>> There are plenty of model-turned-actresses, but editor-turned-actress is a less populated category. Joan Juliet Buck, Vogue Paris's editor-in-chief from 1994 to 2001 and a current contributing editor at Vogue — she most recently did Christy Turlington's cover story for the August 2009 issue — was a child actress for Disney back in 1961's Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog, and made a return to screen over the weekend in Julie & Julia, which features Meryl Streep as Julia Child.
Buck's years in Paris paid off — she plays a character with a French accent, who in her words, is "The B*tch: the cold, mean proprietor of the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in 1949, Madame Elizabeth Brassart. I have four scenes. In each scene I abuse Meryl Streep. That was my return to acting." A slice of her work in the movie — which Elle's Joe Zee thought she "played so well" — can be seen from 2:20 to 2:25 here.
So how did she end up in the movie? »
So what made Buck return to acting after all these years? She tells wowOwow:
"One day, a year ago, I got an e-mail from [Julie & Julia director] Nora Ephron saying, 'Can you act?' I was a child actress, which doesn’t mean I can act. But when I was ejected from French Vogue I started writing plays and then I started doing a kind of improv called Action Theater, because I thought I should remember what performing was like if I’m writing words for people to say. I was in complete denial. So for four years I studied action theater four or five times a week, and various workshops 18 hours a day, locked up with 11 other people. I kept saying, 'I’m just doing it for my writing.' And then I came back to New York and I started working with a great actors’ studio teacher, Elizabeth Kemp. 'Just for my writing.' And she dragged me to Paris and made me perform in a theater in Paris, and I had a huge fight with her. 'No, I’m not an actress. I’m not an actress.' So when Nora Ephron sends me the e-mail, asking, 'Can you act?' I wrote back, proudly, 'Yes. Trained.' I’d felt a fool for all this training I was doing."
Buck has a second movie coming out in 2010, The Aspern Papers, an "indie modern-day version of Henry James’s novella The Aspern Papers, set in a fishing town in Venezuela instead of Venice, so as to avoid hordes of tourists, directed by Mariana Hellmund, who’s worked in movies and theater."