Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis have been cast together as lovers in an upcoming film, currently titled “My American Lover,” about French writer, feminist and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir best known for her 1949 work, The Second Sex, and her life long relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre.
[Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis dying to get off the red carpet]
It is not Sartre, however, who is the lover in the film but, American writer Nelson Algren (Johnny Depp) with whom de Beauvoir had an affair around the same time she wrote her notable 1949 work. The film will no doubt be based on other works of hers, most likely the The Mandarins, “an unflinching look at Parisian intellectual society at the end of World War II,” which is dedicated to Algren and features a character considered to be him.
More recent source material would likely be from A Transatlantic Love Affair: Letters to Nelson Algren, a collection of letters (published in 1998) that de Beauvoir wrote to Algren between ’47 and ’64. The publishers note perhaps sums the book up best, “Here is more gossip here than philosophical or political debate: for example, fistfights between Arthur Koestler and Albert Camus, daily death threats to Sartre, “this ridiculous thing which is Truman Capote,” “Jean Genet, the pederast-burglar” and the “cave” hopping of the literati… the less well known of whom are helpfully footnoted. But her detached descriptions of places, events and parties are ultimately more interesting than her often condescending opinions of people and her need to reiterate to Algren how many women are attracted to her.” [Amazon]
Sounds like juicy stuff. Depp said of the film, “It’s in preparation. It’s called My American Lover. Vanessa plays the French feminist Simone de Beauvoir and I play her lover Nelson Algren who is real macho.” [Cinematical]
Director Lasse Hallström who gave us “The Cider House Rules” and two films staring Johnny Depp, “Chocolat” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” is in charge. No word on the music yet, but I’m hoping for some great gems from the 40’s. Perhaps Hallström will call upon composer Rachel Portman again, who was nominated for best original score for both “Cider House” and “Chocolat.”
I’ve seen Paradis in only one film, 1999’s “Girl on the Bridge” and she was tremendous, but this looks to be a much more demanding role, to say nothing of the stresses of acting opposite her real life lover. We know Johnny’s got the chops though.
See him clowning around (while being very protective) with the apple of his eye…