ROGER VADIM :
LES LIAISONS DANGEUREUSES

by Choderlos de Laclos
Script by Roger Vailland

THE GIFT
Having made the decision that I was right for the part before testing me, when the day came for the film test Vadim focused on me absolutely, totally, I forgot who I was, I became his projection. His reputation was that of a svengali, which he brushed aside. He had good taste and razor sharp eyes: a fault, a quirk, was turned into an asset. He could make a girl beautiful because he was born to do so. He had that gift.
   The film test was in two parts. For the first one I lay sideways on the floor propped up on one elbow, with a cushion beneath, surrounded by impenetrable darkness. A clump of lamps shone down on me. Soon the top of my head was burning as if this were the height of summer on the beach, then my cheeks burnt and I was glad I was dressed simply, from neck to toes, in a black leotard.
   Vadim had a large branch brought in, thread my hair round the spindlier branches, ripped the leotard along the hip, ripped it again a bit higher (this startled me, I looked up at him, open mouthed, he stared back, and I turned away certain he thought I was foolish) then he stood to the side to judge the effect and sat down out of shot, from where, down on his haunches he fired questions.