Category: English Press

Marion Cotillard: La Vie en Rose

from TIME Style & Design (US) / by Marcia DeSanctis

Sheathed in fall’s signature mauves, burgundies and dusty pinks, Marion Cotillard is radiant in this season’s commanding yet feminine silhouettes

As a child growing up in the bucolic Loire Valley, Marion Cotillard didn’t covet her mother’s high heels. “I wore a lot of my father’s clothes as a kid, even though most of the time it was a disaster,” she says. She once paired a men’s sky blue thermal bodysuit with an orange polka-dot cardigan, black skirt and flats. “As soon as I put my foot in the school building, I thought, My God, what did I do?”

It’s hard to imagine Cotillard, the face of Christian Dior and an Academy Award–winning actress, feeling the same doubts today. She has been a red-carpet darling since collecting her Oscar for the Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose in a mermaid-like Jean-Paul Gaultier dress—scales and all—back in 2008. Since then, she has racked up credits with Woody Allen, Steven Soderbergh and Christopher Nolan, who cast her in linchpin supporting roles for both Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, while her lead performance in Rust and Bone, in theaters later this fall, generated awards buzz after its Cannes premiere. And even under constant surveillance by the world’s fashion mandarins, Cotillard hasn’t tamped down her playfulness or originality. (Case in point: the ballet-inspired Dior dress, spiky Louboutin Mad Max sandals and shock of tangerine shadowing her blue eyes at the New York City Dark Knight Rises premiere.)

Cotillard grew up shy and awkward, she says, but with a strong sense of adventure and a stronger safety net. “We lived in an amazing, creative, free and loving world,” she says of her family: father Jean-Claude, a mime and director; mother Niseema Theillaud, an actress and drama teacher; and twin younger brothers. She inherited a talent for the family business, and today, Cotillard never stops working. She arrived on the set of Rust and Bone just four months after giving birth to the now 16-month-old Marcel, her son with French actor and director Guillaume Canet. Since June, she has wrapped Canet’s 1970s Brooklyn crime yarn Blood Ties and James Gray’s as-yet-untitled Ellis Island drama, also starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner.

“By the time I got to the set, Joaquin and everyone had a running joke that Marion was a cyborg, that she never messed up, never faltered, she was always brilliant, every time, every take, every day,” Renner says with a laugh. “She makes everything look easy. Nothing gets under her skin.”

“It’s strange, because I had the feeling sometimes that I was directing Marion like I would direct a man,” says Rust and Bone director Jacques Audiard. “I don’t know how to describe it except to say that she’s very rational and direct and not fussy in a girly sort of way. This was incredibly surprising.” In Rust and Bone, Cotillard plays Stephanie, a marine-park trainer who suffers a critical injury and then—against a backdrop of sea and summer sky on the Côte D’Azur—claws her way back to humanity and love. “I was baffled by the character at first,” Cotillard says. “But the amazing thing about this job is the chance to search for and hopefully find this new person.”

In her fashion choices, however, Cotillard does not seek out reinvention. “If I don’t feel like myself in an outfit—if it makes me feel like a different person—I won’t wear it,” she says. Dries Van Noten appeals to her for combining simplicity and edginess, as do the bright sculptural prints of Tsumori Chisato. “I always find something that’s kind of crazy but at the same time is wearable and really looks like me,” she says about the Paris-based designer. Whenever she’s in Los Angeles, she likes to stock up on James Perse Tshirts and real cowboy boots—she has three pairs—at her favorite emporium on Sunset.

Cotillard also has something of a hat obsession, one that dates back to the making of La Vie en Rose, for which she had to shave her eyebrows and hairline. “I looked terrible, so my hat collection increased dramatically,” she says. She favors the masculine shapes of the trilby and fedora, in which she’s often photographed while strolling with Marcel on the streets of Manhattan and which reveal that Cotillard’s most enduring fashion influence may date back to her idyllic childhood. “I love men’s hats,” she says, “because my father wears them.”

