Vanessa Paradis Fading Gigolo

May 27, 2014 by  

Vanessa Paradis Fading Gigolo, Tell a roomful of ELLE staffers you’re off to interview Vanessa Paradis, and the word “obsessed” ripples across the office with a special kind of reverence—the same sort used for Kate Moss, or those long white dresses in The Virgin Suicides.

What’s funny is that although Paradis’ face is quite familiar—that happens when one becomes the perpetual star of Chanel’s campaigns and the mother of Johnny Depp’s children—she’s not exactly famous in America… at least, not quite yet.

This month, Fading Gigolo hits theaters, marking the French star’s first American film role. Starring Paradis as a Hasidic widow living in Brooklyn, the movie also features Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, and John Turturro in the title role. (He wrote and directed it, too.)

We spoke with Paradis about religion, cashmere, and the musical life of her daughter, Lily-Rose.

In “Fading Gigolo,” you play an Orthodox Jew who falls for her masseuse. But you weren’t raised Jewish, right?

No, I wasn’t! And this character isn’t just a religious Jew, she’s Hasidic, which is even more extreme. I didn’t know anything about Hasidism, so when I came to New York, John Turturro took me to Williamsburg. We were introduced to a community of Orthodox Jews that also welcomes people who want to get out of their Hasidic community and want to learn about the rest of the world. Very much like my character! And once they come out, they need to get a job and live in a community that looks more like ours. It’s not a small task. The way they’re living is so different than what we know.

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