Month: December 2009

New Portrait Session

While I’ve been busy behind the scenes to bring you soon lots of Marion goodies, nickufan sent in a gorgeous portrait session taken June 20, 2009 in Chicago. Many thanks & enjoy!

025 Sessions from 2009 > Set 001

Marion Cotillard: The No. 1 of 'Nine'

from The Baltimore Sun (US) / by Liz Smith

“THE LAST time I went to look at dailies while I was making a movie, I almost had a breakdown. It took me 10 days to arrive back on set, and all the while I was thinking, ‘What are you doing here? You are such a bad actress, a fraud!'”

That, believe it or not is the divine Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, who simply will not look at her work before it is finished and ready for an audience. “Someday, I hope I’ll be more confident,” Marion told me. Then she paused, and laughed a little. “Maybe not. I think maybe it’s better to be insecure, actually.”

I spoke with Marion last week, before she left New York for Christmas with her family in France, and then a vacation in Africa. Word had just come of her Golden Globe nomination for the Rob Marshall/Harvey Weinstein dazzler, “Nine.” In this spectacular, ravishingly sexy and poignant musical, Miss Cotillard is the film’s breaking heart and soul.

She plays Luisa Contini, wife of troubled — and unfaithful — movie director Guido Contini (Daniel Day- Lewis) She must make the decision to stay or go. Her scenes are the true emotional center of the film. (And she has two of the films best numbers, “My Husband Makes Movies” and “Take it All.”) The elusive, usually intense and serious Daniel Day-Lewis matches her. (In “Nine,” Day-Lewis — loosely channeling the sprightly charm of Marcello Mastroianni — is almost adorable.)

Marion said of her co-star: “He is so committed to what he does, he is such an amazing actor. He is very easy to work with, because his involvement is such that it doesn’t feel like work, or like acting at all. I came to feel I was Luisa and Daniel was Guido!”

And working with “Nine’s” other fabulous females — Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Stacy Ferguson, aka Fergie, Kate Hudson?

“Well, unfortunately, none of us really have scenes together, except for one number. But we all had to rehearse together for weeks. And that was an incredible experience. We shared everything, especially our anxieties. Some people worried over their singing, some over their dancing. So we were just in it together, going to dance class, vocalizing; an awesome ensemble of women. It’s so rare, and it made me very interested in working with an all-female cast, all of us acting.”

Marion credits director Rob Marshall for allaying fears and encouraging the best from his ladies. “Rob gave some of us the confidence we didn’t have, the courage to go to places we didn’t think we could. To say he is a genius would be a terrible understatement.”

I second that understatement. And I say again, don’t be put off but any iffy reviews. This is a fabulous entertainment and more than worth the hard-earned money you plunk down at the box-office.

Oh, and if Miss Cotillard isn’t nominated for an Oscar, I’ll be stunned. (Fergie’s already legendary handling of “Be Italian” is so spectacular I wouldn’t be surprised if she nabbed a Best Supporting nomination!)

Cotillard pushed herself into music of 'Nine'

from The Arizona Republic / by Bill Goodykoontz

Marion Cotillard won an Oscar for playing Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose,” so you’d think starring in a musical would be old hat for her.

Well, maybe. Cotillard, one of a boatload of Oscar winners in “Nine,” (the cast includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench and Nicole Kidman), still had to rehearse. She spoke recently about that experience, as well as what it’s like working with Day-Lewis and trying to act while still carrying a tune.

Question: Did the cast sit around and compare Oscars?
Answer: (Laughs.) No, no, no. We spent a lot of time together during the rehearsal and we shared a lot of things, but not Oscar stories.

Q: What was it like working with such a notable cast?
A: I think that a lot of actors share the same feeling. … It’s like it is for the first time. You go back to that point where you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen the first time. We were like a theater company arriving two months before shooting on set for the rehearsals. We were all so nervous about the singing, the dancing. We were all there to work and to try to do something good. You know, I don’t think an actor is a confident person. So we shared the same feelings of excitement, of anxiety, and we really support each other.

Q: The women didn’t have a lot of scenes together.
A: Yeah, that’s why it was an amazing time during the rehearsal. We got to know each other and to work together. I had a lot of singing lessons with Penelope and Nicole, and dancing lessons also. It was really an amazing time to share our joy, to be part of this project with (director) Rob Marshall.

Q: Daniel Day-Lewis is well-known for his intensity. You play his wife. What was he like to work with?
A: He really carries you, the way he works, the way he’s committed and how generous he is. It carries you to a very high level of joy in your work.

During the rehearsals, I remember one day I was working on (the song) “Take It All.” I was going over the choreography, over and over and over again.

And suddenly he enters the room without saying a word. He took a chair and he sat in front of me. I did “Take It All” two or three times with his eyes on me. Then he just left. I mean, it was an amazing time, because suddenly it became more than technical that day. I had to forget, not what I was doing, but all the technique and put some emotion in it. Actually it pushed everything higher, even the technique was better because he was there and he was looking at me and he was giving me (his character) Guido’s look that I needed at that point in the rehearsals. This is how generous he is.

