Mélanie Laurent was struggling to calm her nerves Wednesday night: “I had one glass of Champagne, but it’s not enough,” she told the crowd assembled at the Tribeca Grand Hotel for the Cinema Society’s screening of The Adopted. Laurent wrote, directed, and acted in this tale of an unconventional family unit dealing with sudden tragedy—in short, it’s her baby (and her first outing directing a feature-length film). Luckily for the Inglourious Basterds actress, she had a handful of cast mates from the thriller (Now You See Me) she’s been shooting in New Orleans—including Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, and Isla Fisher—present at Wednesday night’s event, co-sponsored by Dior Beauty, to help her send it out into the world.
“It was really interesting to write something that’s so far away from me,” said Laurent, who turned up wearing head-to-toe Dior. (The Adopted centers on two sisters, for example, whereas she has only a brother.) “I had that freedom of great distance, where you’re free to write anything you want.” The touching drama had more than a few audience members running to the bathroom to fix their makeup before the after-party at the Soho Grand. Laurent stayed late, drinking celebratory Champagne and eating macarons. She’ll be back in town for the next film she directs, she told Style.com—”a story of a life,” set in the eighties, that requires some New York scenes. In the meantime, though, she’s got a few acting roles to fulfill. “Give me one year,” she promised.