New biopic Gainsbourg features the untimely swansong of a young actress
Friday 23 July 2010
Lucy Gordon didn't live to see the acclaim that she would receive for playing Jane Birkin in Gainsbourg, a biopic about the acclaimed French crooner, Serge. She committed suicide aged 28 in May 2009, just a short time after filming had completed and just before she was due to appear in Cannes to promote the film. The usual tittle-tattle about suicide notes and suppositions as to why she took her own life quickly appeared, alongside premature (the film was still some way from being completed) assessments of her talent. Now, as Joann Sfar's film hits cinemas, it's clear that, like Birkin, Gordon was set to move from mannequin to actress with aplomb.
I met with Gordon, less than a month before her death, at London's Royal Court Theatre. She talked excitedly about the role and the joy that it had given her. Her successful capturing of the spirit of Birkin is all the more remarkable when one considers that she had only the briefest of encounters with the former Mrs Serge Gainsbourg – despite her best efforts to meet with her.
"I sent Jane a letter when we first started filming, which I'm never quite sure she received," Gordon revealed. "Then I went to see one of her concerts in Paris, and was really moved by it, because it was a really emotionally charged performance. Afterwards, I just asked if there was any way for someone to say that I came by as I was supposed to be playing her. And I wanted to say I had found that performance moving. They said, 'OK, just wait here,' and I stood there with my boyfriend, slightly terrified, by the door, with sweaty palms. Then we got taken down to the nether regions of the theatre, and I met her. She was really kind and interesting."
Born in Oxford, Gordon first found fame as a model while still at school. Life in the fast lane soon had her living in New York before she settled in Paris. Bit parts in Perfume and Spider-Man 3 followed. Her final performance suggests she was destined to blossom further.
'Gainsbourg' is released on 30 July
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Tory activist asked to step down after Labour candidate Rupa Huq is 'manhandled' while questioning Boris Johnson on the campaign trail
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils