Olivier Assayas is the creator, writer, and director of the HBO comedic drama miniseries Irma Vep. The series premiere took place on May 22, 2022, at the Cannes Film Festival and was based on Assayas’ 1996 movie of the same name. It had eight episodes and had its premiere on June 6, 2022, and ended on July 25, 2022.
Vincent Macaigne plays René, the adaptation’s director, and Alicia Vikander plays Mira, an American actress who travels to France to play Irma Vep in a television series adaptation of the French silent cinema serial Les Vampires. Adria Arjona, Byron Bowers, Jeanne Balibar, Vincent Lacoste, Nora Hamzawi, Hippolyte Girardot, Devon Ross, Alex Descas, Antoine Reinartz, and Lars Eidinger are among the ensemble supporting cast members.
The story of Irma Vep centers on Mira, an American movie star who has recently ended a relationship and is disillusioned by her career. Mira travels to France to play the role of Irma Vep in a television series version of the French silent film serial Les Vampires. Mira struggles as the lines separating herself from the character she plays start to meld and blur in this graphic murder thriller.
Alicia Vikander plays the role of Mira Harberg, an actress eager to refocus her career and move behind a recent media incident. Musidora is also portrayed by Vikander in flashback scenes.
René Vidal, the show’s director, is portrayed by Vincent Macaigne. Flashback scenes feature Macaigne as Louis Feuillade as well.
In addition, Valérie Bonneton plays the French PR for Mira, Elizabeth Mazev portrays Musidora in a 1974 interview, and Jean-Luc Vincent plays the host. In a flashback sequence, Denis Podalydès plays the Police Prefect; Maya Persaud plays Sandra, a cast member; and Jérôme Commandeur plays Angus, a production executive. In the television series, Stefan Bohne plays Thor, a bondage advisor, Mélodie Richard plays Aurélia, an actress who plays Augustine, and Maud Wyler plays Rebekah, an actress who plays Mme D’Alba. Alexandre Steiger plays Jules, the actor who plays Mazamette.
Along with them, Jess Liaudin plays the actor who plays Satanas, Nathalie Richard plays Ondine, Calypso Valois plays Edmond’s girlfriend, Maya Sansa plays Grégory’s wife, Bertrand Pazos plays Sacha Guitry, and Laurent Papot plays Albert Willemetz. As a young executive, French comedian Panayotis Pascot made a brief appearance. Aude Pépin provided the voice of René’s wife. In the eighth episode, Kristen Stewart plays Lianna, a well-known pop diva who was Eamonn’s girlfriend and recently miscarried a child.\
The series has received high marks from critics, who have lauded it as “catnip for cinephiles” and “a worthwhile development of director Olivier Assayas’ cinematic masterwork.” It was “loose and intellectually loopy,” “broad and jokey one minute, wallowing in sorrowful self-absorption the next,” according to its detractors.
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