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Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan: The Valerian Duo

Jul 18, 2017

By: Lynn Barker

In Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, based on a graphic novel series, it’s the 28th century. Hot model/actress Cara Delevingne and actor Dane DeHaan play lead characters Valerian and Laureline, a government special ops team working to maintain order throughout the many human territories. On assignment they go to Alpha, an ever-expanding city where wildly diverse species share knowledge and culture. Of course a dark force threatens the peaceful city and our elite team has to discover and stop it before….well, you know, it messes up the whole universe.

Valerian (Dane) and Laureline (Cara) face their greatest foeValerian (Dane) and Laureline (Cara) face their greatest foeCourtesy of STXfilms

Cara, whom you may last have seen as the eerie baddie Enchantress in Suicide Squad or alluring Margo in Paper Towns, was jazzed to do her stunts and kept cast and crew upbeat with her positive ‘tude on set. Dane (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and A Cure for Wellness) struggled to keep on top of the high tech aspect of the shoot. Both wished they could eat more rich Parisian food! For fashionistas, Cara is dressed in a Mugler black sleeveless dress with a band collar and her high-heeled boots go up mid-thigh. Very futuristic. .

Q: Cara, do you pick your roles with being a role model for young women in mind?

  • Cara: I've been given a tremendous opportunity. I'm very blessed to have a strong influence I guess with young girls and teenagers. That's been my goal from when I was younger to be a role model for young girls to be able to look up to me, because I'm following every single one of my dreams that I've ever had in my life through hard work and determination. My message is that you can do anything that you put your mind to, as long as you work hard and never give up.

Laureline protecting the cityLaureline protecting the cityCourtesy of STXfilms

Q: Cool message! Where does acting fit in with your modeling career right now?

  • Cara: Acting is basically what I spend most of my time doing now. We just spent six months doing thisSuicide Squad was again, another six months. The occasional time that I do get off, I do like to do other work in terms of modeling or charity or whatever. Also, a break occasionally is also important. But yeah, acting has always been a dream and my passion, so I'm going to carry on.

Valerian (Dane) and Laureline (Cara) begin their missionValerian (Dane) and Laureline (Cara) begin their missionCourtesy of STXfilms

Q: Can you both talk a little about the intensity of the stunt work that you had to do in the film? There is so much.

  • Dane: It was a blast. I think Cara definitely likes doing stunts more than I do.
  • Cara: I live to stunt. I do!
  • Dane: We would be on wires and she would be like, "Let's do it again!" and I was like, "O.k. I think that's good. I think we got it." But it was fun. I took sword fighting in acting school and I never thought I would use that. Then when I was handed two swords and I got to fight with these guys on stilts, it was just a blast.
  • Cara: You were so modest about it, though. You were like, "Yeah, I've done this a few times" and he would pick up these little swords and be spinning them around, kind of yawning at the same time.
  • Dane: But yeah, sometimes it was like a ballet. There was one sequence where I was in a bluescreen room and the camera was on a cable cam, kind of like when you're watching a football game or something, and it was a 30-second shot where I was just running and almost going through an obstacle course, and I had no idea what it was going to look like in the end. I was busting over things and up and down a ladder and all that. It's exhausting but it's also fun. The physical challenge of this movie was something that I really enjoyed and I trained every day for it to make sure I was ready to do it, and it was a blast.
  • Cara: I really love doing stunts. Anything that I get to learn during a movie, whether it's sword work or, not using guns, but in any way where it's learning a new skill or trying it, I'm kind of the first one to be like, "Sure". I'll dive in head first to it. It was so important to really feel like we were two people who could potentially save the world or save the universe, obviously in the physical sense, just doing everything we possibly could to do the best job. And everyone who we worked with, the stunt coordinators, everyone was so incredible. I really would have done it forever, it was so much fun.

Valerian about to fly to the rescueValerian about to fly to the rescueCourtesy of STXfilms

Q: Were you on a diet to do all these stunts?

  • Cara: (Director) Luc (Besson) would sit on his table eating his beautiful French baguette. Amazing bread, the best cheese, and me and Dane would be sitting there going (Yuk, looking at their lunches). Filming in Paris is an incredible opportunity, but also the food is so good. When you only have to eat like a piece of fish with a vegetable, that was probably the biggest challenge, the saying "no" to the French food.

