‘MY DAD JOHNNY HALLIDAY IS AN EXTRA TERRESTRIAL'
Ou of table
Richard Mowe meets LAURA SMET, an up and coming French actress of considerable pedigree.
he offspring of lirench rock icon .lohnny
lialliday and acting diva Nathalie Baye. Laura
Smet (pictured) should by rights he an exotic creature. Sex. drugs or — at the very least rock'n'roll.
Yet Smet‘s youthful rehellion took the form of playing truant to go to the cinema or theatre. ‘l‘m sure they taught me more ahout life than studying maths or physics which I considered a hit of waste of time.‘ she says.
Smet. 2]. has an almost feline and mysterious quality. hoth off and on screen. She helieves it important to keep some of her secrets to herself. rather than revealing all.
Managing to blend into the background when she is not on ‘oflicial‘ business. she still goes to the cinema two or three times a week. ‘lt‘s fairly easy not to he recognised. it's all a question of attitude. and l have an everyday kind of face. If I went out in flashy clothes and drove a big car then naturally everyone would look at me. But I don‘t -- I like my anonymity.‘
She has kept her father‘s original unprepossessing moniker. llalliday was horn Jean—Philippe Smet. After relationships with Smct's mother Natalie Baye (Lu Balance. lh‘lvr'liiv') and singer Sylvie Vartan he has had a succession of younger consorts. many of whom are indeed young enough to he his daughter.
‘[)ad‘s private life is his own affair.~ says Smet firmly. But she regards her 62-year-old father. who still can command rock stadium crowds at his every live appearance. as 'an extra—terrestrial someone not quite of the real world‘.
She was raised by her mother. only recently departing the family nest for her own Left Bank apartment. "I'hey're both very different. but I was brought up by my mother who has her feet firmly on the groude
Smet is beginning to he noticed in her right. She has made three films. two of them dramatic roles. and the other a comedy of sorts. The most recent. The Bridesmaid. was for (‘laude (‘hahrol. one of the most iconic figures of the .\'ouvelle Vague. In this film drawn from a novel by Ruth Rendell. Smet plays Senta. a model and would-he actress who meets Philippe (Benoit Magimel) at a wedding and seduces him during a thunderstorm. thereby casting the die for an unpredictable. dangerous relationship.
Smet exudes exactly the statuesque quality that (‘hahrol was seeking. ‘lle told me that he did not want the character to have an emotional side and he did not want the audience to feel in the least bit sorry for her.‘
So enamoured of her performance was (‘hahrol that he's asked her to join him for another film later in the year.
A defining moment in the career of this young actress was her meeting with a first-time director Xavier (iiannoli. who wanted her to play a young woman coping with cancer in his 2003 film linger Bur/it's. Smet‘s performance was much admired. winning her both critical plaudits — and that was enough to give this thoroughbred a career head start.
The Bridesmaid is released on 13 May at the Filmhouse Edinburgh. See review, page 49.
THE BEST FILM & DVD RELEASES
>i< Mysterious Skin Gregg Araki's consummate adaptation of Scott Heim's dreamy tale of UFOs, gay hustlers and baseball (pictured). See interview and review. Selected release. >i< Anatomy of a Murder i Otto Preminger's wonderful 1959 courtroom drama gets a new print and a new life — thank the lord. See review. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
2% Mean Streets Classic Scorsese re-release. See review. GFlI Glasgow.
>i< Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Yawn, suppose this is the hot ticket of the fortnight but you know you are going to be disappointed. Reviewed next issue. General release.
* Nashville Altman at his 708 ﬁnest in a new print. See review. GFT, Glasgow.
=l< Private Saverio Constanzo’s seamless ﬁctionalised account of the lives of a Palestinian family is trapped inside a house commandeered by lsraeli soldiers. See interview and review. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
* Duck Season Minimalist Mexican comedy Gl-T, Glasgow #4 Pallndromes Solondz at his silliest and most irreverent. GFf, Glasgow.
=i¢ The Tlgon Collection Superb non Hammer 70’s British horror ﬁlms together for the ﬁrst time, this DVD set contains rarities Blood on
Satan ’3 Claw and Witchﬂnder General. Out now (Anchor Bay). =l4 Le Corbeau Late great Clouzot (the French Hitchcock) on DVD. Out now (Optimum).
5k Sullivan’s Travels Preston Sturges’ 1940 comedy gem gets a long awaited DVD release. oh brother where have you been? Out now (Universal)
12—26 May 2005 THE LIST 47