Luc Besson, Dane DeHaan, and Cara Delevigne Discuss Bringing ‘Valerian’ to the Big Screen

Costume SuperCentre Canada

Valerian Interviews

Luc Besson knows something about wild and colorful science fiction. After all the French filmmaker was the mastermind behind The Fifth Element and its outlandish vision of the future. Now Besson is returning to the screen with his biggest, most ambitious effort yet with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, his adaptation of the Valérian and Laureline comics from creators Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières. Stepping into the leading roles are Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. Recently, Besson, DeHaan, and Delevingne spoke about Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets at a press conference in Los Angeles.

“You cannot start Valerian and say, ‘Oh, I’m gonna do it.’ No. There’s lots of competition. You know, Marvel, DC Comics, lots of superheroes,” the French auteur said of the long development process the film went through. “It’s almost a $200 million film. I started ten years ago and I started very slowly. I started with the designers. I selected ten designers in the middle of 2000, and made them work for two years in the dark. They don’t even know the script and they only have contact with me through Skype for a year. Because I wanted creativity without frontiers. I want the weirdest thing they can find out.”

Besson continued, “Then I received more than 6,000 drawings and start my puzzle, and start to think about my two actors because you cannot make this film without this couple. It’s an unusual couple and an unusual hero. He’s obviously not Schwarzenegger. He’s a different kind of hero, maybe more European in a way, more fragile, kind of different. Sometimes he’s even spoiler or pretentious, but I like that. I really love that from the character. She’s the grounded one. Most of the time it’s what we have in a couple. The women are in charge and we pretend that we are. I want to have this flavor. This really tiny story of this real couple in this totally incredible story in space. I want the salt and the sugar in the same story.”

Just when Besson thought he had finally cracked his script for Valerian, an atomic bomb was dropped in theaters and caused Besson to rethink everything he’d worked on to that point. “I wrote the script for many, many months. It’s a true story. I went to see Avatar when my script was almost ready. I see Avatar and I came back home and put my script in the garbage, and I start again. Because Avatar just pushed all the limits. It’s amazing and I wasn’t at the level,” the director candidly said. “Thanks to Jim Cameron my script is much better now than it was. It was really a long labor of work.”

For the stars, taking on Valerian was taking on an extremely physical shoot. “I mean it was a blast,” DeHaan said of vigorous stunt work. “I think Cara like doing stunts more than I do.”

“I live for stunts,” Delevingne coyly added.

“We’d be on wires and she’d be like, ‘LET’S DO IT AGAIN!’ You know, it was fun,” DeHaan continued. “I took sword fighting in school, in acting school, and I’d never thought I’d use that. When I was handed two swords and to fight these two guys who were on stilts was like – sometimes it was like a ballet. There was one sequence where I was just in a room full of blue and the camera was on a cable cam, kinda like when you’re watching a football game or something, and it was like a 30-second shot where I was just running and almost going through an obstacle course. I had no idea what it was going to look like in the end.”

“For me, as Dane said before, I really love doing stunts. Anything I get to learn doing a movie, whether it’s sword work or learning a new skill or trying it, I’m kind of the first one to be like, ‘Sure.’ I’ll kind of dive in head first,” the model turned actress said. “It was important that we feel like two people who could potentially save the world or save the universe. So in a physical sense just doing everything we possibly could to do the best job. Everyone we worked, the stunt coordinators, everyone was so incredible. I really would’ve done it forever.”

The director was there to heap praise upon his cast. “Every morning they went one hour in the gym. On the set, they’d have a little plastic box with their lunch. The two of them in their space suits with these little boxes eating on the set,” he said with a chuckle. Then the director looked over to his stars and said with immense sincerity, “You were very great. Thank you very much.”

Also in the cast is pop star Rhianna, who appears a shape-shifting alien in a wild sequence that pays homage to Cabaret. “In my head I said, ‘Who would be the best person for the part?’ And my first answer was Rhianna,” Besson said of casting the music star. “I don’t even know if it was realistic or not, it was just my idea, my dream. And you don’t know until you ask. I was lucky because at this period she really wants to play. She really wants to try to be an actress and be in movies, so I was lucky. I arrived at the perfect time, and she was exceptional.”

