To celebrate the 100 years since Gabrielle Chanel opened her first boutique in Deauville, Karl Lagerfeld has created the film "Once Upon A Time" with Keira Knightley and Clotilde Hesme as the two main protagonists. Filming took place over two days in March 2013 at the Cité du Cinéma, a studio complex just outside Paris. Its decor was an identical reproduction of the street where Coco Chanel’s boutique was located.
“I thought it was going to be a silent movie” reveals actress Keira Knightley. “When I arrived I was asked to speak in French. I only said ‘bonjour’ and ‘merci’ and then carried on in English. Filming with Karl Lagerfeld is a real treat. I instantly agreed to be his Coco!”
Keira Knightley and Clotilde Hesme wore matching outfits especially designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. Among the other actors were loyal devotees of the couturier, such as the models Stella Tennant, Lindsey Wixon and Jamie Bochert, Caroline de Maigret, plus Lady Amanda Harlech and her daughter Tallulah. And the boys included Baptiste Giabiconi, Sébastien Jondeau, Jake Davis and Brad Kroenig along with his son Hudson.
The actors discovered their lines just before each take. “Karl Lagerfeld stage manages the actors in a truly direct way” elucidates Keira Knightley. “It was the first time I’ve worked like that too” Clotilde Hesme confides. “It’s very fun and vibrant. It encourages us to really be aware of the other actors”.
Soundtrack: Giacomo Puccini "Ah! Finalmente!", extract from "Tosca"