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Sophie Marceau readies for U.S. stardom

Web posted on: Thursday, September 03, 1998 4:20:27 PM

From Correspondent Bill Tush

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Sophie Marceau has been a star in France since she was 13. She has won the French Oscar, and worked with Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve. But aside from her breathtaking performance in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart," Marceau has yet to reach stardom in the United States.

That could soon change. The actress has two new films coming out -- a period drama called "Firelight," and the comedy "Lost and Found" in which she stars opposite comedian David Spade.

Marceau in "Braveheart"

'I want to have more choices'

Marceau is honest about the importance she places on conquering the hearts of American audiences.

"I want to spread my curiosity and my abilities farther than my continent, because I think being an actress is something universal," Marceau says. "And I want to have more choices."

So far she has had many choices. "Braveheart" was her 16th feature film, and more followed. The latest, "Firelight," will be opening in U.S. theaters this week. The costume drama set in 1838 is not a new genre to this actress.

"I've done, I don't know, maybe 10 or 12 or something like that," she says. "I don't count them, but I know I did seven in a row, period films, corset films."

Marceau in "Firelight," a period piece about a poor woman compelled to sell her child

Two movies, two roles

In "Firelight," she plays a young woman who bears the baby of an aristocrat.

"She's a woman who has to sell her baby to get some money. She comes from a very low social class," Marceau explains.

Several years later, she shows up at the father and child's home. From there, the story unfolds.

If audiences miss this film, they can always catch her shot at romantic comedy with Spade. "Lost and Found" is the story of a cellist and an eccentric average Joe.

Marceau with Spade on the set of "Lost and Found"

'He's so American'

"I don't know him," Marceau says of Spade, who is perhaps best known for his role as the annoying receptionist in the NBC sitcom "Just Shoot Me." "I haven't seen anything from him, and I didn't want to, actually. I wanted just to meet him the way I met him in the film, just, 'Who is this guy?' I've never heard about him before."

Marceau and Spade say they shared a unique chemistry on set.

"I just make fun of her because she always had a crown on in 'Braveheart,'" Spade says.

"Sometimes I don't understand what he says because he's so American," Marceau says. "He improvises a lot. I don't, so we complete each other very well."

And Marceau hopes she will share a similar relationship with American audiences.

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