Besson has a level of intimacy with the story of Valerian. “The thing is I’ve known the comics since I was ten years old, and there are 29 volumes. I really know Valerian and Lauraline very well, so it was more for me I have a picture of who I want and check who could fit,” he said of casting his two leads. “It was pretty easy. When I saw them for the first time, the first hour of conversation, I knew it was them. One thing that was very important was the timbre of the voice. He has the voice Valerian for sure. She was, Lauraline, she had to work for a couple of months on her accent because she sounds so British.”

Despite all that confidence in his cast, Besson did have one certain fear. “My only fear was putting them together,” the director said candidly. “Sometimes you have one is perfect, the other one is perfect, and you put them together and it doesn’t match. So I tried to organize that they, because I wanted to be there the first time they met, and I organized my calendar, and then she called me and said, ‘Oh, I saw Dane last night.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I went to a meeting and he was there.’ And then he called me. I was not there when they met and it was so frustrating. I had to wait a month to finally get them together and honestly it takes ten seconds. In ten seconds you can tell if they match or not. And I was like so happy I tried not to show it too much.”

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opens in theaters everywhere Friday, July 21.

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Beauty and the Dogs’ is a Familiar Tale that’s Rarely Told in the Arab World

Writer Kaouther Ben Hania along with her co-director, Khaled Walid Barsaoui...

Downsizing Falls Short as it’s Blu-ray Drops

I really wanted to love Downsizing. I love that concept in...

Steven Soderbergh Poster Giveaway
Win an ‘Unsane’ Poster Signed by Steven Soderbergh!

Steven Soderbergh is one of the most acclaimed directors of his...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Release Date Set!

Shadow of the Tomb Raider will deliver Lara Croft’s defining moment, and...

The Epitome of Storytelling in Gaming – Yakuza 6 Review [PS4]

Yakuza 6 The Song of Life is the epitome of storytelling in...

Enter the World of Jumanji in 60out Escape Rooms’ Jumanji Escape Room -Jumanji Escape Room Review

For the first time ever, fans have the chance to enter...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Visit Scenic Wakanda with Titan’s ‘Black Panther: Official Movie Special’

The most anticipated comic book movie in years, Marvel’s Black Panther...

Ninja-K #4: Much Ado About Ninjas

NINJA-K #4 Written By: Christos Gage Color By: Andrew Dalhouse Art By: Juan...

‘BLACK [AF]’ is Imperfect yet Full of Potential

Comics Twitter convinced me to bet on BLACK, the series about...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Hitcase Pro 2.0 Withstands All – iPhone Case Review

Ever since my first iPhone, most of my cases were meant...

March Loot Gaming Crate Relic Features Sea of Thieves Exclusive

March’s Loot Gaming Crate, Relic, will feature an exclusive Sea of Thieves Flameheart...

Shirts On Tap Show’s Support for Your Favorite Breweries

Shirts On Tap is a San Diego, CA based company that...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
LFC 25 Showdown at Sam’s Town Full Results

Updating the tradition of Foxy Boxing in what I like to...

The AfterGLOW Cruise Heats Up New York

I was 8 years old when the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling...

Epic Fighting 37 Full Results

Epic Fighting 37 took place tonight from the Four Points Sheraton...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Comics on the can presents: (The final) ASSult on AVN: pt 3 ATTACK OF THE CAMGIRLS!

Pt 3... The final ASSult on AVN! ATTACK OF THE CAM...

Magic Hat Brewing Teams-Up with Dropkick Murphys for an Ale as Smooth as Their Sound

Vermont’s Magic Hat Brewing Company teams up with Boston’s Dropkick Murphys...

Cultural Junkdrawer ASSult on AVN pt 2: The Future!

Pt 2 of my AVN 2018 Recap! With Lloyd Kaufman, Pancakes...

Event News Event Reviews
dough bar
The Dough Bar and the Protein Donut

Created by Marquez and Ondrea Fernandez, The Dough Bar Doughnuts are...

Improve Sleep and Performance with TrueDark

TrueDark by Biohacked aims to improve your sleep, performance, and health by...

Pyramid Escape Room Review
Escape Room LA’s The Pyramid Escape Room Review

Overview of The Pyramid Escape Room The Pyramid Escape Room, Escape Room...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...

%d bloggers like this: