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Who knew that the freshest film to come out of Hollywood this year would be black and white, and silent? Since debuting at Cannes earlier this year, director Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist has been getting major Oscar buzz for its portrayal '20s-era Tinsletown, along with its star, Jean DuJardin. The French actor plays George Valentin, a silent film mega-star whose career starts to slip when talkies hit the scene. Since much of the emotion in silent films depends on the facial expressions of their stars, we asked DuJardin to walk us through what his character was feeling in each of these stills from the film, in theaters now.

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"Here, he's watching himself on screen and feeling so self-satisfied. He loves being George Valentin. He always plays the same character in the same movie and he's very happy. I find him not necessarily arrogant but rather sort of endearing because he doesn't see the wall he's about to hit."


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"This is him shooting and directing a movie that he assumes will be very successful, but, as an audience, we know it's in vain. Here, he's definitely arrogant. He's so sure of his success and of the audience's fidelity, but he's absolutely outdated."


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"This is the end of the film -- we're seeing his renaissance, his rebirth, with his Gene Kelly smile and hair. Gene Kelly was the inspiration for this character when I was creating the role. This is the sunny, solar side of the character.  But I also can't help but think of his dark side. That's what attracted me to this part when Michel offered me this role. There were these two facets to George -- he is so complex."



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