Q: The songs are eventually dubbed, but you still have to sing while shooting. Is it difficult to act while singing?
A: I think that music brings a lot of emotion. I’ve always loved to sing, and I think in a way when you forget about the technique and you’re just into the scene and into your character, I find it kind of, not easier, but it’s a different level of emotion. The music carries a lot of emotion. I used to work with music even when not in a musical, because there’s something about the music that makes you dive into something deep. I wouldn’t say it’s harder. I would say it’s different and it’s definitely really exciting and really emotional.

New articles

I’m sorry for the lack of updates but I’ve been in bed with a serious case of flu since Tuesday.

To start with I added some articles and interviews to the press archive:

Cotillard has right number in ‘Nine’
Daniel Day-Lewis, Fergie and Marion Cotillard live life Italian-style in ‘Nine’
There’s perfect harmony among the six actresses in ‘Nine’

There's perfect harmony among the six actresses in 'Nine'

from USA Today / by Donna Freydkin

NEW YORK — Nicole Kidman is in a bit of a rush, noticeably eager to wrap up a late-afternoon interview at the Plaza Hotel, as her husband Keith Urban and daughter Sunday Rose, 1, wait in the next room.

She has a hot date with Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard, who have converged on Manhattan from their home bases of Madrid and Paris, respectively, to promote their Golden Globe-nominated song-and-dance extravaganza, Nine, which opens wide on Friday.

“Penelope, Marion and I were meant to be going lingerie shopping after this,” says Kidman. “We’re all still very good friends.”

In fact, anyone searching for spats among the A-list cast had better look elsewhere.

“You’re expected to vie with people, but there was none of that. Sophia (Loren) said we’d either kill each other or like each other. We liked each other,” reports Judi Dench, who plays a costume designer in the musical, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a philandering director suffering from writer’s block and dealing with the many ladies in his life.

Cotillard, who plays Day-Lewis’ wife, established a “beautiful friendship” with his mistress, Cruz, she says.

Seductress Fergie clicked with Vogue reporter Kate Hudson, because “we’re the California girls,” she says. “We went to the Madonna concert, Penelope, myself, Marion and Kate. Kate and I went out one night and Marion came. Sunday Rose was there on set. I always wanted to go talk baby talk to her.”

The biggest diva in the group? Kidman’s grinning daughter, who points and demands to press shiny elevator buttons while her mother holds her and waits for the lift to arrive.

Here’s how each of the ladies soared on set.

Marion Cotillard

The bereft bride

Cotillard, 34, won an Academy Award for playing French chanteuse Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose but lip-synced in the film. This time, she belted out two tunes herself — and earned another Golden Globe nomination.

Singing, she says, “is an amazing experience. I’ve always loved to sing. When I was a kid, my favorite musicals were American.”

She had to fight for her role in Nine, having three separate auditions — eight months before she took home the Oscar. With endearing honesty, Cotillard gets emotional when asked how the golden guy changed the course of her career.

Without the Oscar, she muses, “I wouldn’t have worked in this country like that. I’ve always wanted to be an actress, I’ve always wanted to tell stories with amazing people. It makes me so happy, how I am welcomed in this world of cinema here.”

Cotillard can relate to her Nine character, a woman coming to terms with the end of her once-passionate relationship. “She’s suffering. She wants to be happy with the man she loves, but mostly, she wants him to find his way. She tries to help him, but the problem is the love that made the connection is lost,” says Cotillard.

In real life, Cotillard is in a long-term romance with French actor/director Guillaume Canet. Had she been in Luisa’s shoes, says Cotillard, “Can I say, if my lover, if my husband cheated on me, I would — I don’t know. I just hope it would not happen.”

It has been a busy year for the actress, who starred in the Johnny Depp crime drama Public Enemies this summer and just wrapped the Christopher Nolan thriller Inception. To her, selling out “would mean that I would put dirt on my dream. That’s really what I feel,” says Cotillard. “I’m so fortunate, so lucky to have these beautiful opportunities. I will never do a movie for a bad reason.”

Nicole Kidman

The golden goddess

Six weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Kidman found herself in London at singing and dancing rehearsals on a soundstage for Nine director Rob Marshall.

“Rob kept saying to me, ‘She has to be a goddess,’ ” says Kidman of Claudia, the star of Guido’s non-existent movie. “I decided to give her a Swedish accent. At that time, in cinema, there were very famous Swedish actresses. I thought that would be a nice flavor mixed in with all these Italians.”

Kidman, 42, is no stranger to musicals, having earned a best-actress Oscar nomination for 2001’s Moulin Rouge!. But Nine, she says, proved a different experience. “It’s an ensemble. The sensibility is different. It’s sexy and painful and sad. It runs the gamut of emotions. I’d call it a psychological musical,” she says.

