Movie Article

Close-up Anne Parillaud

The French actress gained worldwide fame from ''La Femme Nikita'' but Parillaud wants to be more than just a sexy killer

''I hate guns, I hate violence, I hate ze judo,'' avows Anne Parillaud, but you'd never guess it from the 30-year-old actress' formidable on-screen presence. In director Luc Besson's thriller La Femme Nikita, Parillaud plays a sleek, green-eyed assassin for the French secret service capable of pulverizing male victims at the drop of a diamond-studded earring. Garbed in a sexy black dress and stiletto heels, accessorized with a .44 Magnum, Nikita is a murderously seductive antiheroine. In France, cineasts have been lining up for months to see the gun-toting siren, and she recently picked up a César, the French Oscar, for Best Actress. In America, critics have hailed her as a modern femme fatale. ''Nikita is someone who doesn't believe in anything anymore — in life or in people,'' says Parillaud. ''In a very extreme way, she reflects what's going on inside us all.''

In person, Parillaud strikes the more familiar pose of a typical Parisienne: ''I like dancing, talking with friends, things like that,'' she says. ''It never happens to me, zis kind of story.'' The actress, who had previously been in art films (Le Battant, L'Intoxe) and had never handled a gun, endured three months of judo lessons and target practice for Nikita. But she isn't practicing her gun-handling for the English-language remake due from Warner Bros. ''I want to make art,'' she insists. ''When it comes to commerce, I am not interested.'' Besides, she adds, ''I am not unique — the world is full of actresses who could do a part like this.''

Originally posted Mar 29, 1991 Published in issue #59 Mar 29, 1991 Order article reprints
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