Month: February 2008

Love for Marion

Mariana finished her translation of the many quotes of former coleagues of Marion Cotillard, as well as from friends, currently featured in French Première. Many thanks again! Read the full batch here

“Marion surprised me: she could have played in silent films. She has the simplicity and the openness that I expect from an actress. We shot Big Fish in Alabama – a special place, very crazy. In that kind of environment, it’s very important to work as a clan. The entire crew adored Marion.”
Tim Burton, director of Big Fish

Then, many thanks for US Premiere staff member Jenni Miller for the heads up on their Oscar coverage. They have a Marion interview up on their site, Up close with the Oscar Nominees.

And K found a quote by George Clooney, as featured in a recent interview with TIME Magazine:

The actor was also impressed by La Vie En Rose’s Marion Cotillard. “[She] does an old person trying to be young, instead of what everyone does – a young person trying to be old,” he says. “It’s a stunning performance.”

Remember to watch Canal+ if you live in France or else visit their website tonight at around 8.50pm European time for news of the César Awards. I can’t wait to see what happens!

Up Close With the Oscar Noms

from / by Sophie Grassin and Ghislain Loustalot (Paris), Translation by Courtney Carlsson

Actress in a Leading Role
Birthplace: Paris, France
Essential Filmography: Taxi (1998); Les Jolies Choses (2001); Jeux d’enfants (Love Me If You Dare) (2003), Big Fish (2003); A Very Long Engagement (2004); A Good Year (2006)

It is all that is being talked about at the moment: her breathtaking performance and her lived rendition. In reincarnating Piaf, not only did Marion Cotillard slip into her little black dress and recapture her cheeky humor, she found the most defining role of her life. Here Cotillard reminisces about this out of the ordinary experience.

What was it like to live with Piaf?
Marion Cotillard:
Complicated… but I can describe the experience, or at least, try. Imagine an area that I would have set up to fit me, in which I wouldn’t be able to control anything.

An area, what sort of terrain?
I’m going to give an image. I acted as if I had to throw myself from the top of a slope without controlling the way in which I would roll [down]. Except for the fact that I set everything up with a nice green lawn, that I took away all the trees from my paths and that I used the cliffs or the rocks in order bounce well off them with my little trampoline.

One might say like a video game, right? Super Mario III? [Cotillard laughs] Seriously, how did you determine this scenery?
I free up the necessary space so that someone can come in and slide themselves within me. I do not take anything out. Never, under any circumstances. I co-habit. I make space. My job consists of rummaging about in emotions. Other roles have pushed me to construct characters. Piaf, she, was already there. I just needed to create a space to welcome her. So that she could want to come. But I could not let her submerge me because Olivier Dahan wanted to see me, myself. In the beginning, I wanted to disappear. And then, I became conscious of the fact that I was not hindering, on the contrary: without me, the character could not take life. I refused to become an actress that copied. I never tried to plagiarize her gestures or movements.

What does the work to welcome Piaf consist of?
It’s a progression, a meditation. One session made an impression on me. My coach and I went out into the road, I had sunglasses and I closed my eyes and had to guide him. I instinctively led him to places where the cries of children resonated. Upon reflection, this seemed logical to me. I led him to places where clear and free voices were erupting: it was all Piaf.

Were you afraid before you accepted this role?
Afraid, no. But I had moments of vertigo. I read certain scenes from the script and I wanted to get rid of Piaf. I pulled myself together. I said to myself: “No, look at her well, it will be necessary to.”

In certain singing scenes, it’s your voice that we hear. Was it a challenge?
I sing reasonably, my voice tone is not exceptional. At [Paris] Olympia, where we shot an important scene, I had the feeling that I could sing like Piaf. It was planned that the music would start and that Olivier [Dahan, the director] would cut quickly enough. But I do not take myself too seriously. So, I learnt all of the lyrics to Non, Je ne Regrette Rien. I messed up right in the middle of the take. I persuaded myself that it wasn’t serious, that the scene would be edited. At the same time, someone, let’s call her Edith, took me by the hand and pushed me to go all the way to the end. I regained my concentration and finished well.

Does living without Piaf frighten you?
I am still living with Piaf. I thought that I would collapse after the filming, but no… I told myself that it was cool, that everything would happen gradually. Only, Piaf is still here. I’m having trouble letting go of her. I recognized that I did not want to let her leave, that I feared abandoning her. And then, I reasoned with myself.

What ties you personally with her?
She was my maternal grandmother’s favorite singer. They were the same size. They shared the same character traits. My grandmother always said she would have liked to become a singer, but there was already “la môme” Piaf. This link already existed, before the film, without my being conscious of it. My grandmother, she too, lived an extreme life, marked by great joy and great pain.

How do you see yourself after Piaf?
I spent several unforgettable months with Piaf. She became an old friend. When I hear her on the radio, I feel as if I am being reunited with an old friend. I am not the only actress to experience this. Juliette Binoche, for example, must preserve an intimate rapport with George Sand. All of my life, I will be linked with her. And this gives me great pleasure. It’s not a burden. That being said, I have not filmed anything since. I do not even see myself working. I would really like to throw myself into a different experience. I will therefore definitely do some theatre. I will definitely act one of Racine’s tragedies because I love Phèdre. I finally turned down the first movie that I had committed myself to. I did not want to offer directors a comedian that didn’t have the desire. I believed in their project but I did not believe in myself.

Czech Lion

Many thanks to Lucie for this information! Marion Cotillard is up for a Cesky Lev (which translates to Czech Lion) in the category ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ for her performance in La Vie en Rose. Congratulations!

Remember, the movie was made as a Czech co-production (it was partly shot in the Czech Republic and some Czech actors play small roles in it), which made it possible for Marion to be nominated for a Czech award. The event will take place in Prague on March 1st. More information can be found at the awards’ official site. No word on whether Marion will be attending this event or not.

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.

Looking forward

2 days to go till the Césars are handed out – and only 4 days till the Oscars are here. What will the weekend bring for Marion Cotillard? 99.9% she’ll win a César. How many French awards are out there? She won at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival, was awarded 2 NRJ awards by the French public and won the Prix Lumière. However, fellow César-nominee Cécile de France won Best Actress at the Globes de Cristal and Marion had to share the Etoile d’Or – handed out by French critics – with another fellow César-nominee: Isabelle Carré. La Môme – or as it’s known internationally La Vie en Rose – came to French cinemas more than a year ago. Could it be that the French have already forgotten Marion’s excellent performance? I dare say they haven’t. And how could Marion not win the biggest award in her home country when she’s winning major awards abroad?

As for the Oscar I am still hopeful. All the votes are in and being counted right now. Who will be named Best Actress? All the ‘insider’ publications and ‘movie buff’ blogs say it’s going to be either Julie Christie or Marion Cotillard. Whenever the general public has a say in it Ellen Page comes up as well. I seriously think Marion has a chance of winning Best Actress and it would be very well deserved. Out of the many articles about Oscar predictions you can read online you might want to check out this Reuters article (thanks Asia) that puts Marion in the spotlight.

Whatever happens this weekend I’m sure Marion will savour every minute of it! Surely no win or loss can improve or lessen her magnifique performance. She’s always been a talented actress and regardless of what Film Academies and the like have to say now she will always continue to shine!

See a scan from British Evening Standard magazine about Marion’s fashion style this season here . Remember that all the scans and many other pictures in the gallery are HQ – but only registered and logged-in visitors are able to see the full versions.

Thanks to Mariana from Eva Green Web you can read the first batch of those quotes from the current French Première magazine in English here. Many thanks!

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