Leslie Caron is in London as An American in Paris is about to be in the cinemas once again. She talked to The Times:
When I first arrived in Hollywood I had never seen a musical. I was only 18. Until then I had been a premier dancer in the Ballets des Champs-Élysées, in Paris. Then, one day, a friend told me that someone called Gene Kelly had seen me dance and wanted me to do a screen test for a film he was planning, An American in Paris.
I’d never done that kind of dancing, but my friend said Gene thought he could teach me. So I met Gene, did the test, then forgot all about it. Within two weeks I received a phone call saying, “You’ve been chosen”.
Here are the six musical stars that Caron prefers to watch:
She is the greatest singer who ever did the movies, and a remarkable actress. In opera, it has to be Callas; in musicals, it is Streisand
Fred was a genius in every way: in his timing, his grace, his sense of humour. His lightness was another advantage. Weight is important. If you’re a lump, the effect will never be very graceful
Gene wasn’t a ballroom dancer or very refined. But he was very sexy, very earthy and very skilful. I wasn’t in love with him, though. I had a tendency to be in love with the director
Travolta was staggering. He had great grace and great timing. And a sense of humour — very important when you dance
Rita was a remarkable dancer. I liked her and Fred Astaire in combination a lot – and I have a feeling that he did, too. They both had those long arms and long, long legs
Judy was electrifying. She was someone who had everything: singing, dancing and acting. Her talent was enough to make angels cry
via The Times