'The Artist's' Jean Dujardin To Star in French Spy Thriller 'Mobius'

Jean Dujardin as George Valentin
Peter Iovino/The Weinstein Co.

"He is like Douglas Fairbanks, with a Gene Kelly smile," says Jean Dujardin of the model for the character Valentin. "And me -- I wasn't born in the '20s, so this was a fantasy of myself as a star."

The acclaimed actor says shooting will take place in Monte Carlo and Hungary.

Jean Dujardin, star of critic's darling and Oscar contender The Artist, has confirmed his leading role in the French thriller Mobius, in which he'll play an experienced spy.

“I like to alternate between (types) of projects,” Dujardin said in Tuesday's edition of the New York Post, confessing that if he had to choose a dream role, it would be "19th-century French expatriate who travels to California."

The France-born actor has been on the awards campaign circuit since The Artist, director Michel Hazanavicius' ode to the silent film era, began earning critical accolades and emerged as a frontrunner for this year's Academy Awards.

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The Artist, which also stars Berenice Bejo and James Cromwell, has received six Golden Globe nominations including including best motion picture, comedy or musical, and best actor in a drama for Dujardin. On Monday, it was named 2011's best film by Vancouver film critics.
The actor's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Mobius casting. The film, with director Eric Rochant at the helm, will shoot in Monte Carlo and Hungary, Dujardin said. Another upcoming French-language movie on his plate is The Players, aa comedy centered on the theme of infidelity and scheduled for release this year.