Big Bang Theory star learnt to operate a puppet for bizarre new movie

·3-min read

The Big Bang Theory star Simon Helberg had to learn how to operate a puppet among many other weird things that are going on in Adam Driver's new movie musical Annette.

The film sees the Star Wars star as an aggressive stand-up comedian who falls in love with a pure-hearted opera singer played by Inception's Marion Cotillard.

Forging a relationship while living in the spotlight, the happy couple find their lives turned upside down when they welcome their first child, Annette, a mysterious girl with an extraordinary destiny.

However, what makes things in this movie unsettling is that it's not a real girl playing Annette in this Leos Carax directed movie, but a puppet.

Photo credit: MUBI
Photo credit: MUBI

And among those who operated the puppet was Helberg, who appears in a scene singing and playing the piano with the girl sat on his lap.

Speaking of his experience of appearing in a musical and singing live on set, the actor said, in an interview with Vulture, that "everything you see happened there on set as you see it, as far as I know."

"There was a tad of CGI with Annette in obvious moments, but conducting the orchestra and singing was all happening.

"The music is deceptively challenging. I really only sang a couple of the songs, but you were never just singing anyway – you were singing while swimming, or while playing the piano, or with no hands, because you were operating a puppet."

Photo credit: MUBI
Photo credit: MUBI

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Elaborating on that, Helberg added: "Because Leos likes to be very practical and doesn't like CGI, there were scenes where they couldn't have the puppeteers in it, so we were holding her.

"You couldn't have your hand on the controls, so you'd hide your hand behind the back of your head and then turn to Adam to move her head, and the eye line had to be correct.

I was suddenly trying to learn to be a puppeteer in the course of 20 minutes from people who do not speak very good English. There was always some extra skillset asked of you at the last second, which was so exciting.

"You kind of go into a fugue state sometimes when all of that is happening, and we were all leaning on each other because there was nothing else you could do."

Photo credit: MUBI
Photo credit: MUBI

The marketing for the movie did a lot to hide Annette in the trailer, but Annette still promises to be a twisted movie with a lot going on.

"Every Leos Carax film is an event. And this one delivers on its promises! Annette is the gift that lovers of cinema, music and culture were hoping for, one that we have been yearning for during the past year," Pierre Lescure, President of the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie premiered earlier this summer, previously said of the outing.

Annette comes out in cinemas in the UK on September 3.

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