Bruni set for acting debut

France's first lady is making her debut as an actress, filming this week in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris".

Even former supermodel turned songstress Carla Bruni's busy husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, was not about to miss the action.

He showed up on the Left Bank set, in dark suit but without tie, to watch her latest creative venture.

Allen, beloved by the French, recruited Bruni last year for what is said to be a small role in the romantic comedy which follows a family travelling in Paris for business. She plays a museum director.

The scenes were shot in the heart of the Left Bank, near the Pantheon, the resting place of many of France's luminaries.

When she announced her acceptance of Allen's offer of a role, the 42-year-old said she was unsure of her acting skills.

"I'm not at all an actress. Maybe I'll be absolutely terrible," she said.

However, she said she could not pass up the chance to play in a Woody Allen film.

"I'd like to - you know - when I'm a grandmother, to have done a Woody Allen film," said Bruni, who has a son from a relationship before Mr Sarkozy. "I cannot in my life miss an opportunity like this."

She had a small role in the 1994 Robert Altman film 'Pret-a-Porter' ('Ready to Wear') and the 1998 move 'Paparazzi', by Alain Berberian, each time playing herself. Her sister Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is an actress and director.

Allen is clearly a fan of the first lady.

When he was asked what famous person he would like to see act, the Dalai Lama or the Queen, he replied: "Carla Bruni", according to the first lady's website. "She has charisma and she's used to appearing on stage. I could give her any role at all."

As first lady, Bruni has kept her artistic life and star status mostly on the back burner. She did release a new album two years ago, although refused to tour and gives royalties to the Foundation of France.

She is not the only French actress in the film, which also features Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard. Other stars are Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates.

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