The 2022 Semiramis Award for Excellence in Casting will be presented at the prestigious Torino Film Festival in Italy on 26th November. Running up to the event, we will be posting interviews with all of this year’s nominees. Please meet ICDN member Constance Demontoy nominated for the French film RISE (EN CORPS) (directed by Cédric Klapisch), in conversation with ICDN Advisory Board member Florentina Bratfanof.
How did you start work for this project? How long did you work on the casting?
I already knew the director. It is the third time that we have worked together (since the first season of Call my Agent). He is fond of ballet and dance and had the project in mind for a long time. It occurred that with the pandemic, there was an opportunity to do it as the Opera de Paris was closed for a while. We started casting in June 2020 till end of the year, with some breaks.
As the casting process is an extremely collaborative affair, please name three people that supported this casting process and why.
First of all, Hofesh Schechter, dancer and company director, who plays his own part in the movie. Same thing, with the pandemic, his company was travelling less and that made it possible. He was the one that judged the level of dancing of the candidates, which I am not able to do at all!
Then, a hundred thanks to Beatriz Coutrot, that gave a huge hand on the first research. I knew she had already searched dancers for Jalouse by Stephane Foenkinos and was terrific during the first round, as she got in contact with all of the companies.
Thanks also to Lucie Llopis, my faithfull and efficient assistant for supporting the organisation with the dancers on the one hand and actors on the other hand.
And for sure, Cedric Klapisch, my wonderful director, who has a sharp eye and already knew the ballet dancers very well.
Did you do any other projects with dancers before, were you familiar with this world?
No. It was my first time and that was fantastic, I’ve discovered a lot and met star dancers.
What was your process, how long did you search for the main part, Elodie, and how did you find the male actors/dancers around her: the ex, the the new boyfriend etc.?
There was a constraint, that is a great hand: she had to be a top dancer. We met a few of them as you can imagine but the decision was made fairly quickly : Marion Barbeau was the one.
So we constructed everything around her. The process took a little longer, also because we were looking for other styles of dancers like Leo Walk, and they are all so busy. The director was present for all the sessions, interviewed and directed them. After that we had long talks about the potential choices and parts.
Can you tell us about a difficult moment in the casting process you managed to overcome? What happened?
The main difficulties essentially arose from the schedules of the dancers, the hygiene rules, the uncertainty around travelling. For example, one week after Hofesh Schechter arrived, travel from the UK to France was forbidden except for compelling reasons . But all in all the work was joyful and exciting!