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Find out about the inspirations behind his filmmaking just in time for the release of Luc Besson’s latest Sci-Fi flick.
Valerian tells the story of space explorers Valerian and Laureline, who traverse the galaxies together. Valerian, a hero, who chases the strong and confident Laureline, a heroine in her own right, while the two fight the bad guys and save the day. It’s a romance, it’s funny yet action packed and a visually stunning space opera.
Luc Besson is like your fantastical chatty relative who you might phone to ask a simple question or two but he’ll stop and tell you a whole charming story that contains so many anecdotes that you almost forget what you asked in the first place. That’s the complete impression I got from the iconic director who imbues his scripts with sincerity and earnestness. At a small round table, I asked him how he does it. “I have five kids who bring me back to earth every day. And one of my kids a long time ago had a problem with the heart when she was born. And so, I’m very familiar with hospitals, and she got three operations in–they take the heart out, they work on it. I mean, it was very painful. And I met this guy (doctor). He was saving her, in fact. And at the end of the operation, he explained to me with a drawing, you know, like almost like a plumber.” “I did this. I take the tube. I did this. Okay, you got it? Is it fine? We’re fine?” And I said, “No, I’m sorry. You have to rest.” He said, “No, no, no. I have another operation. But, this one is much more complicated.” And I said, “Just how many per day are you doing?” He said, “Oh, that’s my fifth today.” They are heroes for me. And since this day, I am on earth, believe me, I’m on earth. And no one knows them. They’re never on TV. They’re never on the cover of magazines. And they save five families per day. I’m doing aspirin. That’s all I am doing when I do films. I know that sometimes it’s important to get an aspirin. So, I don’t know why I’m telling this story.-” He paused.
He picked up quickly about how his family keeps him grounded while he dreams up worlds in cinema, “Yes. So, I’m going to fast food with my kids. I’m on my bike in Paris or at the green light, you know, like, “Hey, hey. What’s up?” I love the contact–I don’t want to live in a bubble. The only bubble I have is my head when I’m dreaming of films. So, I can write. But, the rest of the time, in fact, I enjoy the reality of life. I enjoy sitting on a bench and watching an old woman walking like this across the entire park for half an hour or seeing this jogger who is like 60 and trying to pretend he’s 30. I love all this life. It’s the best thing. “
His welcoming sense of humor and excitement to talk about his passion project was infectious. He’d been working on his adaptation of the French comic book ‘Valerian’ for years. As fans of his films like The Fith Element, La Femme Nikita, we asked him if his films were inspired by his loved ones or just strong women he knew. “No, it’s funny because, for me, it never made a difference. I start to understand when I read a couple of articles who notice it. But, for me, I put the same love to create a woman character than the men characters.” he explained, “When I did Leon, the title of the film is Leon. You know, Matilda is great. But, I wrote Leon. I didn’t write Matilda. But, we remember both. We remember Leon and Matilda. And Chris Tucker was also a great character. So, I don’t make differences, in fact. But, I think, honestly, that, in the eighties and nineties, the movies, in general, were really male oriented.”
In ‘Valerian’ audiences will be introduced to Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevinge as Valerian and Laureline, two space adventurers who embark on a massive mission across the stars. This spiritual sibling of Besson’s Fifth Element hits theaters July 21st!