Thursday, August 18, 2011

100 Hot Men and a Dame: #100 Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet

100. Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet
Occupation: Actor
Nationality: French
Age: 23
Best Known For: His performance in Christophe Honoré's Les Chansons d'Amour [Love Songs] (outside of France, anyways).

Welcome to my first post in this exciting countdown! Joining me today is mon ami Dave, famous for his world-class blog and Tumblr and we will be discussing up-and-coming French actor Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet.

Dame James: When did you first encounter Grégoire and, if it wasn't love at first sight, when did you fall in love with him?

Dave: I think it's probably standard for any Grégoire admirer that the first encounter was through Les chansons d'amour. Let's be honest, would he even touch this list without it? I mean, I DID see his arse in La princesse de Montpensier, but he really got the duff part there - sure, Gaspard Ulliel is hot too, but that princess really didn't seem to see what she was missing in her bed chambers, and the film agreed with her. Which is a large part of why it was so rubbish, I'd wager.

But back to those chansons. It was pretty much inevitable that I was going to fall over head over heels for the plucky, encouraging, adorably fluffy-haired gay boy whose pursuit of Louis Garrel might be creepy and perverted in someone else's hands, but who WOULDN'T want Grégoire pulling you by the hand into the sack? The scenes between Garrel and Grégoire are pretty much my ideal of love, and that's probably not very good for me since no one as beautiful exists, but it's nice to lose myself in the fantasy.

Dame James: No, I'd wager that Grégoire wouldn't have snuck in this list without the help of Les Chanson d'Amour but what a way to make a splash! I'm pretty sure I mentioned in my review of the film that he was, indeed, kinda creepy and stalker-ish but I'll be damned if he didn't make that desirable. And Grégoire, for once, made Garrel seem like a normal guy and not the sexed-up horn dog he is in nearly ever film I've ever seen him in.

I think a good portion of Grégoire
's charm is, like you said, he (along with Garrel) represents an ideal love in Les Chansons d'Amour. He's not a walking sex god like Garrel, Ulliel or countless other French actors we've been accustomed to over the years. Grégoire has the "Léaud Factor"; he's adorable and charming precisely because of how "normal" he is and how much he appears to be a regular, everyday guy. His good looks are just the best bonus ever.

I am so glad that you brought up La Princesses de Montpensier because I was seriously going to bring it up for the "arse" factor. But since we've both seen it, I have to say I completely agree about your assessment of Grégoire
's role in it. Neither the princess nor the film seem to realize that Grégoire was not exactly a terrible catch. Red Riding Hood is another recent example of this and I was just as dumbfounded at its insistence that Amanda Seyfried would not be the slightest bit attracted to Max Irons. I am grateful that we got to see his rear in Princesse but it was a terrible casting choice (and it was not the ONLY problem with that movie).

Silly question time! Since Grégoire starred in Les Chansons d'Amour, which translates to Love Songs, what love song would you like him to sing to you with his lovely voice? Oh, and I suppose we should talk about his singing voice being another reason why he's amazing.

Dave: I'll start with the final question. I was musing over this earlier, sure I'd never come up with a nice answer - but then, for whatever reason, Marilyn Monroe singing "I wanna be loved by you, just you, nobody else but you" came into my head. And I think it would be perfect. It totally fits the kind of breathy non-singing they do in Les chansons d'amour and it's the kind of thing Erwann (his character - I admit, I only know that because I have the film playing as I write this) would sing. Grégoire, naturally, has a lovely voice - kind of rich and tremulous - but I think it's the earnestness and sweetness he sings with that really makes their duets in particular so perfect.

Absolutely with you on how his normality is what makes him so charming. Garrel mocks Grégoire's Breton jumper and looks like his usual stylishly offbeat tousled-haired sex god self, but Grégoire just has overgrown hair and an oversized puffa jacket. He's the normal guy seeing sadness in the usually untouchable Garrel, and reaching out to him. So his obsessiveness never seems lecherous, because it seems full of such genuine concern. Their romantic scenes are so beautiful because they mix a teenage horniness with what is clearly genuine affection and caring instincts on Erwann's part. He's enthralled by Garrel, but never stops being concerned for his potential sadness.

Oh, and he does have a very nice arse.

Dame James: Oooh, I'm liking your love song answer! It's both a good song and perfect for Grégoire's voice. I'd go with "Stickwitu" by The Pussycat Dolls. I will concede that it's not nearly as brilliant a choice as yours, but I really dig that song and I think I'd die from happiness listening to him try to wrap his French tongue around such an Americanized expression like "stickwitu".

I feel terrible that we keep going on and on about Les Chansons d'Amour--and I do agree with your assessment of his and Garrel's relationship and why it's so fascinating--but not a bunch of his work has been made available in the US (or UK in your case, Dave), as far as I know. I have seen La Belle Personne but that was a horrendous waste of Grégoire
's talent. Then again, aside from "Les Chansons d'Amour", Christophe Honoré really has reduced some quite amazing actors to being mind-blowingly godawful. Montpensier was also another waste of his talent, although, if you get the chance, fast forward about a half hour in and just watch Grégoire's arse. You won't be disappointed.

Then again, I think it's quite remarkable that we've both latched onto this actor just because of this one role. It's not every actor who can so firmly plant himself in the mind of many with just one performance, especially when they're acting with one of the five sexiest living French actors. For that alone, I will be a firm devotee of his. Any final thoughts, Dave? Also, have you seen any other work of his that you could recommend? I just added something called Black Heaven to my Netflix queue that sounded interesting.

Dave: I've not seen him in anything other than the two aforementioned, sadly. He seems to be in a lot of war films, they're the only other available features over here! Black Heaven sounds intriguing if almost sure to be terrible because it concerns video games.

But surely his moment is yet to come (well, his second moment). Personally I'd enjoy seeing him make his way around all five of the sexiest living French actors - maybe some sort of quadrilogy? As long as America doesn't get its hands on him, he needs to stay adorably, naively, beautifully French.

Because Americans tend to ruin everything that was once good, I totally agree he should stay in France. And what do you all think? Are you as smitten with Grégoire as Dave and I are or he is just another young French actor (quelle horror!)

1 comment:

Felipe Casas said...

je ne suis pas juste sur Gregoire car je vraiment l'ame! I saw him and I'm totally in love of him and course he very talented.