A Dreamlike Take with Charlotte Rampling

From the recollections of her holidays in Mauritius to Bollywoodian cinema, the British actress who lays claim to a golden career and whose intensely wonderful look doesn’t go unnoticed has opened her heart to Luxury Mauritius.

Nominated for the 2016 Oscars and honoured during the last Berlinale for her performance in the movie 45 Years, Charlotte Rampling has travelled the world and stood the test of time without any faux-pas. From her beginnings in the cinema with the giants Luchino Visconti and Nagisa Ōshima, to more important roles for Woody Allen, Robert Mitchum, Sidney Lumet, Claude Lelouch, Jacques Deray or even François Ozon, Charlotte Rampling has worked with the greatest. Between two shootings, she has sometimes taken a few breaks to treat herself to a trip to Mauritius! Memories: “I love Mauritius a lot. I’ve visited the island several times. With my husband, Jean-Noël, we like to take the plane from Paris on the 24th or 31st December. I like going against the flow. Around these dates not only are there always a lot of seats available, but the flight is also very pleasant. We have champagne with the crew and the other passengers while wishing each other a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year. It’s rather jolly! We once went South, at the Dinarobin Hotel, just opposite the famous Le Morne mountain, and on another occasion, we went North near Grand Baie, at Paradise Cove. The recollections of my holidays in Mauritius are mostly  about the hotels, which are among the most beautiful in the world, the wonderful beaches, and an ocean boasting of an exceptional colour.

However, that’s not the end of it … When she digs a little deeper; the memories of this British film star adopted by France go beyond the usual postcard cliché. As our conversation unfolds, it becomes obvious that Mauritians have a special place in her heart: “Mauritius is much more than just the sun. It is the finesse and hospitality that make of this island in the Indian Ocean one of the most beautiful tourist destinations. Mauritians are amazing, very friendly, without ever doing more than what is needed. The hospitality afforded is sincere, true and driven by a touching desire; and there is also the pride of sharing the love for the island.”

“FOR US EUROPEANS, COMING TO YOUR ISLAND AFTER SUCH A LONG FLIGHT, MAKES US FEEL LIKE WE’RE AT THE END OF THE WORLD, WHEN IN FACT IT IS RATHER THE WORLD THAT IS PRESENT IN MAURITIUS!”

You’ve got it right: Charlotte Rampling loves Mauritius and the Mauritian people altogether. Despite her confession that she does not know so much about Mauritian culture, She is very enthusiastic about this beautiful diversity…and the proliferation of high-quality events such as the Festival Ile Courts: “In general, the tourism industry may evolve thanks to cultural, creative and unifying cultural events, as well as to the fact of generating interactions among people from diverse horizons. Held more and more frequently, these festivals represent a fantastic initiative. Mauritius is an exciting multicultural blend between India, Europe and Africa. The whole world lives in Mauritius. For us Europeans, coming to your island after such a long flight, makes us feel like we’re at the end of the world, when in fact it is rather the world that is present in Mauritius!”

“Bollywood is, of course, a very vast and beautiful cinematic world, full of life, dynamism, tenderness and poetry.”

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Meeting Charlotte Rampling of course implies talking about cinema. A Mauritian cinema which is closely tied to Bollywoodian India cinema, whose films are very popular across the island. To our knowledge, Charlotte Rampling – who is used to appearing in Hollywood movies or French productions – has never expressed herself on the subject. It was, therefore, an ideal opportunity to get her insights! : “Bollywood is, of course, a very vast and beautiful cinematic world, full of life, dynamism, tenderness and poetry. It’s a style of scriptwriting that differs from ours, but this is exactly what makes it interesting.

During the 2006 film festival in Berlin (Charlotte Rampling was then the president of the Berlinale jury), I met a famous Bollywood producer, Yash Chopra (also a jury member). He had asked me if I would be interested in getting a role in one of his productions. I always reply ‘why not?’ to such proposals. It all depends on the role and the plotline. Bollywood would be for me an original experience. Unfortunately, my friend Yash Chopra passed way (in 2012), and the opportunity did not come to fruition.”

To conclude our interview and keep alive with a smile the tradition of Mauritian hospitality, we have brought up the possibility of shooting a film in Mauritius. And this actress who has appeared in more than 70 films would not say no to such an experience! : “The African cinema is experiencing a beautiful revolution; it is very inventive. If I was offered the opportunity to shoot in Mauritius, I would give the same answer: why not? It is not about the money. I may say yes to a film director who has a low budget but great ambitions. I am bold; I like adventure. As I said earlier: I like going against the current… and the perspective of shooting in Mauritius is a rather pleasant one! I have in fact once played in a movie whose plotline took place on an island. It was in the Dominican Republic for a film directed by Laurent Cantet, Heading South (in 2005). I enjoyed the atmosphere of the shooting. Everything is always more intense on an island. So, yes, why not one day in Mauritius? It’s a wonderful idea.” Azim Moollan or David Constantin to lead the great Charlotte Rampling in the streets of Port-Louis… That could be a very nice prospect indeed!

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