Tuesday, January 8, 2013

French actress Carole Bouquet

That's "Bouquet," not "Bucket!" ;-) 

Like Catherine Deneuve before her, French film star Carole Bouquet is better known to most Americans as a spokesmodel for Chanel than as an actress.  This, of course, is because most Americans are too ignorant to appreciate French movies (though, if you're visiting this blog, you're probably not one of those morons).  But Carole Bouquet is known in particular to James Bond fans . . . as Bond girl Melina Havelock in 1981's For Your Eyes Only.  (In that movie, Bond - played by Roger Moore - properly introduces himself to Melina in a Citroën 2CV in the middle of a car chase. :-D)

Carole Bouquet, of course, has appeared in more substantial movies, in France and in other European countries.  Her big debut was as Conchita in Luis Buñuel's 1977 movie That Obscure Object of Desire; her character, a flamenco dancer from Seville, is desired by an aging Frenchman, whom she frustrates on a regular basis.  Other roles she's played include Babé Senanques in Rive droite, rive gauche (1984), Lucrezia von Planta in Jenatsch (1987) and Margherita in Donne con le gonne (1991). 

One of her better known roles was Florence Barthélémy in Too Beautiful For You (1989).  Florence is a beautiful woman whose husband - played by Gérard Depardieu - cheats on her by carrying on an affair with his much less attractive secretary.  In an ironic twist, Carole Bouquet dated the brilliant actor and noted tax evader for eight years - 1997 to 2005 - and they were engaged in the last two years of their relationship.  They worked together repeatedly.

Her only notable post-Bond Hollywood work was as Princess Soroya in "Life Without Zoë," Francis Ford Coppola's contribution to the 1989 short-film anthology New York Stories.  Carole Bouquet's failure to parlay her Bond girl experience into a Hollywood career may be seen as a huge failure by some, but I doubt she's complaining. 

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