The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadian actress stars alongside Helen Mirren in 'The Hundred Foot Journey'

  • Print

TORONTO - Montreal-born actress Charlotte Le Bon found working with Oscar winner Helen Mirren on "The Hundred Foot Journey" to be "intimidating."

"She's the definition of confidence this woman — it's crazy," Le Bon, 27, said in a recent inteview.

Although they only shared four scenes, Le Bon was pleasantly surprised by the generosity of Mirren, who stars as the surly and quintessentially French restaurateur Madame Mallory in the film based on the novel by Richard Morais.

Le Bon plays Marguerite, a young chef who works at Mallory's Michelin-rated, traditional French restaurant. Life is upended when a budding chef named Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) and his father (played by Bollywood great Om Puri) open an Indian restaurant across the street. After some initial annoyance, Mallory ultimately recognizes the quiet genius in Hassan's cooking, a discovery that opens new doors.

Le Bon found her character inspiring because Marguerite was armed with a "precise dream."

"It's a luxury to have a dream and Marguerite is exactly that type of person," said the actress, who also appears in the upcoming French film "Yves Saint Laurent."

Le Bon prepared for the role by spending two days in the L'Acajou kitchen, a Paris restaurant run by her friend, French celebrity chef Jean Imbert. There, she learned leadership is an essential trait if you want to survive in the industry.

“It’s not possible to be a chef and to be quiet — you have to have a very strong personality,” Le Bon said.

Le Bon admits, however, that she isn't exactly a master chef, as evidenced by a cut on her hand caused by a bread knife.

"I really love putting food in my mouth but I’m a lazy person when it comes to cooking," she said.

Her character guides Hassan in the art of French food but their relationship turns bittersweet when he starts working in Mallory's kitchen, transforming them into adversaries vying for her praise.

Le Bon said she and Dayal had chemistry both on and off screen.

"When I did my second casting with (director) Lasse Hallstr�m, he was there and right away it was really easy to improvise," she said.

Since it was both Dayal and Le Bon's first American feature, they supported each other through the process and she says he's still a good friend.

"He is such a sweet, beautiful, very smart human being," Le Bon gushed. "He’s a good actor too and he's a good kisser."

She also had nothing but praise for her director, Lasse Hallstr�m ("The Cider House Rules," "Chocolat").

"He's an amazing man and artist," Le Bon said, lauding the "sensual" way he shot the food in the film.

"The thing is he's a vegan, he doesn't eat meat or dairy products and my theory is that he's so frustrated about food, that's why he's able to film it that way," she said laughing.

Produced by and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, "The Hundred Foot Journey" opens Friday.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gary Lawless & Ed Tait try not to bleeping cry over the woesome Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A one day old piglet glances up from his morning feeding at Cedar Lane Farm near Altona.    Standup photo Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you in favour of the Harper government's new 'family tax cut'?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google