Besson Interviews

Interview Of Luc Besson About The Fifth Element

Gary, Milla and the Others :

The female lead is played by Milla Jovovich, a young actress with enormous potential. For Leeloo's character, I wanted someone who had never been seen before - I especially wanted to avoid "references" - and who had a very beautiful face, but one that was otherworldly. I met a lot of models, but out of all of them, it was Milla who really charmed me during our second meeting, for tests, where she proved herself to be totally at ease, showing no restraint. She worked hard for eight months : Singing, acting, karate, and she even learned 400 words of an invented vocabulary and all the film's dialogue in that language.

Chris Tucker plays a DJ who's show airs every day from 5 to 7; he's a bit of a troublemaker. Ian Holm is Cornelius, the guardian of the secret that is handed down from generation to generation. He is the last descendant who knows the secret of "The Fifth Element".

And then, there's the bad guy, Absolute Evil's accomplice: Gary Oldman. But he is a different sort of bad guy, funny, a bit of a dandy, whose name is Zorg. Working with Gary is a real pleasure; I met him shortly before filming "The Professional" and we hit it off immediately. For "The Fifth Element", he said yes without even reading the script; so, I did the same thing when he came to me with the screenplay of "Nil By Mouth" which he wanted to direct and see me produce.
A fine lesson in film-making : See "The Fifth Element", let's call it a "light" adventure film, and "Nil By Mouth", a very personal film that paints a harsh picture of society, made by the same people.

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