Kline shows lot of Gaul toplining romantic film


In his first French-speaking role, Kevin Kline will star with Sandrine Bonnaire and Jennifer Beals in Caroline Bottaro's drama "Joueuse."

Bonnaire plays a hotel maid captivated by a romantic couple (Beals and Francis Renaud) playing chess while staying at the Mediterranean island hotel where she works. The doctor (Kline) whose house she cleans reluctantly becomes her mentor in the game, leading her to a chess tournament and initiating major transformations in her life.

Kline courted Meg Ryan as a Parisian in "French Kiss," but this is his first role in a French production.

"He speaks good French, better than John Malkovich," said Michel Feller, who is producing the film with Dominique Besnehard for Mon Voisin Prods. and Blue Print Film's Amelie Latcha.

"Joueuse" is a France- Germany co-production with France 2 and StudioCanal, with the participation of Canal Plus, CNC, Eurimages, Cinecinema, Telemunchen-Concorde and the Collectivite Territoriale de Corse. Jean-Philippe Laroche is the executive producer.

First-time feature director Bottaro adapted the screenplay from Bertina Henrichs' novel "The Chess Player."

Principal photography began Tuesday on the isle of Corsica. Shooting continues there through April 26, followed by Paris-area filming from April 29-May 14.

Kline is repped by CAA, WMI and the Hofflund Co. Bonnaire is repped by Artmedia. Beals is repped by APA.