Opera star Shimell swaps the stage for the big screen in Kiarostami's "Certified Copy"

He's used to standing on stage at La Scala or the Royal Opera House - but this week at the Cannes Film Festival 57-year-old William Shimell found himself getting applauded by some of the toughest film critics in the world.

The British bass baritone made his movie debut in Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's film Copie Conforme opposite Juliette Binoche having never taken an acting class in his life.

The pair met when Kiarostami directed him in an production of the opera Cosi Van Tutte at a music festival in Aix En Provence a couple of years ago.

"I was really dubious when I heard that a movie director was going to have a say in an opera production," recalls Shimell, "but what did I know?"

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