PARIS (CBS/AP) France's first lady, a singer and former model, is now making her acting debut.
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy began filming this week for Woody Allen's latest project, "Midnight in Paris."
Even her busy husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, wasn't about to miss the action. He showed up on the Left Bank set Tuesday, wearing a dark suit but no tie, to watch his spouse in her latest creative venture.
Allen recruited Bruni-Sarkozy last fall for what is said to be a small role in the romantic comedy, which follows a family traveling in Paris for business. France's first lady reportedly plays a museum director.
Tuesday's scenes were shot in the heart of the Left Bank, near the Pantheon, the resting place of many of France's luminaries.
In November, when she announced her plans to accept Allen's offer of a role, the 42-year-old said she was unsure of her acting skills.
"I'm not at all an actress. Maybe I'll be absolutely terrible," she said in an interview with Canal Plus TV station.
However, she said she couldn't pass up the chance to play in a Woody Allen film.
"I'd like to - you know - when I'm a grandmother, to have done a Woody Allen film," said Bruni-Sarkozy, who has a son, Aurelien, from a previous relationship with philosophy professor Raphael Enthoven. "I cannot in my life miss an opportunity like this."
She had a small role in the 1994 Robert Altman film "Pret-a-Porter" (Ready to Wear) and Alain Berberian's 1998 move "Paparazzi," each time playing herself. Her sister Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is an actress and director.
Allen is clearly a fan of the first lady.
When he was asked what famous person he would like to see act, the Dalai Lama or the queen of England, he replied: "Carla Bruni," according to the first lady's website. "She has charisma and she's used to appearing on stage. I could give her any role at all," the site quotes the director as saying.
As first lady, Bruni-Sarkozy has kept her artistic life and star status mostly on the back burner. She did release a new album two years ago, though refused to tour and gives royalties to the Foundation of France.
It was not clear whether she was being remunerated for her film role, or if her payment was in thrills.
Bruni-Sarkozy is not the only French actress in the film, which also features Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard. Other stars in the film include Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates.