Today’s the last day of filming the commercial. It is for the new line of skin cream that will be launched in the new year. I am addicted to my Age Re-Perfect Pro-Calcium which is what it’s called. I found out from my blogger friends that it’s no longer carried in the U.S. (Actually it is in some stores. I will give you their names in a day or two) But the new product will be out beginning in 2010. The new president of L’Oreal Paris, Mr Vianney Derville, stopped by to say hello and we took a picture of the L’Oreal team on the set.
I told him that I understand that the company doesn’t like to brag about itself but I want people to know that #1 they don’t do animal testing, #2 they are investing in the development of reconstituted (synthetic) skin for use in testing and #3 they just won the Environmental Award for their corporate ethics (reduced water use and waste dumping and reduced use of plastics). I told him about the enthusiasm evidenced from my blog comments about these things. It’s as though they haven’t thought about letting people know about the good things they are doing.
I must say, doing a commercial feels surreal after 5 months of “33 Variations”. It’s a study in narcissism; in many of the shots I am caressing my own face. In one shot 2 friends come up and kiss me, wishing me happy birthday and, instead of looking at them and saying “thank you”, I look into the camera while my voice over is saying something about how smooth my skin is. It makes me laugh, actually. I imagine my old acting teacher, Lee Strasberg, looking down and saying, “So Jane, it’s come to this!” But there’s a certain discipline to acting in a commercial. You must leave behind all questions of motivation and just do what they ask. Little minute details take on huge importance–how I hold the match to light the candle; the way I set the pot of cream down on the table. (I wish right now I had Carrie Fisher’s gift for le bon mot. She’d have such a hilarious way of describing commercial-style acting. She just wrote me and said she’d written a bumper sticker: “Celebrity is just obscurity biding it’s time”) You’re smiling when there’s nothing to smile about, appearing sensual while thinking about your own skin. And there is a large team of people representing the product all of whom have something to say about every shot. “Try it a little more like this, Jane,” “try it more like that.” After every shot we can’t move on to the next one until everyone’s opinion has been checked. For me it becomes possible because I really believe in the product and also because I like the people involved whom I have known for four years. We have filmed in Paris, New York and Malibu, California and two years ago I represented L’Oreal at the Cannes Film Festival.
Tomorrow is my last day of work and it will entail shooting still photos with the products that are used in poster and magazines. All around the world.
I am ready for bed after a (very) long day’s work.
See you next time.