Tautou-Iogical: this picture and top right in He Loves me, he Loves me Not; remaining pictures in Dirty Pretty Things



She’ll always be elfin Amelie, but starlet AUDREY TAUTOU isn’t bothered by typecasting. Words: Miles Fielder

I must be hard being Amelie I’oulain. the adorably kooky young woman

from the Montmattre district of Paris. Last year. shortly after her 23rd

birthday. Amelie arrived in the UK. came to the Iidinburgh International l‘ilm Festival and charmed audiences just as she'd done at home in France and would later do in America and onwards all over the world.

But wait. Amelie isn‘t 23 years old. She might look it. but she‘s barely older than two. created a couple of years ago by Frenchmen. Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant. the director and co-writer of the film Amelie. or to giye it its fttll title. Le l'ilbll/CIM' Dustin (I'Amé/it' Poll/(tin.

Audrey Tautou. however. is 23 years old. But it‘s easy to confuse Audrey and Amelie. In fact. it’s almost impossible to think of one without thinking of the other since the worldwide success of Jeunet's wonderfully eccentric fantasy romance. Talk about typecasting.

The tagline of the poster for the film read: 'She‘ll change your life'. That's true thrice over. In the film Amelie engineered a series of extended practical jokes in order to brighten and transform the liyes of the lost and lonely. In cinemas Amelie crossed the language barrier to charm audiences in a way no screen idol has done since Brigitte Bardot appeared in And God ('rcum/ ll’omun. And for Tautou (pronounced 't‘too‘. not ‘tattoo‘ ). well. she became an international moin star and film icon. almost overnight.

Today Tautou. who‘s back in London to promote her new film and her linglish language debut. Dirty Pretty 'l'ln'ngs‘. a gritty drama about illegal immigrants. looks less like Amelie. (lone is the black bob cut. her hair shortened to a gamine crop. although a plunging V-neck blottse offsets the boyish haircut. Still. the large dark brown eyes and cheeky smile are part of Amelie‘s unmistakable facial make-up. And Tautou. who understands well her close relationship with her screen alter-ego. doesn't mind talking about Amelie lirst. her new film later.

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