Today: May 22, 2024

Luc Besson’s Leading Ladies

As some of you may or may not know, Luc Besson is the famed French film director, writer, and producer with a penchant for directing and producing thrillers and action films. With a roster including The Transporter, Leon, and not forgetting the Taken franchise, it might be easy to overlook his other love – powerful, not to mention super-strong, leading ladies.

Besson’s latest movie to feature a leading lady is part fact, part sci-fi, part ‘myth’ movie, LUCY, with the sublime Scarlett Johannsson in the title role. In the movie, Lucy (Johansson) is exposed to a revolutionary new drug that allows her to unlock her mind’s full potential that aids her in taking revenge against those who put the drug in her.

To coincide with the release, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to take a look back at some of the finest performances by some of Besson’s most memorable leading ladies…..cheers Luc!

Scarlett Johannsson, American – LUCY 2014 (directed by Luc Besson)
First up is Scarlett Johannsson, arguably one of Tinsel Town’s hottest actresses right now. She made her movie debut in North in 1994 and since moving to adult roles in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) and Sofia Coppola‘s Lost in Translation (2003), she has gone on to be named “Sexiest Woman Alive” by Esquire magazine in both 2006 and 2013 (the only woman to be chosen for the title twice). Once part of a Hollywood power couple with Ryan Reynolds, followed by a brief but highly publicised fling with Sean Penn, Johannsson sadly married Ad agency mogul Romain Dauriac on October 1, 2014. She’ll be seen later this year in more ass-kicking ways with Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

Zoe Saldana, American – Colombiana 2011 (written by Luc Besson)
Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario or Zoe Saldana, as we have come to know and love her, is not only one uber-hot actress but also a trained professional dancer. With varied roles including a contract killer in the slick 2011 thriller Colombiana and pirate Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) to Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) and most recently going green as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Saldana continues to be one femme fatal we will enjoy for years to come.

Mila Jovovic, American – Fifth Element 1997 (directed by Luc Besson)
No list of hot female action heroes would be complete without the divine model, actress, musician and fashion designer Milla Jovovich.  Appearing in numerous science fiction and action-themed films VH1 named her the “reigning queen of kick-butt” in 2006. When it comes to oozing sex appeal though who could forget Mila’s bandage outfit designed by Jean-Paul Gautier in Besson’s science-fiction masterpiece The Fifth Element…..not us that’s for sure! Check out this screen test of the costumes:

Anne Parillaud, French – La femme Nikita 1990 (written & directed by Luc Besson)
Parillaud’s first husband was actually Luc Besson, which might explain Anne landing the lead role in one of Besson’s most well-known movies. The movie portrays Anne as convicted felon Nikita. Instead of going to jail though Nikita is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin. In preparation for the role, she underwent three months of judo lessons and target practice to hone her skills as a government assassin which explain her smouldering performance.

Louise Bourgoin, French – The Extrodinary Adventures Of Adèle Blanc-Sec

Proving to be a typical Besson creation Adèle Blanc-Sec managed to be a wonderfully subversive twist on the Lara Croft Tomb Raider image. Set in Paris in 1910 it tells the story of writer Adèle as she deals with would-be suitors, the police, monsters and all manner of other craziness the world throws at her. In the hands of Bourgoin there is a wonderfully dry and stoic approach to Adèle. A veteran of French cinema Bourgoin is wonderfully cool under pressure, a girl who while all about her lose their head she keeps her firmly logical.

Following the theme in the film you can also test out your brain’s potential with the official LUCY brain game below but beware, there are some tricky questions which even Scarlett might struggle with:

LUCY is out now on Blu-ray™ and DVD, get your copy

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