An Interview with Marion Cotillard
from Little White Lies Press Kit
Guillaume always has plenty of ideas and stories that he’d like to make into movies. He’d been mulling over a film about a group of friends, and more broadly about our generation, for a long time. Three years ago, that desire began to take shape and he started writing the script for Little White Lies.
I followed the process from near and afar depending on my own schedule. Early on, he mentioned that he wanted us to work together. When I read the first draft. I was immediately touched by the way he gets under the surface of how we interact, and by the subtlety, honesty and sincerity of what he was trying to say. Guillaume is very observant, with a highly developed artistic sensitivity. He has created a group of believable, close-knit characters.
The process of creation
The preparation period was very productive. Guillaume is a very hard worker. He creates a structure that he controls down to the tiniest detail, providing his actors with a very solid foundation. He lets us into his world while giving us the freedom to express ourselves, to add little bits of ourselves.
We spent time with him individually, discussing his vision of our characters. Then he got us together for a series of table-reads in Paris, which resulted in certain adjustments to establish the balance between the various characters.
One of the most inspiring moments was the few days we spent in Cap Ferret in the house where we would be shooting the movie. It was an opportunity to share our insights and get to know each other better. It was important to develop a group dynamic and genuine friendships.
We had all worked on a picture of our characters’ lives, what drives them and how they get on with each other, how they all met—their back stories as individuals and as part of the group. It’s the kind of thing you don’t see on screen that adds depth and underlying energy to the characters. We told each other our characters’ life stories. It was a very moving moment, as if we were witnessing the birth of our characters and what bonds them.
On set, Guillaume constructs a space where everything possible is done to make the actors feel confident and at ease. A director who so deeply knows and understands actors makes the job very easy, even exhilarating. There were times when we felt like we simply weren’t acting anymore.
Marie’s an ethnologist. She studies human beings thousands of miles away to avoid having to face her own inner turmoil. Marie’s scared. She runs.
The trouble is, around the age of thirty, you reach a stage where new priorities emerge after a period of taking life as it comes. There is a need, partly driven by fear, to take stock. It’s a turning point that forces you into a little bit of soul-searching.