Emilia Pérez director insists he was 'completely unaware' of Selena Gomez's fame when he cast her

Entertainment, Movies

Jacques Audiard was "completely unaware" of Selena Gomez's social media fame when he cast her in 'Emilia Pérez'.

The 72-year-old director is at the helm of the new musical crime comedy in which Selena - who is the most-followed woman on Instagram with 430 million followers - stars alongside Zoe Saldaña, Karla Sofía Gascón, and Édgar Ramírez but insisted that he was "not familiar" with social media and was just keen to work with the world-famous actress.

He told Collider: "I was completely unaware of it. I'm not familiar at all with this social network, Instagram, TikTok generation. I have no access to all of that. I knew her from 'Spring Breakers' and the Woody Allen film she played in, ['A Rainy Day in New York'].

"I just wanted to work with her for that. And when I met her in New York one morning in a cafe, I just knew instantly that I wanted to work with her."

The movie - which premiered at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival - follows a woman asked to assist an escaped Mexican cartel leader undergo sex reassignment surgery to both evade the authorities and Jaques explained that his "intention" with the project all stemmed from a chapter of Boris Razon’s 2018 novel Écoute.

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He said: "My intention, as I was saying, was about the transition identity, which was the chapter in the novel that gave me the idea for this film. I wanted the film to be set in Mexico, which I believe is a bit of a schizophrenic country, and these two elements, somehow the transition of Manitas Del Monte was Emilia Pérez, the change of gender was to be matched, in my opinion, with a change in the genre.

"Because I wanted it to be a soap opera and a musical comedy, a narcos film, something where you could not really grasp a label, something that was still very fluid. I really tried to do that in a film that was selected in Cannes, a drama that kept on changing and not being labeled."

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