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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Actresses > Feature Interviews K to O > Laurence Leboeuf

 

Laurence Leboeuf-star of FOREVERLAND

Laurence Leboeuf

On the Road to Foreverland

by Jay S. Jacobs

 
Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: January 31, 2012.

Foreverland was a film that was literally life and death to its young writer/director Max McGuire.  The film was about a twenty-something man who was stricken with the disease cystic fibrosis, who has to travel the length of the west coast of the US to scatter the ashes of a friend who had just died of the malady.

McGuire knows a lot about the subject, because he has the disease.

Still, he did not want his movie to be a mournful one.  Instead, he wanted it to be an often light and at times inspirational look at a man overcoming his infirmity as long as he could. 

McGuireís surrogate character Will was played by Max Theriot (Jumper, Chloe, Nancy Drew) as a man who learns to live when he takes to the road and surrenders himself to the uncertainty of the world.  He is accompanied by his late friendís cute sister Hannah Ė played by French Canadian actress Laurence Leboeuf Ė  who shares crazy road adventures with him and eventually becomes more than just a friend.

Along the way, they run across such interesting character actors as Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers), Matt Frewer (Max Headroom) and the current Best Actor Oscar nominee DemiŠn Bichir (A Better Life).

It was one of the first English starring roles for young Canadian actress Laurence Leboeuf, who in recent years has segued from being a popular actress in her native French to making the leap into mainstream American roles.

Leboeuf was nice enough to sit down with us recently and chat about the movie.

How did you get involved in acting?

I started when I was pretty young, when I was about ten years old.  My parents are both actors from Quebec and I just grew up in it.  At one point I wanted to start auditioning and my parents agreed.  Since then, Iíve been in series and movies here in Quebec.  Then I learned English, so why not try the English thing?  (laughs)

Laurence Leboeuf and Max Theriot star in FOREVERLAND.Early on in your career, you acted mostly in French.  Is there a difference in between acting in English and French?

Well, first I have to say that it was hard with all the vocabulary for it to be easy to come out.  Once everything was there, it is easier in a way, because it feels like youíre already something else.  Just changing languages, a little step further from your mother tongue, itís already different, in a way.  So, maybe itís easier to step into a character when itís in English.  Itís just to acquire the flow of it, to be able to act as well in French as in English.  The flow has to be going.  Iím trying to reach that as much as I can.  (chuckles)

Also in Foreverland, you had an American accent.  You didnít really hear the French.  Is that hard to change your voice in such a fundamental way?

Yeah.  Sometimes my accent can come out in moments that I donít expect it.  Then I have to think about that and correct it.  I have people on set to tell me how to adjust my accent.  If I speak English for [a while] Ė because when Iím in Quebec, I speak French all the time Ė but when I go back to LA or somewhere, I just have to get used to it for a week or two and then my accent is gone.  Itís much easier that way.  But thank God I have people on set all the time to look out for that. 

What was it about the script of Foreverland that appealed to you?

Of course, Maxís story really touched me, his writing it.  I met him two years before they actually made the movie.  The script just touched me Ė his quest and the way he was dealing with his specific disease, cystic fibrosis, is just something that Iíd never really heard about.  Or, I knew about the disease, but I never knew what it implied, really, and how you have to live as if you knew when it was going to end.   Thatís freaky for everybody.  Itís a very different concept of living, I find.  I thought Maxís approach to it was very brave and very full of life.  Youíd never know [he has the disease].  He just wants to live.  Iím very impressed about him doing his movie and fighting to have a voice.  I felt that was beautiful.  I felt my character had this great soft impact on everything, having known it from her brother, how to deal with it.  Sheís just generous and open-minded and I love that about her. 

Hannah had seen all the pain and hardship that her brother went through due to the disease.  Why do you feel that she was willing to take that on again with Will?

I think she wanted to first make sure that her brotherís will was going to be respected and the ashes were going to get to where her brother wanted them to.  Then, she recognized a lot of her brother in Will and maybe wanted to show him another way of looking at things.  I think thatís what attracted her to keep going with him.  (laughs)  Obviously, she thought he was pretty cute, too. 

Laurence Leboeuf and Max Theriot star in FOREVERLAND.Have you ever taken a long road trip?  What was the wildest or weirdest road trip that youíve ever taken?

Not that much, but Iíve been really wanting to do it from Montreal to LA, to go through the States and to go through Canada.  I havenít done it yet, but that is my goal, because otherwise Iíve done short road trips and they are always fun.  Iíve been going from Montreal to New York or from LA to Vegas, [that] kind of thing.   They are always crazy and fun, but I would be excited to do it where I have to sleep in motels and stuff like that.  Maybe next time Iíll have a good story.  (laughs)

Do you have a favorite road trip movie?  Did you kind of channel that into your role?

Thereís a few of them.  Of course Thelma & Louise is a classic that I canít deny.  The one with Juliette Lewis, it wasnít a road trip, I guess, butÖ whatís it called?

Do you mean Natural Born Killers?

Yes, yes.  There we go.  (laughs)  Yes, thank you, thatís in between a road trip and something really fucked up.  (laughs again)  I kind of like it. 

What was it like working with Juliette? I know you only had a couple of scenes togetherÖ

Yeah.  For me, itís really someone that I admired the work.  I thought she was there too short of a time.  I wish we could have worked together for more than a couple of days.  Sheís great.  She has this great energy, this unique presence and sheís so talented, so itís so easy to feed off of her.  Sheís so great and sheís really, really sweet.  It was a great experience.

Were you familiar with Max Theriotís work previously? 

