Devouring the book: In September 2004, I went to Mexico on vacation, and I took the novel with me. I devoured it in only a few days. I found it well put together, very effective. Rather cinematic, as well, in the way it's divided up. But of course, I didn't know it was going to be adapted'
Breaking news: When I came back from my vacation, suddenly in Toronto, all the journalists were saying ' 'Congratulations on getting picked for The Da Vinci Code directed by Ron Howard.' I didn't even know the film was in preparation. After a short detour to Paris, I went back to Mexico. There I got a telephone call from my agent, who told me that Ron Howard wanted to meet me.
Sophie and I: I thought I was too young compared to the character in the book, Sophie Neveu. In the US, I am known for Amelie and I thought this image, which is very strong because of the film's success, did not match Sophie Neveu's. I also thought Ron Howard had to consider me too young and too sweet for the role.
Destiny calling: For several hours I got a series of contradictory emails, until finally I had an appointment for tests in Los Angeles. The place looked like the Francis Huster room at the Cours Florent (the Paris drama school where Tautou studied) ' a small stage facing rows of seats. There were Ron Howard, the producer Brian Grazer and the casting director. Tom Hanks joined us. The meeting must have lasted two hours, and at the very end ' this is how sure I was of not getting the part ' I took out my camera to get a souvenir snapshot of this memorable moment, and to prove to my sister that I really had met Ron Howard and Tom Hanks.
The missed calls: My agent (had) told me the choice was down to two. That evening, after I'd turned off my cell phone, I suddenly saw I'd missed 11 calls in half an hour, all from the same American phone number! I listened to my messages: I was asked to call Ron Howard directly on his cell phone. When I reached him, he was busy scouting locations at the Louvre. That's when he told me, 'Ok, it's you.' It was all done in 10 days!
Tom can act: He (Tom Hanks) has no lack or defect that I know of. It's insane! He is so professional it's uncanny, but in spite of his status, he is infallibly available and nice. For a director, working with him must be a dream come true. He has extraordinary technique, he can change his way of acting to make the editing process easier later because he knows exactly how it all works.
Raving about Ron: He adores actors and loves directing them. He is very receptive and his enthusiasm is contagious. He's very curious and without prejudice. He doesn't rest on his laurels, his power or influence. He's open to everything, and at the same time he is more prepared than anybody. He always shoots with at least two cameras, if not four or eight. Nothing escapes him and everything is arranged with amazing precision.
| Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code
Is that me' I never go to rushes' So, I saw the same trailer as everybody else. When I saw the trailer, I almost made fun of myself, my hairstyle, the intensity of the car chases' It makes me laugh to see myself in the kind of film I had never imagined being in. In this sort of role, you imagine a gorgeous toned Amazon rather than a mischievous little French girl. I just hope people won't wonder why Ron came looking for me!
A new life: My greatest joy is telling myself that I am in the kind of film ' action, suspense, American blockbuster ' that I am likely never to be in again. That amuses me. My greatest fear, given the scale of the project and the expectations, has to do with fame and popularity. I hope I can continue to live the same life I have now.