Ridley Scott's 'Napoleon' film premieres in Paris
[1/5] Director Ridley Scott, his wife, producer Giannina Facio, and cast members Tahar Rahim and Vanessa Kirby pose during a photocall for the World Premiere of the film "Napoleon" at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, France, November 14, 2023. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq Acquire Licensing Rights
PARIS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The cast of Ridley Scott's biopic "Napoleon" flocked to Paris for the film's global premiere on Tuesday night, taking to the red carpet just days after strikes ended in Hollywood.
Joaquin Phoenix plays the role of Napoleon, a historical figure both revered and criticised in France, who is portrayed in the film as a ruthless military tactician with a softer, vulnerable side, uncovered by his wife the empress Josephine de Beauharnais, played by Vanessa Kirby.
Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Rothman said he was relieved the movie's release came after the SAG deal to end the months-long strike.
"I feel very fortunate the strike ended in time," Rothman told Reuters.
Kirby, who was cast as Josephine after Jodie Comer bowed out due to scheduling issues, said her performance took cues from various descriptions of the aristocrat, eventually divorced by Napoleon for failing to produce an heir for the empire.
Kirby said she learned about the challenge of being "the feminine in that extremely masculine world," and appreciated Beauharnais for "remaining dignified," even through her public divorce.
Filmed during the pandemic, Scott and Dariusz Wolski, his frequent collaborator for cinematography, orchestrated elaborate battle scenes that recounted Napoleon's conquests in Austerlitz and Moscow, and his famous defeat in Waterloo.
Napoleon might have been a tyrant and a "man of power", but he was "still a man, crazy in love with a woman", said French actor Tahar Rahim, who plays the role of Revolutionary-era politician Paul Barras.