Pop star Kylie Minogue said she “stripped herself of being Kylie” for her role in a new sci-fi fantasy alongside Eva Mendes.
The Australian singer stars in French director Leos Carax’s new surreal offering 'Holy Motors' and said she wanted to be as open as possible for the role.
She told a press conference in Cannes: “It felt good to be back on set. I took it very seriously, I basically banned my entire entourage of coming with me.
“I kind of stripped myself of being Kylie and wanted to go back to being as basic as possible and pretty much be a blank canvas for Leos.”
The film is in the running for the top Palme d’Or prize, something Minogue, dressed in a green and black dress, said “feels like a dream”.
Holy Motors tells the story of one man, played by Denis Lavant, who travels between multiple parallel lives, occupying various roles as he goes.
Lavant said his contract initially asked for him to play 10 characters but it may have been more like 11 or 12.
Set in Paris, Lavant plays Monsieur Oscar, a strange figure who is chauffeured around in a white stretch limo by Celine, played by Edith Scob.
He has a theatrical dressing room in the back of the car, and gets into various elaborate costumes as he prepares for a series of “appointments”.
Among them, he plays an old woman, a cantankerous father, a businessman, a tramp, and an assassin.
At one point he is a monstrous creature that gate-crashes a photo shoot and kidnaps a high-fashion glamorous model, played by Eva Mendes.
Asked by a reporter what he wanted this scene, one of the most bizarre in the film, to say to the public, Carax said: “I don’t know. Who is the public? All I know is they are a bunch of people who will be dead very soon. I don’t make public films, I make private films. I invite whoever wants to come and see it.”
He continued: “What about Eva Mendes? How would I know? I don’t know.”
Carax said the title of the film came from the idea of stretch limousines being “vessels carrying humans on their final journeys, their final assignments”.
He added: “This is a film about a man, a person, and the experience of being alive.”
Minogue, who started her career in Australian soap Neighbours, admitted it may have seemed “bizarre” to some that she and Carax were working together, a union which came about after a mutual friend introduced them.
Carax did not know her before they met, except by way of her duet with Nick Cave, and she said she was “more than happy and excited to venture into this strange experience”.
She added: “It was a very open, very beautiful experience. Obviously, I’m kind of used to a different world which is the pop music world, but I began acting at the start of my career so it was nice to come back to that.
“There was a song in the film and I think I said to Leos: ’Oh, so that will be pre-recorded and then we’ll mime it in the scene?’
“And he said: ’No, we’ll do it live in the scene’, and that was just magic to me. I don’t think that happens very often so it really was a chance to combine the two, but in a way to try to take everything away and just be as open as I could.”