May 18, 2018 / 6:27 PM / a month ago

Vanessa Paradis revels in gay porn director role in Cannes slasher

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Vanessa Paradis has come a long way from “Joe Le Taxi”. The French actress, who shot to fame as a teenage pop singer, stars as a director of hardcore gay porn films in a movie that screened at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

“Knife + Heart” (“Un Couteau Dans Le Coeur”) is set in the seedy world of low-grade porn production in 1970s France, where Paradis’ character Anne is intrigued, and then terrorized, by a serial killer who is gruesomely murdering some of her actors.

Critics compared the movie to the works of “Dressed to Kill” director Brian De Palma, with Hollywood Reporter calling it a “deliciously campy slasher flick”. Screen Daily said it was a “film drunk on its own trashy, lurid aesthetic”.

“The set(-up) is controversial, but the movie talks about love, deeply about love,” Paradis told Reuters in an interview.

“It’s super-romantic, it’s very shy actually.”

71st Cannes Film Festival - photocall for the film "Knife + Heart" (Un couteau dans le coeur) in competition - Cannes, France May 18, 2018. Cast member Vanessa Paradis. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The 45-year-old said she had no hesitation in taking the role.

“I didn’t think: ‘What are people going to think?’ I was so moved by the script and felt: ‘Oh my God, I get to have this role, I get to play in a Yann Gonzalez movie, this story, this character.”

Director and co-writer Gonzalez said: “I think this film is like a carnival. It’s like a fun house, it’s full of surprises,”

71st Cannes Film Festival - conference for the film "Knife + Heart" (Un couteau dans le coeur) in competition - Cannes, France May 18, 2018. Cast member Vanessa Paradis. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/File Photo

“Knife + Heart” is competing for the Palme d’Or, which will be awarded on Saturday.

Writing by Robin Pomeroy; editing by Andrew Roche

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