I would love to live a double life

Originally published in Madame Figaro (France), written by Richard Gianorio

translated by Oliver.G.Byrne

MF: How are you feeling right now?
I don’t know a word that hasn’t been used a million time, absolute joy. I have never been so in peace (zen). There is my pregnancy of course but also the fact that I’m rediscovering Paris and that I get to see all my friends after cruising around the world for so long.

MF: Do people leave you alone?
It’s not easy to have your picture taken by paparazzi, pregnant with the belly up, it’s actually quite violent but at the same time I take a step back from that. There is nothing to hide, I’m pregnant, what can we add? The situation speaks for itself. On the other hand it is true that I do not like to comment on my private life. I’m not very comfortable with it and the subject that would be myself is not the centre of my concerns.

MF: Is it difficult for someone on top to take a step back for a while to have a child?
No, because the need for a child at some point is stronger than anything else. And afterwards I start working again by filming Christopher Nolan’s Batman, it’s an opportunity to go back to it nicely, it’s a small role and a very comfortable one for a new mother. Later on, I have other projects that fill me with joy. Since “La vie en rose” I’ve walked in the gardens of some of the greatest filmmakers with amazing supporting roles – “Public Enemies” “Nine” or “Little White Lies“. But I now have the need to carry an entire role on my shoulders, I want to be the one whose story is told.

MF: Any regrets about not being able to be at Cannes this year to present Midnight in Paris?
No because in my state it would be impossible. At the same time it would have been the first time I could have walked the red carpet to present a film, one directed by Woddy Allen nonetheless. I was amazed when he gave me the role. I remember our first phone conversation, I was still living in my old apartment in the Marais in Paris and a friend was in the room beside me. We were getting to know each other by phone! It was surreal, I met him just four days before shooting started so I was slightly destabilised and it took me a while to adapt. The way he looks at his actors reassured me. He’s an extraordinary director, always much more than what you expect: funnier, more tender, more brilliant, more ironic…

MF: Between continually shooting movies, your travels, your duties as face of Dior… Do you ever get overwhelmed by everything?
I am frustrated when I have less time to give to Greenpeace for example. It reminds me of actors like Audrey Hepburn, who stopped at some point because there was a calling for them bigger than anything else, bigger than their careers. I have a lot of projecs that have nothing to do with this career, Greenpeace of course, the environment as a whole. When I engage myself for the forest, it’s not only for the trees but to preserve people as well. I would love to help another way. In fact I would love to live a double life: If I were twice myself, I would never feel any frustration.

MF: Do you get to be proud of yourself sometimes?
As an actress yes! In the case of “La vie en rose” I was proud of us: The director, make up, the sound operator… This film represented something that was a special accomplishment in my eyes. I worked so hard for it! I thought it would never work, I could never do better. I work hard, I prepare a lot, I have too much respect for this craft to leave it to improvisation. In general, if we don’t work, we become poorer, we become empty and uninteresting. In general, I see my films once and I examine everything, every single move, I like to understand how my work has been taken and translated to the screen.

MF: Are you in Hollywood’s A list?
I am not at the bottom but the A list is only reserved to American actress who can draw people to the cinemas. Like Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, or even the incredible Penélope Cruz who’s going be huge with the new Pirates of the Caribbean. Of course I played in the blockbuster “Inception” but it was Leonardo Dicaprio who brought in the audience. Having said that, I’ve been wonderfully received by the Americans whose cinema I sincerely love. My dream?! (Laugh)
To play in a film with Will Ferrell’s gang, of whom I’m a huge fan. I participated in a Funny or Die skit he co-produced, I was in heaven!

MF: How do you manage to stay levelheaded in view of the string of success you’ve had in Hollywood?
A lot of actors want to believe what they are told and cut themselves from reality. I saw some who let go great, honest people in their lives, people who had the right outlook on them only to replace them with a bunch of groupies (Butt kissers). I need to be honest with myself, to be surrounded well and not being afraid to say “Be careful, you don’t look at me the same way!” If we just feed ourselves with the desire of being recognised and loved we end up turning in circles until we end up completely dumb. To see people become self-centred is a very scary thing. I’m sure we can spend our life in that type of reality but I don’t believe it would make me happy.

MF: Did you ever had a moment where because of fame you lost it?
No, because I never identified myself with a supposed image of myself. I belong to the real life and life is always moving. We are taken on a ride, everything is moving, everything is changing, nothing is acquired and it’s the same for everybody. In addition, I am very attached to the respect for others, as a woman and as an actress. If we don’t respect another who should be our priority there is a serious problem. I love healthy relationships and I defend simplicity in a life that is not simple, a life in which too many desires can lead you to frustration. The road is long and I am getting better. For the time being I try to be at peace with things and with the people I love.


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