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Clémence Poésy as Fleur in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
By Marie Morreale

Clémence Poésy as Fleur Delacour in Warner Bros. Pictures'
Clémence Poésy as Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
(Photo: Warner Brothers Bros.)
Q: You were born in Paris, but I'm detecting a British accent here. Where did that come from?

Clémence: I think it just came from being on the Goblet of Fire set for too long. It's really weird, because I just started working on accents. I used to speak English with kind of a weird, neutral accent from the people I was hanging around with, so I started working on a British accent, and then I had to start working on an American accent, so I'm a bit confused.

Q: Obviously there's a great advantage to being fluent in several languages. Do you know any other languages?

Clémence: I speak a bit of Spanish, but I'm not as fluent as I am in French. I speak a bit of Italian, too, and that's it.

Q: You've appeared in both French and English movies—is the acting experience different at all?

Clémence: Oh, completely. Well, not really for me, but looking at other actors working, you see a very different way of approaching the craft. I think English-speaking actors, whether they're British or American, maybe work a bit more than the French do. They work on the accent, they never rest, they keep working between films. From what I've seen, they take it as a craft. The French have another way to approach it, which is very interesting. It's more intellectual and they talk about it a lot. They sit in cafés and talk about their parts. It's another way to approach acting. Americans and the English have a much more physical way of playing their parts.

Q: Do you prefer one way or another?

Clémence: I like both of them, depending on the movie. I think it's great to be able to take a bit of both styles. I wouldn't say I prefer one to another.

Q: How did you get the role of Fleur?

Clémence: Well, it was either through my agent or through a casting director that I know quite well. I went there and talked to him in English and he recorded that, and then I went to London and did a small scene, and that was it.

Q: Fleur is an unusual character—how did you approach the role? There isn't really any research you could do to play her.

Clémence: No, not really. That's when the English, physical way of approaching things is quite helpful, because I think how you walk and present yourself becomes important. The costumes are quite helpful as well. We weren't allowed to sit, because our costumes were made of a very special material that couldn't stand any imperfection, so then it's just a very physical way to approach it, because there's not much to do.

Q: Fleur is very athletic. Are you very athletic in real life?

Clémence: I wasn't before I started doing movies, but then you have to ride horses and go scuba-diving and stuff, so you become athletic. Also from doing theater, you start realizing that your body is very important; knowing your body and knowing how to use it is very important in that job, actually. So I'm much more athletic now than I was in high school. I used to hate it.

Q: What was the most difficult scene?

Clémence: All the underwater bits were difficult at first. It's scary, because you're scuba-diving and all of a sudden you have to take your ventilator and goggles off and you have to swim to a point and you don't know when people are going to give you more air. You have to trust the people who are doing that. So it was terrifying at first, and hard in a physical way, and then it becomes something so fun and really enjoyable.

Q: So, your next vacation is going be scuba-diving in the Caribbean.

Clémence: [laughs] Yeah, it's going to be better than scuba-diving in a tank that's just blue.

Q: What did you like especially about the Harry Potter books?

Clémence: Everything—the plot is great. It's the entire universe. There's just something that keeps you hooked.

Q: Who is your favorite character from the books other than Fleur?

Clémence: Dumbledore, I think. He's so sweet. Sirius is an amazing character as well.

Q: As an actress is reading important to you?

Clémence: Of course, reading, going to the theater, going the movies—I think it's very important to feed yourself.