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Me & Audrey Tautou

I spent all Wednesday morning hanging out at Harry’s New York Bar (Sank Roo Doe Noo), but before you think my barfly tendencies have returned, I have to say I was working. Earlier in the month I was called in to be an extra for another Claude Berri film (I was an extra for "L’Un reste, l’autre part"), and spent a sweltering afternoon in an un-air conditioned theatre as part of the "audience". I didn’t recognize any of the actors, but thought that one of the girls looked a lot like Audrey Tautou, almost as if she could be her little sister.

Almost three weeks later, they’re still filming the same movie (tentatively titled "Ensemble, c’est tout") and the casting agent calls to ask if I could do a bar scene at Harry’s. I love that bar, so I agreed to come along for another day of filming, this time happy to be indoors on such a wet and chilly day (where the heck did spring go, anyway?). In the beginning I’m at the back of the bar at a table of four, chatting with the other extras. When I see the little Audrey look alike I mention it to the others. "C’est elle," they tell me. It is her!

I had just seen "Da Vinci Code" a few days earlier, so the image of her with longer hair was still fresh in my mind. "But she’s so young looking!" And they all agreed, she looks like a teenager in person. I got a closer look later in the scene when I was told to stand next to her at the bar, pretending to talk another extra (we can move our lips, but aren’t allowed to make any sound…harder than it looks!) and she’s just sooooo tiny!! Maybe five feet tall, 90pounds max. She looks so much…taller on screen. I was obsessed at how small her arms looked next to mine (and I have small arms).

I wish I could say Audrey and I got to know each other between takes, but in French films the extras don’t "mix" with the actors. She looked very tired, or maybe that was just for the scene (she had to produce tears at one point). According to an article in Le Figaro, the actress may return to theatre to escape the craziness of her "Da Vinci Code" fame. In any case, it seems she has a long career in front of her!

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