Chatting With The Cast of Dreamworks’ The Hundred Foot Journey!

Written By Jesse Delia:

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Hey All!

I had the great fortune of being invited to a press junket for the new film The Hundred-Foot Journey and interview its stars: Helen Mirren (Madame Mallory), Manish Dayal (Hassan), Charlotte Le Bon (Margarette).

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The charming and charismatic Manish Dayal portrays Hasan, an Indian immigrant, quite believably but Mr. Dayal shared with us that he is actually American born from South Carolina. Also unlike his character Hassan, Manish is not a culinary expert; however, the omelet recipe which his character makes for Madame Mallory in the film came from Manish’s father.

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Though Manish is still a relative new comer to the movie-making industry, he has already taken on a cause much like a Hollywood celebrity. Manish is actively involved with the Nanubhai Education Foundation, which seeks to improve education in rural parts of India.

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The lovely and beautiful Charlotte Le Bon told us how this film is the first in her segway to American Cinema. She shared with us that in her next American film she will co-star with Joseph Gordon Levitt and be directed by Robert Zemeckis in To Reach the Clouds, based on the true story of Philippe Petit’s attempt to cross the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on a high-wire.

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On working with film icon Dame Helen Mirren, Ms. Le Bon shared that she was not intimidated and that Dame Mirren was both a professional and collaborative artist. When asked as to what other artists she would care to work with, Ms. Le Bon expressed a great interest in Tim Burton citing how all of the actors in his films are transformed, which is a dream for every actor.

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Since the film deals much with the food culture in France, we asked Charlotte as a native to France what the big deal is with the French’s culinary pride and if she shared that pride. Ms. Le Bon’s response was a non-hesitant declination. She stated that she could not be so pretentious and in fact many of her favorite foods were simple Italian dishes.

There are celebrities, movie stars and film icons, but few are all rolled into one and even fewer hold titles bestowed upon them by royalty for the contributions made to their art. Dame Helen Mirren is one such rare performer who embodies class, strength, grace, beauty and still be a grounded human being.

Being such an accomplished and successful talent, we asked what Dame Helen looks for in a role. Expressing true passion and still a great interest in her art, she explained that she is always on the look-out for something she hasn’t tried before and found that in Madame Mallory. Additionally, Dame Mirren confessed that when she first started acting she intended to star in French films and she sees the role of Madame Mallory as a way to “get her rocks off.”

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Though playing the head of a classical French restaurant, Dame Helen Mirren confessed that she is no expert in the kitchen but does make an excellent chicken using her Showtime Grill. For research, Dame Mirren spent a day in the kitchen of one of her friend’s restaurants. She saw the militaristic style and used that in her performance.

The cast was just as likeable in person as they are in the film, which is no wonder why The Hundred Foot Journey just oozes charm. Though the film’s biggest named star is Helen Mirren, it showcases the up and coming stars Danish and Le Bon just as prominently. Keep an eye on those two as I predict they will become recognizable household names in no time.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY arrives in theaters everywhere on August 8th!

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