No, actually, Iíd never seen or heard of Max.  Then, when we first met in Vancouver, he became this reallyÖ our relationship was kind of like the road trip in itself.  It took a little while to get to really know each other and to really feel loose around one another.  We have this great friendship whenever we see each other now.  It just built up, just like the road trip.

You ended up spending most of the film with him alone Ė was that a challenge as an actress? 

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Oh my God, it was mostly the whole movie, basically.  (laughs)  Definitely, it was something that when weíd get together the first few times and talk about what Max was going through, weíd see him take all his medicine and stuff just to be able to evacuate a lot of what the script was and what we wanted to do with it Ė it was so great to have a partner like that.  Someone that comes from such a different background than me and that has different points of view on a lot of things that I do.  Itís nice to exchange ideas that way.  It ends up that he comes with a suggestion and I come with another and then we meet in the middle.  Itís something fantastic.  Itís great to learn from someone else. 

Laurence Leboeuf stars in FOREVERLAND.DemiŠn Bichir was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar today. 

(excited)  I know!  I just called him this morning.  I couldnít believe it. 

What was he like to work with?

He was unbelievable.  Honestly, he was there for such a short time, but you could just tell how deep and soulful he is.  I think thatís what makes him great and a grand actor now, with his nomination.  I donít doubt that he deserves this nomination.

Oh, yeah, in A Better Life he was amazingÖ

Yeah.  I havenít seen it yet, but I will now.  I feel bad, but I havenít.  (laughs)  But you can just feel some people in life, some actors that you just meet and you know they are grand.  He was one of them.  It was brilliant to work with him.  I feel very blessed that I did. 

Although the film takes place all the way down the west coast of the US into Mexico, I believe that it was mostly filmed in Canada, other than the Mexican scenes.   What was it like working in Mexico?  Everything was so different down there; do you feel that translated into the filming?

Oh, yeah, definitely.  It was such a cool trip, just to go.  Thatís my dream, anyway, to be able to work and to travel places.  To really fall into the mood of the place.  Just the heat and the dťcor and everything is so different, so already youíre projected into another state of mind and another vibe.  Itís just so great to be with your crew and the people you like.  It was like the road trip in the movie, while we were shooting it.  (laughs)  It was brilliant.  I thought it was great.

Will you ever be able to look at miniature golf courses in the same way again?

(laughs)  I guess not.  I guess not.  Whenever I go Iíll wait for a miracle.

Obviously, the film was very personal to Max McGuire, who has the disease himself.  Did that make it even more important to you as an actress to get his vision out?

For sure.  Definitely.  Max was so close to us the whole time that it is important that it transcends what he is trying to say and his vision of it.  He was so present that I think we had no other way but to do that.  We never went astray from what he envisioned and it was our responsibility Ė everyoneís responsibility Ė just like in every movie [to capture his vision].  But this one, particularly, to make sure that he did what he has been dreaming to do for a long time.  I think we did.

Laurence Leboeuf and Max Theriot star in FOREVERLAND.You are starring in an upcoming movie called The Trouble with Cali with Paul Sorvino, who I believe also directed the film.  How did that job come about and what can we expect from the movie?

This movie, itís been five years since we shot it.

Oh, really?

I havenít seen anything.  (laughs)  I had met Mira Sorvino when I was working on Human Trafficking, a series that was on LifetimeI think she suggested me to her dad when he was about to cast his movie.  I auditioned from Montreal on tape.  He really liked me.  I did a call back and then that was it.  I ended up going to Pennsylvania and got involved in this whole thing.  Itís about a dysfunctional family, their story.  This young girl, Kelly, who gets involved with an older man and itís probably not the best idea for her.  But the whole family dysfunction is very interesting to me.  There was sort of a dreamy, eerie feel to this movie Ė I think itís going to have.  The tone is very eerie, I find.

You have another movie that came out recently called French ImmersionWhat is that about?

Yeah, that one was great.  That was with Kevin Tierney, who was directing.  Itís about some people from Toronto or Ontario that came to Montreal to learn French.  We play the French adoptive families that are welcoming the English into their home.  It was pretty funny.  I had a pretty small part in it, but I got to play with my mom and my dad, who played my parents.  We just had a ball.  It was just funny.  We had so much fun.  It was just great.

Youíve done a couple of guest appearances on the SyFy Channelís Being HumanWhat is that like?  Do you think youíll be going back to do more?

That was great, too.  One of my best friends, Meaghan Rath, is the main character of the show.  Iím so proud of the show for her.  Itís been looking so great and amazing.  I just came for two days, I think.  My character was her lover back in the day and now sheísÖ sheís dead.  (laughs)  So I think itís going to end there.

Youíre still pretty early on in working as an actress.  In the long run, how would you like for people to see your career?

My goal is to always transform and to always do things that are going to challenge me.  Things that Iím going to look different and feel different.  I hope people donít always recognize me in things and donít always already guess that itís me.  I hope that I keep being versatile in my work and to keep going forward.  You learn every day.  I learn every shoot that I do.  All the people I meet.  Every new thing I do.  I hope I keep doing that and that I keep being versatile in my work.

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Photo Credits:
#1 © 2012. Courtesy of Vanguard Management Group.  All rights reserved.
#2 © 2011. Courtesy of Screen Siren Pictures.  All rights reserved.
#3 © 2011. Courtesy of Screen Siren Pictures.  All rights reserved.
#4 © 2011. Courtesy of Screen Siren Pictures.  All rights reserved.
#5 © 2011. Courtesy of Screen Siren Pictures.  All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: January 31, 2012.

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Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: January 31, 2012.