She didn’t get to keep the full-length frock she wears during her number. But she has her daughter to thank for her curves. “I was wrapped into that dress. I was!” says Kidman. “That’s when I had big boobs from the milk. That’s the benefit of the breast-feeding.”

For the Oscar winner (The Hours, 2002), leaving her baby at home in Nashville, where she lives with her country singer husband, Keith Urban, wasn’t an option.

“I just can never be away from her, so she comes wherever I go, as you see. Have baby, will travel. She’s OK (on planes), but honestly, we stay in Nashville a lot. That’s why I don’t work that much,” she says. “It’s harder now to pack to her up. At 16 months, it’s a different type of traveling. When they’re 6 weeks, they’re easier to travel with. And you’re breast-feeding, so it’s easy to feed.”

Penelope Cruz

The sexy spitfire

The darkest story arc in the film belongs to Cruz, whose performance as Carla, Guido’s lover, has earned her Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Cruz says that even though Carla experiences the depths of doomed love, “she wanted to be a lady for him, but she’s not. She’s a lady, but a different kind of lady. She’s tried to become a hundred different women for him.”

Carla is both downtrodden and fiery, accommodating and demanding. Cruz, who won the best-supporting-actress Oscar for Vicky Cristina Barcelona this year, has been in a long and low-key relationship with actor Javier Bardem, so she looked for acting inspiration in unexpected places: most notably, the Pink Panther.

“He was sexy in a goofy, strange way. That was the image naturally coming to my mind,” says Cruz, 35. “I always saw something a little bit peculiar and goofy about Carla’s personality. I found her very attractive to play. Also, I liked exploring the type of obsession she feels for Guido, because she has the hope that she will have a perfect, stable, happy life with him. It’s her drug.”

Even more challenging than singing and dancing on-screen — and dealing with bleeding hands from her signature ropes number — was ditching her Spanish accent to play an Italian sexpot. “I had to do my Italian accent, and I was very obsessed with that. Every day, I would watch hours and hours of all the Italian actors who did movies in English,” says Cruz.

Kate Hudson

The brassy vamp

Long before she started acting, says Hudson, she sang for fun. And this is the first time she got to do both on-screen.

“I never had the confidence to perform in front of people. I’ve always been a little nervous. When I was younger, there was not a shy bone in my body. But when I hit high school, that part of me shut down,” she says. “I was more interested in film. You’re no longer so outward. This was like going back to being a little girl, that feeling you get when go onstage and project. Being able to express outwardly is so fun.”

And brutal at times.

“We would take our bustiers off and just have scrapes from the crystals. Bright red little scrapes all over,” recalls Hudson, 30. “We all had our war wounds. Fergie had sand in her eye. Penelope had her bleeding fingers and calluses. I had scrapes and bruises on my knees.”

Hudson says her son, Ryder, 6, takes after his dad, musician Chris Robinson. “He loves to sing. He loves to dance. You get a guitar on him, and he’s mimicking a real guitar player,” she says. “Ryder dances to the beat of his own drum already.”

Hudson won’t discuss her relationship with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, which the tabloids have subsequently reported is over.

But she will address other rumors, including stories that she’s desperate to have more kids: “Contrary to what every tabloid writes, that’s not in the forefront of my mind. But I look forward to having more children.”

Fergie

The beach babe

Ultra-fit Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie, 34, had “a blast” playing Saraghina, the prostitute who seduces a young Guido. That’s because she got to indulge her love of fattening grub.

“Physically, Saraghina is not about working out or dieting. It’s about being Italian and loving food,” says Fergie, the last star cast. “So basically, I ate everything I wanted and stopped working out. I ate a lot of fish and chips and frozen enchiladas, and there was this French cheese at the hotel. It was kind of like a Brie. I would eat the entire thing before bed.”

Because her song-and-dance number takes place on the beach, Fergie was covered with “sand burns and tambourine bruises — it sounds like a country song!” she says with a laugh.

Which Fergie does her husband, Transformersstar Josh Duhamel, prefer — svelte or zaftig? “He loves everything about transforming. That might sound wrong because of his movie. No pun intended!” says Fergie. “He loves me either way. For him, it didn’t really matter.”

Judi Dench

The no-nonsense friend

For Dench, lending Day-Lewis an ear as his costume designer and close pal Lilli wasn’t much of a stretch. “We’re old friends. I played his mother in Hamlet, so I know him well. He’s adorable. We had a very nice time, especially in the bar of the Eden Hotel in Rome,” says Dench, 75.

Who partied harder, Dench or Day-Lewis? “Daniel could write a book on cocktails,” she retorts.

Dench got inspiration from her colleague, Nine dressmaker Colleen Atwood.

“The part was written for someone with a dry sense of humor, who’d known Guido since he was a little boy. Colleen has quite a way about her,” says Dench.

Dench, an Oscar winner for 1998’s Shakespeare in Love, shows her flashy side in a dance routine at the end of the film.

“My number was just walking about and carrying on in the nightclub,” she says. “I’ve done a lot of musicals onstage, like Cabaret. It was lovely to do it.”

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