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Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt Reunite in Chanel's Short Film

Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt Reunite in Chanel's Short Film - Moeva

Even at Chanel, it's rare for the audience to cheer and applaud before even getting a glimpse of the collection. Yet, that's precisely what happened at the fashion house's Fall/Winter 2024 show in Paris, thanks in part to Penélope Cruz, Brad Pitt, and the quilted black chain-handled Chanel 11.12 bag...

For the first time in their careers, the two Oscar-winning actors came together on screen for a short film that puts the classic Chanel bag in the spotlight: The film made a surprise world premiere before the collection went on sale. Directed by Inez & Vinoodh, this film pays homage to the emotionally charged 1966 New Wave classic, A Man and a Woman, originally featuring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant as two widowed parents who meet at their children's boarding school, sparking a series of events fueled by intense mutual attraction.

Chanel's short homage focuses on a key scene where the two leads sit opposite each other in a hotel restaurant in Deauville, growing closer through dialogue. In the original scene, a handbag placed on the table between them by director Claude Lelouch is echoed in the Cruz and Pitt version. In this new rendition, they are also served by a waitress, portrayed by Rianne Van Rompaey, and Cruz eventually asks, "Do you have a vacant room?"

In Lelouch's original, it was Jean-Louis Trintignant who asked the question, but in Chanel's remake, the role is reversed. According to Inez and Vinoodh, "The main theme of everything we do for Chanel is the complicity between two women, encouraged by Penélope's decision to make the first move."

Following the film's darkened final moment, Virginie Viard's collection was introduced with the music "Sexy Boy" by Air. Regarding the placement of the fashion house's bag symbolically between Cruz and Pitt, Viard commented, "It's an object of desire that inspires dreams, making me fantasize. I love its construction, touch, and cinematic dimension."

Pitt, currently working on a feature film set in the Formula 1 racing world, could not attend the Paris premiere. However, Cruz, a longtime Chanel lead, was able to make the trip to witness the public debut of their collaborative project.

Below are Cruz's slightly edited comments on her latest role:

Vogue: So, it was the premiere of your last film; the Chanel fashion audience was cheering and applauding, which was a good sign...

Penélope Cruz: It was such a beautiful moment to see it with an audience for the first time today. I had seen it many times before but only alone at home. And I think Inez and Vinoodh did something incredible. A Man and a Woman is one of my all-time favorite films, and Claude Lelouch is one of my favorite directors. And Anouk Aimée has always been one of my favorite actresses. And she's so beautiful, such a fashion icon. So, to be a part of this beautiful tribute to the film, Claude, the Deauville Festival, and the relationship between Deauville and Chanel, and Gabrielle and Deauville... There are so many layers. And all of them are so beautiful. And also real.

After the film was screened and applauded, models revealed scenes shot by Inez and Vinoodh, including you and Brad walking on the beach and scenes from the promenade. Even as a projection, positioning the collection according to the venue worked.

Yes! To see the shadows of the walking girls and then, far away, our little silhouettes on the beach...

So, even though you both were in Ridley Scott's The Counselor, this is the first time you're on screen together with Pitt? Yes. We did some readings together with Ridley for The Counselor, and that's where we met. I sometimes see him at the Oscars or at Guy Oseary's party, and we had dinner years ago with my husband (Javier Bardem), so I knew him a bit before, but not much. The shoot with Chanel lasted two days, and we had a great time. We all wished he could be here today. But in the meantime, he's working on a film with my husband. But I had a great time working with Brad.

And then Claude Lelouch came to the set?

Yes, for one of those very special days. I was able to tell him how much his work means to me. Especially A Man and a Woman. He arrived wearing a racing driver's jacket, as if a part of Trintignant's character lived within him, driving this fantastic car.

The central scene in both Lelouch's original and the homage is the two heroes sitting in the hotel's restaurant. A moment full of growing mutual attraction, with Anne Gauthier's handbag placed on the table.