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An Interview with Guillaume Campanacci, Co-Director and Star of Whenever I'm Alone with You

by Mike Haberfelner

February 2024

Guillaume Campanacci on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Whenever I'm Alone with You - in a few words, what's it about?

 

Whenever I'm Alone with You (France, 91 min) is a Godardian, French New Wave, punk anti romantic comedy all shot in the South of France. Vesper, my whole family including my 98 year old grandma, and myself all play our own roles.

 

What were your inspirations when writing Whenever I'm Alone with You, and is any of it based on personal experiences?

 

The film is inspired by French New Wave directors such as Jean Luc Godard and François Truffaut. I wanted to be punk and follow no rules, from producing the film to the use of sounds, music, colors, non-linear storyline, etc.

 

Whenever I'm Alone with You is constructed in a rather non-linear, sometimes associative way - was this approach planned from the get-go or did it happen during shooting or even editing? And how hard was it not to literally lose your plot in the process?

 

The film was supposed to be a normal romantic comedy, boy meets girl. So that's how the writing started. But then the script became more and more free. There's nothing you can do when that happens. From the start of the shooting, it was clear we were going to make something far from a normal romantic comedy. And I pushed this envelope even more with editing, color correction and sound. Losing the plot was impossible. I knew exactly what I wanted, even if the film kept on evolving.

 

You've written and directed Whenever I'm Alone with You together with your co-lead Vesper Egon - so what was your collaboration like during both the writing process and the shoot?

 

I think co-writing a film can be an amazing way to develop a story. It really can bring several points of view together. But in terms of directing, I do not think co-directing is a great idea. There needs to be one pilot, one god of his universe. And there will always be one in such a situation. It can work great for certain personalities, cinema history is filled with such great duos. But this is not for me.

 

You also play one of the leads of Whenever I'm Alone with You - so what can you tell us about your character, and what did you draw upon to bring Guillaume to life? And have you written him with yourself in mind from the get-go?

 

Yes, I knew I was going to play myself from the get go. My character is myself, but not myself at the same time. A version of myself in a different universe with a different set of circumstances that could never exist. My character is very depressed and suicidal, I have a smile on my face.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

We all played our own roles. My whole family acts in the film. I chose them because they are great actors and because, as they are my family, I did not pay them and feed them sandwiches (they actually fed me sandwiches). My sister Alexandra Dellemme and her husband Nathan Dellemme are both working professional actors. Their kids Naomi and Marlon were naturals, my parents Gilles and Sylvie Campanacci and my 98 year old grandma did not have a choice. My dad is everybody's favorite in the film, a natural born actor with a South of France accent. The only person not playing her own role was Tatiana Gómez, a Colombian actress that sent such a crazy amazing audition tape we had to work with her.

 

You of course also have to talk about your beautiful locations in the South of France, and what was it like filming there?

 

I was born and raised in Cannes. So for me living where everybody wants to come on holidays, with the beach right there and the mountains to snowboard two hours away and a world famous film festival was normal. Everybody lives this way! I did not know how beautiful the region was growing up. But since then I did realize it, and Whenever I'm Alone with You is my love letter to the South of France.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

The film was shot in 20 days, with a lot of cast and crew compared to my first feature film Devils in Disguise, which was shot with a three man crew (including myself). It was shot in the summer and it was of course mayhem. It cannot not be mayhem, we re shooting a film! But still, fun, with cool locations like a castle, a yacht, etc.

 

The $64-question of course, where can Whenever I'm Alone with You be seen?

 

It is not yet distributed but you can buy it here (and still can become a producer): www.ulule.com/campanacci

 

Anything you can tell us about critical and audience reception of Whenever I'm Alone with You?

 

The reception and critics have been insane. In 4 months, the film went to 15 festivals and won 18 awards. Amongst them:

World Premiere @ Oldenburg International Film Festival

Best Actress @ Matera International Film Festival

Best Actor/Best Actress @ 35th Girona Film Festival

Best Film/Best Directors/ Best Editing @ TIFA Sao Paulo

Best Indie Feature Film @ Cannes World Film Festival

Best Director @ IndieFEST

Best Ensemble Cast @ Red Movies Awards

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Yes, I am working on 4 different projects at the moment.

- Spoiled, about my fucked up life as a model in Asia.

- The adaptation of the memoir of the biggest drug smuggler of the 90s.

- A new film with my family.

- A TV show set in Cannes.

 

You actually entered the filmworld as an actor - so what drew you to acting to begin with, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

Shortly after obtaining my Masters in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, at the "Arts et Metiers" ENSAM in Aix en Provence and Paris, I realized this wasn't a life for me so I had the opportunity to travel the world as a model: Athens, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Miami, New York, Los Angeles. But modeling didn't fulfill me so I studied Meisner technique at the William Esper Studio in New York and became an actor.

 

What made you pick up writing, directing and producing eventually? And which side of the camera do you actually prefer?

 

After going to acting school and starting performing, I realized I wanted to create my own worlds. So I did my own film school by reading everything about screenwriting and directing. I then made short films and music videos until my first feature film Devils in Disguise. I need both sides of the camera.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Whenever I'm Alone with You, in whatever position?

 

My first feature film Devils in Disguise has been viewed 27 million times, and premiered at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. 

 

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As an actor, I worked with David Fincher, David Lynch, Emmanuel Lubezki, Jane Fonda, Eva Longoria, etc.

David Lynch told me: "Guillaume, you are a great actor."

 

How would you describe yourself as an actor, how as a director?

 

As a director I'm the god of my own universe, as an actor I'm all about the director's vision. I love both positions. They're complementary to me.

 

Actors, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

David Fincher, Tarantino, Godard, Kubrick, Alain Delon, Jean Paul Belmondo, Anthony Bourdain.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Plein Soleil, A Clockwork Orange, Mélodie en Sous-Sol, Fight Club, Les Diaboliques, L'Aventure c'est l'Aventure, Funny Games US.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

www.instagram.com/mojorise

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5807412/

 

Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I'd like to thank you for this interview and for the review.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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