Quentin Tarantino may be hard at working putting together his next movie, Django Unchained, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith, but let's hope he hasn't forgotten about that possible Inglourious Basterds prequel.
French actress Mélanie Laurent, who played Shossana Dreyfus, says she wouldn't think twice about it. "If Quentin wants to do that then I hope Shosanna will be in it," Laurents told me recently from New York City. "I really hope so."
I fact, it was her time with Tarantino that helped convince Laurent to sign on for the new indie Beginners, opening today.
In the film, she plays the actress love interest of a thirtysomething artist (Ewan McGregor) whose elderly father (Christopher Plummer) recently had passed away after coming out just four years before as a gay man.
Laurent said she was offered a big-budget action movie after Basterds, but turned it down in favor of Beginners. "With the Tarantino movie, I was feeling like I was part of something special," she explains. "It was a big Hollywood box office, but I felt like I had a very special relationship with Tarantino and on set it was kind of a European way to work, like something small. I felt like I wanted to do something in that way."
Beginners is based on writer-director Mike Mills' real life. "I didn't know who she was," Mills says of Laurent (Basterds hadn't come out yet). "I didn't write her character as French. I wrote a strong woman that was smart and wild, but not crazy, and had real emotions."
He found Laurent after watching an interview with her on Youtube. "I just fell in love with her," Mills says. "I showed it to Mélanie later and she was like, 'Oh, my God I'm like totally hung over in it.' "
Laurent now admits she's ready for a big budget studio movie. In fact, there's one on the table right now. She politely declines to give details.
"Because," she says, "if he doesn't choose me, I'm gonna look stupid."
If so, stupid has never looked so beautiful.