Month: June 2009

Just a Minute With: French actress Marion Cotillard

from Reuters / by Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – French actress Marion Cotillard has gone from playing singing legend Edith Piaf to portraying the girlfriend of another kind of popular hero, bank robber John Dillinger.

In the movie “Public Enemies” opening on July 1, Cotillard plays Billie Frechette, a woman who fell in love with Dillinger, played by Johnny Depp, during his ill-fated cops-and-robbers war with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 1930s.

Cotillard won the best actress Oscar for her portrayal of Piaf in 2007 movie “La Vie en Rose.” Her role in “Public Enemies” as the daughter of a Frenchman and an American Indian is her first since winning the Academy Award.

She spoke to Reuters in French from Chicago about her character Billie Frechette, her love of the Windy City and her upbringing in France in a family of actors.

Q: What did Billie Frechette see in John Dillinger that attracted her to him?

A: “At a young age, she was sent to a boarding school, and it was a very difficult place where they tried to erase everything that was Indian in her. And I think that she encountered there a great injustice, and she shared with Dillinger a suspicion of authority. I think the two of them saw that in each other and they fell in love immediately, and there was a very strong connection between them.”

Q: Growing up in a household of actors, did you often practice scenes with your parents?

A: “Yes, because my parents were actors and theater directors. And my father was a director for children’s theater after having been a mime for a long time. So, seeing actors rehearse was something very familiar to me.”

Q: Did that influence you as an actress?

A: “I was absolutely fascinated that you could make a living telling other people’s stories by imparting your emotion to them. And I always wanted to be an actress. My first work as an actress was when I was about five years-old.”

Q: You played in a scene that young?

A: “I made two small movies for television. And before that I remember acting in a play with my mother, and it was very disorienting because I played the daughter of another actress. They were telling me that she was my mom, but I knew she wasn’t. In fact, my real mom was also on stage. I remember being very disoriented by that.”

Q: How did you prepare for your English-speaking role in this movie?

A: “I worked with a speech coach for several months, and I had to relearn how to use my face and my body, because the way of saying certain letters is so different in French than in English, and it was very hard to train myself in that.”

Q: What did you do for fun while you were shooting this movie in Chicago?

A: “I went to a lot of museums because I love museums and there are a lot of marvelous ones here. Also, I went dancing at the Green Mill (cocktail lounge) and listened to jazz there. I was there often, I liked that place.

“I love this city. I love the architecture. I love the 1930s and there’s a lot of sublime ’30s architecture here. I find the lake so energizing, so vast, so beautiful. I am looking at the lake now through my hotel window, it looks like the ocean.”

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Patricia Reaney)

Marion Cotillard On The Complex Secrets Of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’

from MTV Movies Blog / by Eric Ditzian

Everything sounds better with a French accent. That’s just a fact, and it’s something Movies Editor Josh Horowitz learned anew while chatting with Marion Cotillard about her upcoming Christopher Nolan film, “Inception.”

No matter that the Parisian actress wouldn’t give up the juicy inside facts—partly because she didn’t know, partly because declined to say—about the secretive film that we crave here at MTV News. No matter that all she’d tell us about the plot is that it’s “about the mind.” No matter that she teased Josh at one point, “You so want to have information—I can see you!”

Cotillard simply sounds so sweetly agreeable when she’s speaking, it’s hard to complain. We did manage to learn that the majority of her scenes will be alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, who is set to play her husband. We did learn the movie itself is chockfull of action sequences. And she did go into detail about her first reaction upon reading the script for the film, which also co-stars Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Caine.

“[Nolan] is so interesting,” she said, while promoting “Public Enemies,” her Johnny Depp-starring gangster flick. “He writes his own scripts. He seems to be, from what I saw and what I read, so rich inside. He’s got so many things to say and share and he’s a very, very smart guy. You really can feel it in his writing.”

What else did we learn? That Cotillard could read me the phone book for the entire July 4th weekend and I wouldn’t protest. Check out the rest of the video to find out more about “Inception” and why Cotillard finds Nolan’s film très complexe.

Accent was welcome task for Marion Cotillard

from Associated Press / by Christina M. Wright

CHICAGO (AP) — Marion Cotillard says the most challenging part of playing John Dillinger’s love interest in the upcoming film “Public Enemies” was developing a believable Midwestern accent.

The Academy Award-winning actress worked for four months with a dialect coach, two hours a day, to tone down her natural French accent.

“It was really weird because she taught me how to use my jaw and my tongue in a different way,” she said during a recent interview.

Her biggest challenge?

The R and the L.

“I think it was the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do,” she said.

Eventually, Cotillard – who won a best-actress Oscar for playing chanteuse Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose” – pulled it off to play her half-French, half-Indian character, Billie Frechette.

Michael Mann, the director of “Public Enemies,” said he had seen Cotillard’s previous movies and knew she could overcome speech problems.

“I knew mechanically, with fantastic discipline, a great work ethic and just hard work, she will master the English,” he said.

After “Public Enemies,” which stars Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, Cotillard played a character who had a French accent over a British accent.

Her biggest problem: the R’s and the L’s – again.

“I was like, `Are you kidding me?! It took me four months to get this R and L,'” she said.

Accent has been a constant challenge for the 33-year-old Cotillard, who acts in French and English movies. She learned English when she was 11. When she got her first English role (in Tim Burton’s “Big Fish”) she went to the Berlitz language center to work on her English accent.

Then, she returned to France for a role in her first language. On the first day, in the first scene, she spent three hours on the very first line.

Despite the constant stream of dialect coaches, Cotillard said she likes the challenge of changing her accent for roles. She said it makes her appreciate success more.

“I like when it’s really something that you don’t get right away,” she said. “You just have to work and work and work.”

More 'Public Enemies' stills

I added 6 more ‘Public Enemies‘ stills. As you must have noticed, Marion Cotillard is very busy at the moment and I could almost constantly update the site with news etc. My own life however, is pretty busy too right now, so I don’t know how soon I will catch up with everything. Thank you for your patience!

Don’t forget, Marion will appear on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tonight at 12:35am ET/PT on CBS.

New release date for ‘Le dernier vol‘ in France is November 11, 2009.

Marion Cotillard’s character in ‘Inception‘ is reportedly called Lisa Hastley.

006 Public Enemies – 2009 > Stills

'Public Enemies' Press Conference

Following the special screening of ‘Public Enemies‘ in Chicago on Thursday, Marion Cotillard joined Johnny Depp and Christian Bale for a press conference in the Peninsula Hotel, also in Chicago, on Friday, June 19.

016 ‘Public Enemies’ Press Conference

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