty physical. The atmosphere on the set was light and fun, even though we were shooting a film about the end of the world.

Chang Tseng, Lisa Lu, Morgan Lily and Béatrice Rosen are having some problems
©2009 Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved.

FA: During the 4 ½ months of shooting “2012”, how long did you actually shoot?

BR: I don’t know exactly. It was a lot more than “The Dark Knight”.

FA: Do you ease up the pressure when you were not shooting?

BR: Yes, I would go back to LA for a few days, then return to Vancouver.

FA: Before shooting “2012”, had you already seen any Roland Emmerich movies?

BR: Most of them, I think.

FA: When you find out you will be working under a specific director do you try to see his work?

BR: Yes. The great thing about working in the US is that they give you quite a lot of information about the project when you go to an audition. So you can do research if you want. Obviously, it’s better to arrive prepared. It helps to know the director’s previous films. Through his work you can understand his taste, his creativity, what kind of actors he hires. So yes, I do some homework...

Béatrice Rosen in "2012": the calm before the storm
©2009 Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved.

FA: Have you done any work since “2012”?

BR: In March I shot an independent movie in England because I want to alternate working with big productions. I had to play the role of an American. I wanted to diversify my roles and not just play Russian or French roles. But this movie had some financing problems. It happens to a lot independent movies. The release date has been delayed. I had two projects like that which have been delayed, and I’m waiting for the new schedule. I’ll shoot, but I have to wait. After big movies like “2012” I really have to be careful with my choice of projects. I have to be judicious, you know.

FA: Can you refuse certain projects from your agency? Do you have to do all the auditions they ask you to do?

BR: I must choose strategic projects. I won’t play another Russian character just to be in a film. It has to be coherent, and my projects have to be diversified. I have to have a logic, a strategy, a career plan. But, well, I love to work. It has to make sense, you know.

FA: You will soon be on the screen in “The Big I Am” and “Woodland Cross”.

BR: “Woodland Cross” is one of the two movies in pre-production right now. It’s an English movie. Last year I did two English movies. I started to work in France, then in the US, and then England. I’m negotiating another one right now. We’ll see…

FA: Any plan to shoot some more French movies?

BR: I would love to… In fact, ideally, in a perfect world, I’d like to work six months in France and six months in the US. That would be awesome. It would be ideal to work a bit everywhere: in the UK, the US, in France.

“2012” POST-SCREENING QUESTIONS (3 months later)

Frédéric Ambroisine: Where did you shoot the scenes that take place under heavy snow in China?

Béatrice Rosen: We shot in big studios with a blue screen. Part of the set was built in the studio, so we had snow and a feel of the glacier.

FA: Your best friend in "2012" is a little dog. How easy or difficult is it to work with an animal in a movie?

BR: We had a trainer on set, and she got him ready for his scenes. When you work with animals you need a lot of patience because they don't always want to comply.

FA: How was the "dog stunt scene" shot? Even though it looks very dangerous onscreen, was it safe?

BR: I can't reveal all the secrets; it would take away the magic. :-)

FA: Not a lot is explained about your character Tamara’s background. She has a relationship with some of the characters but the audience has to imagine her past. Did the director tell you more about the background of Tamara, or did you ask him?

BR: Of course when you sign on to play a character you always want to know her backstory. We talked about it with Roland, and I also made my own choices. Tamara evolves a lot during the movie as she is confronted with many very emotional situations. She's the girlfriend of a Russian billionaire [Zlatko Buric]. She's very spoiled, but as the movie progresses we get a better sense of who she really is, and all her superficial traits are replaced by very human qualities.

FA: Some of the most physical scenes you did in the movie were underwater. How did you prepare to shoot these scenes? Were they dangerous or oppressive?

BR: Those scenes were pretty scary to shoot, but Sony didn't take any unnecessary risks. We had medics on set ready to react to any threatening event. We spent many, many hours in the water but the crew made it as comfortable as possible for the actors.

Béatrice Rosen and Morgan Lily getting wet in "2012" (2009)
©2009 Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All Rights Reserved.

FA: What was your favorite scene as a viewer (even if you weren’t in it)?

BR: I love the first scene where the special effects really start; the car scene with J. Cusack and his family in LA. It sets the tone.

FA : After appearing in a blockbuster as action-packed as “2012”, does your experience give you any desire to play other more physical roles in the future, like action roles?

BR: I would love to be in another action movie and spend months training beforehand...maybe in martial arts. I have a lot of energy and I think it would be a lot of fun for me.

Check out the official Béatrice Rosen website at

Pre-screening interview conducted in French by Frédéric Ambroisine on July 27th, 2009. Translated by Frédéric Ambroisine.
Post-screening interview conducted in English by Frédéric Ambroisine on October 29th, 2009.
Edited by Sylvia Rorem for in October 2009.
Mega thanks to Béatrice Rosen for her kindness and time!
Thanks also to Stéphane Ribola (Miam), Tim Fahlbusch, Axel Foy & Anne Lara (Sony Pictures).

2012” will be released worldwide in more than 70 countries between November 11th and 13th, 2009. Check out Sony Pictures website for dates.
Also, take a look at “2012trailers & video clips on Yahoo Movies & Sony Pictures YouTube channel.

0 commentaires:

Enregistrer un commentaire

Updates Via E-Mail