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Jaqueline Bisset

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“We connected immediately from the beginning and have been very good friends ever since that movie [Day for Night]”
Eva Sereny

It was on the set of François Truffaut's Day for Night that I first met Jacqueline Bisset.

Jacqueline Bisset started off her acting career in the 1966 Roman Polanski film Cul-de-sac, where she was credited as Jackie. The next year, she won a supporting role in the Audrey Hepburn/Albert Finney film Two for the Road and shortly thereafter a role in the unofficial James Bond satire Casino Royale. But it was the 1970s that would bring Bisset the most fame and critical acclaim, starting with her lead in the awardwinning Day for Night.

"We connected immediately from the beginning and have been very good friends ever since that movie. Some of my earliest photos of Bisset were used on the cover of The Sunday Times Magazine and Jours de France. She was one of the most popular young actresses around and very much in demand. Whenever I came to LA she always invited me to stay at her beautiful home, a Spanish-styled house. Those invitations led to quite a few photo sessions. We also worked together on two more films, The Deep and The Greek Tycoon.

I remember once, when we were working together in a hotel, shooting some portraits, I noticed that she really knew how to use the light coming from the window to her advantage. She’d instinctively put herself into a position where she felt the light was good.

She’s met my family and I’d always call her whenever we were in the same city. Just to catch up for a girlie chat, that sort of thing. She's a very good friend – and everything that goes with that."

Eva Sereny

 

"Eva and I first met and worked together on François Truffaut’s Day for Night when she came to the set on an assignment for The Sunday Times Magazine. We became very good friends right there and I’m happy to say that our friendship has lasted far beyond our work together. Before I met Eva, I hadn’t had a friendship with a photographer and I think that one reason we connected was that we were reflective of each other.

After Day for Night, I really started to get to know Eva’s work and our friendship grew from there. What I realised was how much I liked it when she was on set. I would look forward to her being there.

In addition to Day for Night, Eva and I worked together on The Deep, Inchon and The Greek Tycoon and she would take other photographs of me through the years, away from film sets. To her credit, Eva was always very insistent about getting me just right.

I remember that Eva would sometimes feel a sense of loneliness about her job: she had no technical assistants with her and usually she would be flying alone to locations. However, once Eva arrived on set that sense of loneliness seemed to fade away quickly and over time it was so lovely to see her self-assurance grow.

Looking back on the work we did together, it was Eva’s visual sense that was special: she’d be rapturous about things. There was this seeking to define things in the way that she worked. As Eva always explained to me: “It’s all about how I feel and see you through my lens.”

The more I saw of Eva’s work, the more I saw that there was always an aura around her subjects that she was bringing into her own world. Eva would always get to the essence of what we were trying to do. She’d get right into the subject matter.

We all present different faces and each time a photographer works with you, you hope to be photographed with your character’s aura. Eva’s photographs capture the deeper soul."

Jacqueline Bisset

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