The French star who plays Dren
Wrapping up our coverage of Splice, here’s our brief chat with French actress Delphine Chaneac who plays Dren, the creature at the center of Vincenzo Natali’s film.
Shock Till You Drop: Which animals informed your movements for Dren?
Delphine Chaneac: I tried to use birds for the legs. I didn’t use anything specific and just used my imagination – I’m new in this world, so I have no reference. I tried to forget everything I know about the world, but [Dren] doesn’t know anything.
Shock: How did Vincenzo find you?
Chaneac: I met a girl who was a casting director for another movie and I was in a scene on my back doing a pose and she said I had a lot of muscle. She said it was nice because a Canadian guy was coming to France looking for someone to do a physical role. I was going to Germany the next day but she told me to go to the audition early. I knew of Cube and fell in love with that movie. I thought Vincenzo was crazy, but it was an amazing movie. He told me I had to play a bird mixed with a girl. I was like, what? I did my thing and when I opened the door to leave there were 20 girls waiting to audition. Vincenzo told me they auditioned a lot of girls but they kept thinking about me, the first girl. They told me I had to go to Canada and hang out with the stunt guy and spent one week with him. It was so difficult. After that I had to decide if I wanted the role or not. My muscles were shaking during that whole time, it was so hard. Little by little my body became more lean with muscle.
Shock: On set, did Adrien and Sarah treat you like their daughter? What was your interaction like?
Chaneac: That was strange because when we met, I didn’t have hair. I was bald. At some point, I’m older than Sarah than one year. They thought I was 18 and they treated me like a child. When you’re bald, you look younger. At the beginning, I didn’t know that much English, so I was shy and was afraid to say stupid things. Sarah and Adrien were different with me on set. Sarah was nice and sweet like a mother. Adrien was more like a friend. When I wanted to be more relaxed and quiet, I went to Sarah. And when I wanted to have fun, I went to Adrien. They didn’t treat me like a normal character. It made a wall between us, but a good one. I think put it up and put some distance there. I wanted to be a bit of an outsider.
Shock: What did you think of the designs of Dren and what you were going to become?
Chaneac: That was amazing. It was a chance for me to play the character that had more. Here, there was more physical energy. I felt Vincenzo saw everything ahead. He was so precise. After everything he told me about the role, he still gave me space to find Dren. I think I know Dren more now than he knows her. He knew the character for eight years and I feel now I’m a thief. I stole the character from him, but that was nice because we worked together and quickly had the same feeling about her. Like, the movement of the head. Together, it was like, we’re going to move like this, not this. Fast movements. When she’s young, she’s closed. Her shoulders are closed. When she gets older, she opens up more.
Shock: Do you plan to work in America now?
Chaneac: If the Americans want me. [laughs] I just did a movie in Germany, a low budget film that was amazing called The Big Black and in ten days I’m going to shoot a French comedy which is good.
For clips and images from the film follow this link!
Source: Shock Till You Drop