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Close-up: Guillaume Depardieu

The son of France’s leading man makes his film debut in ”Tous les Matins du Monde”

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True, being the son of France’s best-known actor has done nothing to hurt Guillaume Depardieu budding film career. But his debut in père Gérard’s latest movie was no free ride. ”To me, this was the hard way,” Guillaume, 21, says about his costarring role in the just-released period drama Tous les Matins du Monde, ”My life is about being myself — not merely the son of Depardieu. But to not do this film because of my father would be to take the easier path. I never choose the easy path.”

Father and son play the same character, a 17th-century composer/ heartbreaker named Marin Marais, at different times in his life. On the set, the elder Depardieu went out of his way not to be the doting Dad. ”And yet he was very happy I was there,” says Guillaume. ”He watched me like a father whose son is first walking.”

Guillaume has already made two more movies. But he still follows his first love, music (his mother, Elisabeth, is a singer), composing classical piano pieces and jamming in Paris rock clubs. Now living in Paris with his writer girlfriend, Guillaume gravely frowns when asked about marriage. But he’s looking ahead to the next generation: ”Right now,” he says, ”We are more thinking about children than marriage.”