Melissa Barrera in the scene that made the crew cry

Carmen may mark Benjamin MillepiedHis directorial debut, but you’ve likely seen his work before. He is one of the most popular choreographers working today with credits in theater, major dance companies, and films, including Darren Aronofsky‘s black Swan. Now he is on top of his own movie, a cinematic experience with a story told largely through dance and movement.

Inspired by the famous opera, Millepied Carmen stars Melissa Barrera In the title role, a young woman escapes from a dangerous cartel. While making the flight from Mexico to the United States, you intersect with Paul MescalAidan, a veteran who inadvertently joins the Border Patrol. After things go well during that confrontation, Carmen and Aidan find themselves escaping to Los Angeles together.

Today’s video collider

in celebration of CarmenFilm World Premiere At the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, Millbed and Barrera visited Marbl’s Collider Supper Suite and Media Studio to discuss how to incorporate this one-of-a-kind adaptation.

While Millepied certainly knows what he’s doing as a choreographer and choreographer, producing your first feature film can still be a huge challenge, especially when your movie is full of sweeping dances, almost all of which are captured at long stretches. What earned Millbed the green light and gave him the faith he could pull off? This is what he said:

“It’s a lot of work and a lot of luck. I’ve been shooting dance movies and short short films for a long time. This has been simmering in my head for a while too. I think that’s how you explain the vision and I found a producer who believed in the idea and gave me the freedom to do it, Dimitri Rassam. I was lucky. Very very. It’s crazy. Making a movie is like building a company from scratch with people you’ve never met before, so it’s a crazy project.”

An essential part of that Carmen a company? Melissa Barrera of course. Barrera is exceptional in the final film, but after wrapping up her first meeting with Millepied for the project, she was sure she wasn’t booked for the role. She explained:

“Our first meeting was very interesting. I already knew about Benjamin’s work. I knew he choreographed Black Swan and I had Googled him, and knew his talent as a choreographer. And when I met him, we were sitting at a picnic table outside [L.A. Dance Project] And we just talked about the text. He sent me the script with some music, pictures and inspiration, a very complete package, and I was like, ‘This is incredible. I would be very lucky to be a part of this. So we met up and talked about the script and I told him all the problems I had with the script and told him “he hates me”. I was like, ‘There’s no way to have this,’ because this was in 2018. I’ve done nothing but Vida Season, so I was like, ‘I’m no one. Literally, I’m no one. I just got to LA and I just came by’ And I told him all my problems as a Mexican. A story about a Mexican immigrant, it’s important to do it right, so I told him all my thoughts and then, he’s very serious. He’s French! So he was very serious. I was like, ‘He hates me. There’s no way to get’ I left, called my team, and said, ‘He hates me. There’s no way.’ And then they called me, and they said, “He wants to see you dance.” I was like, “Well, that would be something completely different because I’m not a dancer.”

Parreira has only done one season of veda When she first met Millipede, but by then Carmen Entered into production, Barrera’s star began to rise thanks to the hype building for the release of in the heights And the Scream. What exactly inspired Barrera to stay committed to Carmen Even as the project fell apart and got back together a few times and as more and more opportunities came its way? This is what she said:

“A lot of things had changed and the only constant was that I knew I needed to be a part of this movie. You know, do you get that gut feeling? I knew everything Benjamin was going to do was going to be something wonderful and magical, just because I saw him work. I really started Working with him in dancing and I was like, “I can’t let this go.” And you know, there were a lot of ups and downs. The movie died a few times and then came back. It’s been a long journey to get it done, but I knew it was going to be special, and it was. Every day in Sydney, and in Broken Hill, it felt like we were making art, and you don’t feel that much in the movies.”

There are quite a few mesmerizing scenes that have that special spark Carmen, but there was one magical moment in particular that really amazed me. It’s the first scene Rossi de Palma He is portrayed as Masilda, Carmen’s mother’s best friend. Male millipede:

“That was a magical moment. This was Rossi’s first scene on set. It’s seven minutes. You two are incredible, and so was the Steadicam factor because, frankly, I blocked out the beginning of the scene and then said, ‘Just…’ And I actually didn’t tell either of you. That I wouldn’t call a cut. And it just went on and on and it was just magic, and that’s the scene the movie ended with. The first take.”

Barrera also took a moment to highlight a very important surprise addition to this scene:

“I’m dancing on my own. Carmen entered the club dancing alone and then Macilda started clapping and looked again and said, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t see you.'” Well, Ben called in the Marina [Tamayo] Who plays my mom, who’s dead, calls her and sits next to a Russian, so when I’m dancing and turning around, I see both. I get goosebumps just thinking about that moment. That’s the kind of thing he did as a director, he liked to surprise us and that helped me a lot with that scene, because it was such a long scene that we did over and over that he refueled me, as soon as I saw it. I’m dancing for my mom and then all of a sudden she turns and she’s there like an apparition. It was an incredible moment.”

Not only was it a great moment for Barrera personally, but this particular scene left many of the crew in tears. Here’s how Barrera described it:

“We were at the club and everyone went behind the scenes. There was no one in the club. The club was empty. Rossi, me and our Steadicam operator were amazing. He basically learned to dance. I taught him how to dance with the camera. And I remember we filmed that scene, It was in spanish, keep in mind.Ben doesn’t speak spanish so he trusted us a lot with spanish.we do the scene in spanish,shouting cut last,everyone comes out and a lot of people cry.and it was unbelievable because i was like,how are you all crying if you don’t Do you speak Spanish? None of you speak Spanish and everyone kind of understands it, and that was a very magical moment on set.”

Eager to hear more from Barrera and Millepied about their experiences Carmen to the screen? Be sure to check out the full 20 minute conversation in the video interview at the top of this article!

Special thanks to our partners A-list Communications, Belvedere Vodka, Marbl Toronto, COVERGIRL Canada, Tres Amici Wines, Toronto Star, Blue Moon Belgian White beer.

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