PARIS — France’s first lady, a former supermodel turned singer, is making her debut as an actress, filming Wednesday in the shadow of Notre Dame cathedral for Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy jotted in a notebook while seated next to actor Owen Wilson on a park bench. Allen gave instructions, while dozens of onlookers tried to get a glimpse of the action on the cordoned-off Jean XXIII Square.
The French president showed up on a nearby set Tuesday, in dark suit but no tie, to watch his spouse in her latest creative venture.
Allen, beloved by the French, recruited Bruni-Sarkozy last fall for a role in the romantic comedy which follows a family traveling in Paris for business. France’s first lady reportedly plays a museum director.
This week’s scenes were shot in the heart of Paris, near the Pantheon, the resting place of many of France’s luminaries, and on the Ile de la Cite, the island that hosts Notre Dame.
In November, when she announced her plans to accept Allen’s offer of a role, the 42-year-old Bruni-Sarkozy had said she was unsure of her acting skills.
“I’m not at all an actress. Maybe I’ll be absolutely terrible,” she said.
However, she said she couldn’t pass up the chance to play in a Woody Allen film.
“I’d like to — you know — when I’m a grandmother, to have done a Woody Allen film,” said Bruni-Sarkozy, who has a son from a relationship before Sarkozy. “I cannot in my life miss an opportunity like this.”
Bruni-Sarkozy had a small role in the 1994 Robert Altman film Pret-a-Porter (Ready to Wear) and the 1998 move Paparazzi, by Alain Berberian, each time playing herself.