Friday, March 10, 2017

Producer Charles Gillibert talks about 'Personal Shopper' and Kristen with Deadline

French filmmaker Olivier Assayas and Kristen Stewart team up again for Personal Shopper, which opens this weekend stateside. Assayas wrote the screenplay for Personal Shopper very quickly after making Clouds of Sils Maria (2014), in which Stewart starred opposite Juliette Binoche. The role won Stewart a César Award for best supporting actress.

In Personal Shopper, Kristen Stewart plays a high-fashion personal shopper to the stars who is also a spiritual medium. Grieving the recent death of her twin brother, she haunts his Paris home, determined to make contact with him.

“Olivier wanted to go further with Stewart [after Clouds of Sils Maria],” explained Personal Shopper producer Charles Gillibert. “[In that film], her character disappears, but this is, in my opinion, a continuation of where she goes. I remember when we did Summer Hours (2008), Juliette [Binoche] came back to Olivier to say that she thinks they could go deeper into her character. So, Olivier wrote Clouds of Sils Maria and after that we have Personal Shopper.”

Assayas wrote Personal Shopper in about two months in the first quarter of 2015 with Kristen Stewart in mind for the main character. Gillibert said that she read it immediately over a week after he finished it. The idea was to shoot the film quickly. The announcement that Stewart would star in his latest project was announced in Cannes.

“He felt the film should have spontaneity,” added Gillibert. “She was working, though, on the Woody Allen movie, so we waited for her. It was shot in November after spending three or four months in prep in November and December [of that year].”

Personal Shopper shot over seven weeks primarily in a studio in the Czech Republic in addition to Parisian street scenes. Stewart appears in every frame of the title and the role generally required a lot of the actress. “It was 12 hour days with difficult tasks,” said Gillibert. “It was a dance between Olivier and Kristen. She had some different points of view during [production], but Olivier loves that. He likes a movie that is ‘made in the moment.’ There was an indirect dialog that took place.”

IFC Films, which released Clouds of Sils Maria under its Sundance Selects label ($1.8M theatrical gross) and Summer Hours ($1.6M gross), picked up Personal Shopper in the script stage.

“This is one of the very few small films that is totally financed by the market because of cast [in Europe],” said Gillibert. “We had television channel support, but no subsidies.” The feature debuted in Cannes and played a slew of festivals including Toronto and New York.

IFC Films will open Personal Shopper at Lincoln Plaza and IFC Center in New York as well as in L.A. at the Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in a traditional roll-out. It will head to other markets over the coming weeks.


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