Dane and Cara suited up with their director Luc BessonDane and Cara suited up with their director Luc BessonCourtesy of STXfilms

Q: Dane, in this film you've got all sorts of crazy creatures chasing you. You just can't seem to get away from them. Is this a thing you prefer from here on out? Are we just going to see you in these types of movies?

  • Dane: I've never played kind of an uncomplicated hero. That was extremely fun for me. It brought the joy of the work back and made me remember why I do this, to have a good time and to have fun, and I don't always have to be torturing myself. It’s nice to take a break and it's nice to be a part of something that is artistic but is also fun and there to entertain and there for everybody, and you can bring your kids or you can have a couple beers and go and see it, and it's just kind of there to sit back and enjoy. That's what's exciting about this movie for me, because it is a departure from things that I've done in the past.

Valerian (Dane) in the cityValerian (Dane) in the cityCourtesy of STXfilms

Q: The Big Market scene really stands out. So much is going on. So many layers. Dane, you are in the middle of it. How difficult was that to shoot for you and how long did it take?

  • Dane: I think it took two months. Luc made pre-vis videos for everything. He basically took local Parisian actors, students from the film school. He shot the sequence shot by shot with them acting it out and with barely any special effects, just to explain to us how it was going to work. Because until I saw it, he could explain it to me over and over and over again, and I still didn't fully understand. It's like, "Okay, so you put on this thing and you're there and then you're not there” and this and that. It was such a complicated sequence to explain, but then once you saw it, it was brought to light. I really relied on those pre-vis things that he made for that sequence.
  • Cara: The visual effects are so incredibly, mouthwateringly overwhelming. When you strip those back it's a lot more simple to understand. When you actually narrow it down, it's the visual effects that make you detach. Who's doing what part again? It’s those that kind of make you escape, which is why they're so incredible.

The Big Market commerce center on AlphaThe Big Market commerce center on AlphaCourtesy of STXfilms

Q: Anything fun that happened behind the scenes that you guys can share? Anything that you learned from each other from the filming?

  • Cara: With me and Dane working together, I thought it was always very interesting why Luc picked us both. It's funny because over the six months, we definitely have a very different approach. I mean Dane is an incredible actor and of course went to drama school. I've never learned more than from watching him work, his dedication and his work ethic. It really inspired me so much, and obviously sitting on set, we got to talk so much about how we do things.
  • I think I kind of reminded Dane how to laugh and to keep it fun and light, and also because we were so lucky on set, we got to have five-day weeks. We didn't do night shoots, so we got to have a lot of spare time and we kind of got to explore, the movie, the characters, but also Paris as well, which was so nice.

Approaching the amazing city of AlphaApproaching the amazing city of AlphaCourtesy of STXfilms

Q: That’s great and fun. Anything silly/funny happen?

  • Cara: I'm trying to think of one funny moment. I think maybe when we fell out of the trash shoot. You get to see in the movie the amount of odd stuff that was put in that trash shoot. Different slimy parts or random things,  just going to dive into that. I mean honestly, the details of the set that were made were so incredible, I never wanted to leave.  Just discovering the different moments was really special.
  • Dane: For me, I feel like I learned a lot from Luc and from Cara making this movie. I watched Luc every day on set having the time of his life, making the film he's wanted to make his entire life. He would give me the biggest hug every day I stepped on the set. I have this tendency to just take myself too seriously all the time. Cara doesn't have that problem, but in the most beautiful way, where she loves life and she knows how to live it and she is living her dream, and she's doing all these things that she wants to do and she's just always running on high octane in this incredible way.
  • I remember Luc pointing out to me about halfway through. he was like, "You know every day when Cara shows up on set, I can tell she walks in the door before you even see her because she puts this huge smile on your face." I was just so happy to see her every day and be around her and feed off the energy of Luc and Cara having the time of their lives. I think that's why I was able to have the time of my life because I got to work with both of them.
  • Cara: That makes me want to cry. Can we hug now?

Valerian concentratesValerian concentratesCourtesy of STXfilms

Q : Do you know what you're doing next?

  • Cara: Yeah, I just finished Life in a Year with Jaden Smith. After the press tour, we'll see.

Laureline and Valerian character PostersLaureline and Valerian character PostersCourtesy of STXfilms

See Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in theaters July 21st


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