Actress Surprised By Recent Success
from The Daily Californian / by Louis Peitzman
After appearing in several under-the-radar roles, Marion Cotillard dazzled audiences as Edith Piaf in “La Vie En Rose.” Cotillard plays a variety of ages throughout the French singer’s life, earning critical praise and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Daily Californian: When you were making “La Vie En Rose,” did you have any idea it was going to be the success that it’s become?
Marion Cotillard: No, when you’re making a movie, you’re just making it, and you don’t think about what could happen. … The passion of all those people created a very special atmosphere. But we wouldn’t talk about this, for fear (of breaking) the spell. But no, you can’t imagine that two years later you will be still talking about the movie, and about to attend the Oscars ceremony.
DC: What was your opinion of Edith Piaf before doing the movie, and how did that change?
MC: Well, I knew a few songs, three or four, that I used to use ? to help me get into a certain emotional state, in other movies. But I didn’t know anything about her life, so I really discovered everything.
DC: When you hear her music now, then, do you have a different appreciation of it?
MC: Not exactly, because I had a very special relationship with three or four of her songs. Because she’s so powerful, emotionally. I discovered more of her work, but I don’t think it changed (the way I felt) about those three or four songs, because I used the songs for other movies. It creates a special relationship with the songs. You have to abandon that special relationship to rediscover the song, but the emotion is still there. It’s so strong.
DC: You play a variety of different ages and periods in Edith Piaf’s life. Which was the most challenging?
MC: There was not a most challenging period. There were two things which were hard. It was the lip synch. And one of the last scenes, when she is about to die-she’s in bed-which was something very special to do. Especially when you know the whole life, it was very special. But nothing was harder than that. (One) period was not harder than another.
DC: What about the lip synching was difficult?
MC: You have to be so accurate. It is so difficult to get, really. And you have to work a lot, and it’s kind of boring at a certain point, because you do the same thing again and again and again. It was not the (most fun)-maybe that’s why it was the hardest part.
DC: Where were you when you found out you’d been nominated for the Academy Award?
MC: I was in Los Angeles, watching the press conference, with my publicist here. My French publicist was traveling with me. I was shocked. I was shocked. I was totally shocked.
DC: With all the recognition that you’ve received for the role, how has your life changed since doing “La Vie En Rose”?
MC: I’ve been traveling for a year and a half. It’s a great and long adventure. I have very little time to see my friends and my family, but they understand that it won’t last forever, and someday I will be able to settle down a little bit, and what’s happening now is bigger than my dreams.