London stars as Paris in Bel Ami
Date posted: 29.02.2012
Bel Ami, starring Robert Pattinson (Twilight), Uma Thurman (Kill Bill), Christina Ricci (Monster) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Nowhere Boy), hits cinemas across the UK on Friday 9 March. Based on the 1885 novel of the same name, by Guy de Maupassant, the film is set in 19th Century Paris, although the film shot extensively on location in London.
Bel Ami is the story of the young Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) and his rise to power in Paris via his manipulation of the city's most influential and wealthy women. Co-director Declan Donnellan describes Duroy as "a very beautiful cut-throat young man who discovers he has got one commodity to sell" and the film sees him using his wits and powers of seduction to rise from poverty to wealth.
Following his return from the French army in Algeria, Duroy's journey sees him travelling from cockroach ridden watchtowers to opulent salons. By seducing powerful women of French society, he not only raises his status but finds himself in a world where politics and media jostle for influence and celebrity is an obsession.
Bel Ami shot in and around London in spring 2010. Although originally scheduled to shoot for two weeks in the capital, the production decided to extend their stay for two month finding London offered a number of successful doubles for Paris which were used to create the film's turn-of-the-century Parisian atmosphere.
Film London assisted the production in its search for approximately 15 period Parisian locations, which included hotels, apartments, theatres, cafés, churches, law offices and country houses of varying styles.
Following a successful shoot in the capital, co-producer Laurie Borg recalls that as well as London making a lot of financial sense, the quality of the locations and the prop houses were also a significant draw: "one thing that made a big difference is that the prop houses in London are outstanding".
Bel Ami is released by Studio Canal.