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Splice – Exclusive Delphine Chanéac interview

by Andy Gibbons

To round out our series of Splice interviews, I sat down with French actress Delphine Chanéac to talk about her role as the unique Dren….

Tell us a bit about who or what Dren is…

She’s a mix of DNA of an animal and a woman. She is like a girl, she feels like a normal girl. She has emotions, she has feelings, she loves man, woman, everything. She’s pure, she’s innocent, she’s like a child; she is just like an angel.


We’ve never seen a character like her before – was that freeing for you as an actress, the fact that you got to create this whole new species?

That was such a big issue for me because I knew I would have to be a hard worker because Vincenzo (Natali – the writer / director) has been working on this script for eight years so there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders. That was hard but I tried to do my best work every day, every minute. And I knew also that Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody were (cast) in the movie. That is huge when you are just a French little actress. That’s like “Wow, these are two big actors”.

You mentioned how long Vincenzo has been working on this. How closely did you work with him on creating Dren?

We spoke about Dren a lot. Vincenzo had a lot of thoughts about her, like the evolution of Dren. He showed me the bald look at the beginning so I shaved my head very fast and that was helpful to me to find her. After that we worked in front of a mirror to get the body language and then I started to add the feelings, the way to think, the way to move the neck, the way to move the shoulders, the way to move the hands but Vincenzo gave me a lot of space, he gave me a lot of freedom for the character. That was so good because I got to create everything. We spoke and he said to me “You know Dren better than me now” so I said “But you’ve known Dren eight years, you created her”. But he said “Do what you want. It’s your character right now. It’s your Dren, you are Dren.” We worked for like two months on the vocal stuff and I think they’ve been mixed that with animal stuff, animal sounds.

You play the human part of Dren but there are CG elements to the character. How did you find working with the effects?

There wasn’t so much CG on set because I was just wearing high heels and blue socks. I was also wearing a small scar (on my head) and they put a spot around the eyes so they could move them out later.


You’ve described Splice as a love story – can you expand on that?

I think this is a love story because (Dren) is more human than a lot of people. She’s more normal, more regular, more straight, more direct, more true – this is why I think Splice is a love story. I never played her as a monster; I never thought that she was a monster. I saw her as little girl who was different.

How did you find working with Adrien and Sarah?

Awesome. They were so good, they are such good partners. They are so nice, hard workers, good friends. Everything was super cool because sometimes when you look different – I was bald, I was strong and bigger than I am now so – I felt strange but they helped me a lot. They were so nice and took care of me.

Splice is in cinemas from today.


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