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Style Session: Lea Seydoux's French Faves

Come on—who better to tell you where to shop, eat and hang in Paris than this awesome French actress?

Hollywood is filled with character actors, who, despite the charm and wit and pitch-perfect line readings are a little too bogged down in schleppy ordinariness to go beyond quirky supporting roles and earn real name recognition. You probably refer to them by their shared street name: You Know, That Guy. One Saturday afternoon, while walking around the city, you pass a familiar face that makes you think you’ve had the type of superstar celebrity sighting that justifies your insanely high rent. You ring up your mother and assorted small town friends to work them up into a jealous frenzy, but drop the call in shame after spending twenty minutes trying to get them excited about You Know, That Guy. “Oh, come on!” you wail. “It was, you know, that guy! I don’t know his name, but you know, he’s that guy. You would know him if you saw him. He’s that guy!” Right.

Lea Seydoux, the gorgeous French actress, is, in some ways, You Know, That Guy—at least in America, where most of us haven't been lucky enough to see the dozen or so foreign films she's appeared in, notably Le Belle Personne, which earned her a Cesar nomination. Here, she has compiled an impressive list of film credits that capitalize on her fluid beauty and ability to energize supporting roles with superstar chops. Remember the cute antique shop girl in Midnight in Paris who made you cheer when Owen Wilson’s character, Gil, finally asks her out? Remember the assassin with the killer right hook and all the swagger (sorry, Tom Cruise!) in Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol? That was Lea, too.

But if you’ve ever seen her movies, you know the major differences between Lea Seydoux and You Know, That Guy are perfectly tousled blond hair, a sexy sliver of a gap between her teeth, full pouty lips and big blue eyes. (Prada certainly took note: she was the face of their "Candy" fragrance campaign.) She also has one of those seductive talk like dees French accents that everyone goes crazy for. In short, she’s really hot. She’s a 10. She’s major.

Tomorrow, October 5, she steps out of That Guy Land into Top Billing-ville with the title role in the indie drama, Sister, the story of an unemployed drifter whose pre-teen brother hustles lodgers at a Swiss ski resort to earn a living that supports them. (Watch the trailer here.) The accolades are already pouring in and the film won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film festival. Below Lea Seydoux takes Lucky on a food-and-fashion crawl through her hometown, Paris.

So, what are the stops on Lea Seydoux’s Shopping Crawl through Paris? What are your go-to places?
My best friend [Alix Thomsen] is the designer of Thomsen. She makes shirts and her store is in a neighborhood I really like called the Marais. My mother [Valerie Schlumberger] also owns a store in the Marais that sells objets d’art from Africa. I have a chair from there that has pearls on it. The brand I go to for jeans is Acne. I really like old-fashioned jeans from the 90s with a high waist. I don’t really like skinny jeans. And for jewelry I really love someone called Anna Rivka, yet another retailer in the Marais. I have one of her rabbit rings that I adore. I also love the outdoor markets in Paris for clothes. My favorite is St. Ouen. For shoes it’s Prada or Christian Louboutin, and for stationery - there are so many places to choose from in Paris -- but I might go to Le Bon Marché.

What about beauty items? And you have such great hair. What’s your secret?
There are some great beauty brands out there, like La Roche-Posay, Weleda, and Lenor Greyl, and j’aime bien Sisley’s All Day All Year cream that works for eight hours. I like Kiehl’s products for hair.

Paris is such a terrific city for food. Any recommendations for a nice dinner?
In my arrondissement, the 10th, there’s a restaurant called Vivant, which means alive. The food is fresh and natural. I like the boudin noir, a very French dish that I’m not sure you can find in the United States. It’s a dark blood sausage. Vivant also serves a great buffalo mozzarella appetizer and some very nice, organic wines.

What about for pastries or dessert?
I Like Gérard Mulot in St. Germain des Prés. They have pretty much everything, but I mostly like the flan and macarons.

You seem to have such a confident sense of style, but you do you work with a stylist?
Yes. My sister, Camille. She often gets clothes for me. She styles other French actresses as well, like Bérénice Bejo, who was in the movie The Artist.