Paris, France — French actor Verde di Lauzou has become one of the most successful actresses in world cinema after her dramatic turn as Dorothy in the animated classic The Wizard of Orsay, which won her an Oscar.
The film, which was adapted into a 1997 TV series starring Michael Caine, has won numerous awards, including best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay.
The actor, who plays Dorothy in a series of short-lived films that have become classics, says she was inspired by the Oz legend when she read about the role in a book about the Wizard of the West, according to a French news agency.
In the Oz stories, Dorothy is the witch who destroys the Wicked Witch of the East, Dorothy’s mother, by turning her into a serpent and then revealing her true nature, according the BBC.
The role of Dorothy was originally intended to be played by Audrey Hepburn, but she later opted for Verdi, a well-known actor who is also known for his work on “The Office.”
The English actress said that she loved Verdi’s portrayal of the role.
“I really loved it, it was so different, so full of the magic of Oz, of Dorothy, of Oz in the way she was in the film,” Verdi told AFP news agency in Paris.
“There’s this element of the Oz that I think is so beautiful and I think that is what makes her so good,” she said.
Verdi said the role also gave her a chance to reflect on her childhood.
“When I first saw the film, it reminded me so much of the way I lived in France, in the beginning of the 20th century, when I was living with my family in Paris,” she told AFP.
“In my childhood, I had to work so hard, to make myself feel beautiful, so I had so many dreams and ambitions.”
It was very clear to me that this would never happen to me,” she added.”
My childhood was so special because it was the time when I got to do my very first film and I was also the first child in my family to go to school.
“All these memories came back to me and I have a lot of them.
I’m still thinking about it.”
A native of Brittany, Verdi is one of several French women to win an Oscar, along with French actress Amal Clooney and British actress Jessica Chastain.
She is the first female director of a major French film to win the prestigious prize, which has traditionally gone to a male director.
The French actress, who has won four Oscars for her roles in the movies “Pour le monde,” “Porquem perfume” and “Ce vrai,” has been a part of the entertainment industry for decades.
She is currently starring in the “Cabaret” series, which airs in France.