In the highly acclaimed film The Artist, French actress Berenice Bejo plays Peppy Miller, ayoung aspiring actress/dancer. The film is set in Hollywood at the demise of silent movies and the birth of the talkies.
Peppy is befriended by a well-established silent film actor named George Valentin (played by Jean Dujardin). Somewhat predictably, Peppy's star rises while his falls, something that sadly happened to silent stars such as John Gilbert, whose voices did not permit them to make the leap into the new age of talking movies.
The film, written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius, is getting Oscar buzz for the costumes designed by Mark Bridges. And with the Roaring '20s fashion now appearing on top designer runways, Bejo is excited about being able wear some of the film costumes he designed just for her during the awards season.
"I am going to be able to wear my dresses, also because since the film is in black and white, you don't recognize the colors," she told Fash Track last week. Some were red, green and yellow. Her sequined frocks were black and gold, much like the ones seen on the Gucci Spring 2012 runway.
She gave birth just 8 weeks ago so she hopes she can soon wear the gowns, all tailored to fit her when she very strong and slimfrom tap dancing for the role for months. We must add that you would NEVER know she had so recently given birth to a beautiful daughter.
When the costumes arrived in pink boxes at her Paris apartment, she got a little misty unpacking them and putting them in her closet. One of her favorite costumes was worn when she was doing an interview in the movie, having finally become a big Hollywood star.
"It was very important that I feel glamorous and rich in that scene. and that i can feel the fur, touch this this black and gold dress. I remember working on that scene with my acting coach and he told me 'Your clothes are something that can give you the feeling that you are famous and elegant." That's the scene when I realize that I am not a young actress anymore, I can buy beautiful things, like Penelope Cruz!
Bejo recalls that Bridges kept a rack of all the costumes for each scene in chronological order. "You could see all the clothes so I can sit down and see her in every scene. We don't do that in France and it's so important to see the arc of the character, how her clothes were cute and simple in the beginning and then they get more sexy and more expensive."