IT WAS supposed to be her great acting debut, as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the French first lady, shot her first scene in a romantic comedy by Woody Allen in Paris.
But the real drama appeared to unfold off the set of 'Midnight in Paris', as the former model engaged in what looked like a real-life lover's tiff with her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The reason for Mr Sarkozy's histrionics was a mystery. But as he watched his wife saunter in and out of a Left Bank grocer's alongside the film's star, the Hollywood actor Owen Wilson, the highly strung leader appeared moody and on edge.
Between dozens of retakes, France's first couple had an intense, heart-to-heart.
Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy could be seen apparently trying to soothe her husband, who had arrived with bodyguards, casting an arm around him. Mr Sarkozy has a lot on his plate, as he struggles with record low approval ratings and a party funding scandal involving France's richest woman.
Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy plays a museum curator in the film, about an engaged couple whose life is disrupted by a holiday to Paris. Speaking about the role last year, she said she was looking forward to a "great experience" but that she might not be a natural.
"I am not an actress at all. Maybe I'll be completely hopeless, but I can't miss an opportunity like this one in my life." However, she added: "I'd like to, when I'm a grandmother, to have done a Woody Allen film."
'Midnight in Paris', co-stars Marion Cotillard, Adrian Brody, Kathy Bates and Rachel McAdams, and features flashbacks to the 1920s jazz era. (© Daily Telegraph, London).
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