<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today click here

Interview: Fiona Gordon on her latest film Lost in Paris

PUBLISHED: 11:17 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:24 24 November 2017

A scene from the film Lost in Paris

A scene from the film Lost in Paris

Archant

Director and actress Fiona Gordon takes us behind the scenes of her latest comedy film Lost in Paris which is released in UK cinemas on 24 November

No one can ever accuse Fiona Gordon of not suffering for her art. The actress and film-maker, who is one of the world’s most gifted physical comedians, throws herself into her work with such gusto, she often leaves the set at the end of the day nursing bruises.

“When you play a klutzy character, you do get banged up a bit,” laughs Gordon. “One time, I twisted my knee so badly it swelled up to three times the size. It’s always a case of: ‘Oh, oh – are we going to be able to finish the film?’ But things always work out OK.”

Her new whimsical comedy Lost in Paris – about Canadian librarian Fiona looking for her missing aunt in the City of Light – sees the actress at her bumbling best: falling into the River Seine, hanging on to a ladder on the Eiffel Tower and getting stuck in a métro gate. The film is the latest collaboration between Gordon and her husband Dominique Abel, who started performing together in burlesque stage shows before transferring their slapstick skills to the big screen.

“We feel like we come from the same family as Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton,” says the actress, who also co-directs and co-writes films with Abel. “We know our style of comedy is not as fashionable as dark humour these days, but it’s what comes naturally to us.”

__________________________________________________________________

Don’t miss

Famous film locations in France

10 must-see French films

__________________________________________________________________

The world has Paris to thank for Abel and Gordon. The couple met in the 1980s while studying at the École Jacques Lecoq, which focuses on physical theatre and mime. Gordon arrived in Paris from Canada, where she moved after being born in Australia, and Abel hails from Brussels.

“Paris wasn’t at all how I imagined it,” Gordon recalls. “I thought it would all be like the Marais district, with cobbled streets, but I was surprised how modern it was. I was innocent back then and experienced some hairy adventures. But when you are 22, being lost in Paris is different than when you are 50. People get less adventurous as they get older.”

While Gordon and Abel did not see much of each other at the École, they started collaborating when neither felt like going home after their studies. The couple eventually relocated to Brussels and started their own company, Courage Mon Amour, doing stage shows before moving into short films and then feature-length movies.

After joining forces with actor-director Bruno Romy on L’Iceberg (2005), Rumba (2008) and The Fairy (2011), Abel and Gordon decided that, for their next film, it was time to be a duo again. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to return to the city where it all began.

“We chose Paris because it’s where we met and it’s back to being just the two of us,” Gordon says. “For a long time we avoided Paris as a backdrop for a film because we thought: ‘Where would we shoot, everything is so busy.’ So we did some location hunting and started rehearsing in the quiet spots we found. Some discoveries, such as the Île aux Cygnes [a man-made island in the River Seine], were very important. When we saw the replica of the Statue of Liberty there, we thought it would be a good place for the character of Dom [a homeless man, played by Abel, who falls for Fiona] to put his tent. Everything just built up around that.”

__________________________________________________________________

Don’t miss

How many of these famous French women have your heard of?

Interview with Audrey Tautou

__________________________________________________________________

For Fiona’s hilariously broken French, Gordon turned to her own mother. “She learnt French at high school but never spoke it,” the actress explains. “We just got her to say a few things and have a conversation in French and I kind of mimicked her.”

Listening to Gordon talking about the creative process makes you wonder what it is like for the actress to work so closely with her husband. Surely there must be friction at times? “We fight a lot, but over the years we’ve found a way to get around it,” Gordon says. “We write separately and then send each other our individual versions of a story. The other person would say: ‘What is this? You’ve cut out my favourite part.’ And then, after thinking about it, we’ll say: ‘It’s not too bad.’ We try to avoid arguing over it because it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

Next up for the dynamic duo is either a musical comedy or a crime film – they haven’t decided yet. “We are getting stuck when it comes to the complexities of crime,” Gordon says. “We like a simple story. But we are working on something and we’ll see what happens.”

As for the next location, they are happy to travel anywhere. “If we had an idea and thought that, say, London suited us, then we would make a film there,” Gordon explains. “Someone suggested we do a film in China, but we know nothing about the country. We tend to work on things that we know.”

Whatever they decide, Gordon will have to stock up on more bandages. “Oh, I love the physical comedy in our films,” she says with a chuckle. “Those scenes are always so much fun to shoot.”

Like this? You might enjoy:

Interview with Clémence Poesy

Interview with Romain Duris

Interview with Sara Martins

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Language and Culture

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thinking of spending the festive period in France? Louise Sayers explains 5 key French Christmas and seasonal traditions that you need to know about if you are to celebrate Noël like a local

Read more
Christmas in France
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Traditional French Christmas celebrations include letters from Santa, feasts on Christmas Eve and presents at the beginning of December!

Read more
Christmas in France
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Author Jerry Marterer reveals his favourite museum restaurants in Paris that are worth visiting for the atmosphere as much as for the food

Read more
Paris
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We all know French baguettes are the best but how do you decide which boulangerie to visit? Luckily there is an official baguette competition to help you find the best baguette in Paris

Read more
Paris
Friday, November 24, 2017

Director and actress Fiona Gordon takes us behind the scenes of her latest comedy film Lost in Paris which is released in UK cinemas on 24 November

Read more
Monday, June 26, 2017

Helen Skelton recently moved to Canet-Plage near Perpignan after her husband, rugby league player Richie Myler, signed with the Catalan Dragons. She reveals why it the perfect place for her and her young family to live

Read more
Expats in France
Friday, November 24, 2017

Viewing a property in France? Brush up on this French vocabulary for house viewings before you go!

Read more
Learning French
Thursday, October 5, 2017

From saying that you’re lost to asking for the nearest supermarket, here is all the French vocabulary you will need to know to ask for directions when you’re in France

Read more
Learning French
Monday, December 11, 2017

There are so many different food and drink stalls at French Christmas markets it can be difficult to decide, so here is our pick of traditional French treats to try at your local marché de Noël

Read more
Christmas in France
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche reveals his take on an indulgent tarte au chocolat with this Chocolate, Chilli and Lemongrass Tart

Read more
French recipes
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now