Arts » Pop Music & Jazz

Mika moves into movies

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Pop star Mika, whose new album is ““The Origin of Love,” appears in new film directed by Fanny Ardant. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Pop star Mika, whose new album is ““The Origin of Love,” appears in new film directed by Fanny Ardant.

Beirut-born artist Mika didn’t go looking for a major movie role. It found him.

After his multiplatinum 2007 debut, “Life in Cartoon Motion,” made him an international pop sensation, the photogenic, Freddie Mercury-voiced singer began traveling in increasingly lofty social circles.

One night, he was dining with his good friend Christian Louboutin, who had been designing stage shoes for him, and seated at their table was famed French actress Fanny Ardant.

“I was introduced, and I became obsessed with her persona,” he says. “You have to refer to her in the formal term of ‘vous,’ and she’s so pure, so hardcore and so dangerous, you never know what she’s going to say. She’s a true diva.”

Coincidentally, at the time, Mika — who plays The City today, backing his new romance-themed offering, “The Origin of Love” — was storyboarding a video for his first French-language single, “Elle Me Dit.”

“It’s a song about a mom who doesn’t want to grow old, a mom who wants to stay sexy, but she’s looking at her son growing older and she hates him — she wants to destroy him,” he says.

Casting was a no-brainer: Ardant.

“She was the perfect person for the part because I wanted somebody with that dangerous edge,” he adds. The actress agreed, then made a reciprocal offer.

Soon, Mika received a tome-sized script for “Cadences Obstinees,” a movie Ardant was directing. There was a part in it for him: Lucio, a hotel piano player, who pines for the film’s star, Asia Argento.

Busy recording “Origin,” he said yes, sight unseen. In short order, he was on the Lisbon, Portugal, set, working alongside heavy hitters such as Franco Nero, Gerard Depardieu and Argento, the daughter of horror director Dario Argento.

“Now I am secretly obsessed with Asia Argento,” he says. “I wrote a whole article about her for La Republica in Italy, where I have a column.”

Mika has licensed his likeness to everything from Coca-Cola to Japanese toy robots. But he downplays his upcoming big-screen bow.

“I mean, give me a song and I can pretend to be anything,” he says. “But put me in front of a camera and I don’t know … I’m extremely goofy.”

But the pop confectioner knows how to spin ear candy, like the breakthrough hit “Grace Kelly” or “Origin’s” script-flipping twist on the play “Wicked,” “Popular Song,” sung from the loser’s viewpoint.

Mika is not sure if he will be Ardant’s go-to guest in future flicks.

He adds: “But if she does call me again, I’ll actually read the script this time. I just read the outline of the last one, it was so many words.”

Mika

  • Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
  • When: 8 p.m. today
  • Tickets: Sold out
  • Contact: (415) 885-0750; www.gamhtickets.com