Q&A With… Marion Cotillard

Q&A With… Marion Cotillard

from (Middle East) / by James Levy

There is major Oscar buzz surrounding Marion Cotillard’s raw performance in Rust and Bone as a killer whale trainer who loses her legs. Here, the French actress talks to us about the challenges of playing the role and juggling her career and motherhood.

How did your experience on the movie influence your attitude to life and to your own body?
I always keep something from an adventure, from a story, from an encounter with a character, with a director, with other actors. The first thing is a lotof joy and then it’s kind of hard to explain what stays with me. When I talk about joy it’s this energy of when you share something and you feel that it’s deep, then it really makes you feel part of something that has a right place, you know what I mean? Also, I think an actor is kind of an anthropologist of the human soul and so the more you explore the human soul the more you learn about us. And the more you learn about something, the more respect you have – and a lot of love too. I kind of love human beings. I have say. Voila, did I answer the question?

Physically, how did you work out for the part? It must have been difficult to think of yourself as legless?
It’s actually not difficult. The complexity will be the emotion and the different layers of a character, which is very interesting of course, for an actor. Difficulties, for me, are always technical. There were no major technial difficulties with the physicality in this movie because it was imagination – a lot of imagination. It’s hard to explain, or maybe it’s just as simple as I just imagine I have no legs – which is kind of hard to explain, but simple to say.

Can you talk about the special effects? They were incredible.
Yeah, they had to be because otherwise, there is no movie. They did an amazing job. And they did an amazing job because it didn’t affect the shooting at all. I didn’t know at all what it would be – I didn’t know if I would have to walk very slowly, I didn’t know anything. The fact is, there was nothing more to do than just being on set and doing the work that we usually do – and they just took my legs off.

We know about the intensity of your acting, but the moment when you discover your legs are gone – how do you do that?
Well, it’s imagination. I don’t know.

It must be more. And how hard is it for you to play that?
That’s what I try to do. Being a character and trying to feel what a character would feel… If you fall in love, if you lose someone or lose something. I really think it’s just the imagination.

What is it like to come back to your country and your language? What difference does it make?
It’s totally different because you don’t have to think about the way you talk. You create a different way of speaking, which is why I like to create something that is different, or a lot different, or slightly different from my way of speaking, my way of moving. I like that a character will have its own way of living, but, for example, with the last movie I did I’m a Polish girl, so I had to learn Polish and some of my scenes are in Polish and also I had to have this Polish accent in English. It’s a lot of work. When I do a scene it’s like my brain has separate places for each complexity and technical difficulties. In French it’s just French – I don’t have to think about the way I have to say this word, or if it sounds French. It does! I know that it will! I know that it will sound French no matter what, no matter how I speak.

There’s this amazing shot where you’re standing in from the glass with the killer whales on the outside. How difficult was that shot?
Well, I was lucky to have a very strong connection right away with the whales and we had rehearsed this scene before, but it was not a rehearsal – the choreography was not like the show outside before the accident. The choreography was specific. Here I knew what I could do to have this conversation that was totally improvised in a way that I decided to wave and she would wave back. I decided to tickle her nose and she would make the bubbles. So it was pretty strong because you never know if she would react and she reacted to everything that I proposed her.

What was the whale’s name?
There were two whales and actually the first one was kind of mad at me and the whole crew. It was the only time I was really scared and I freaked out even though I knew the glass was totally secure. But I asked her something and because you’re in character and there’s the whole crew behind you and it’s not a usual show for her, she became mad at me and she screamed at me with her jaws open and I got really scared.

Have you gained power from injuries in your own life?
Well, I think a human being goes his way and you’re richer from your experiences. So, of course, yeah.

Let’s talk a bit about The Dark Knight Rises – what was it like working with Chris Nolan?
Oh, it was amazing. I love working with him. I loved working with him on Inception and then I was very lucky that I could work with him again. It’s actually the first time that I’ve worked with a director twice. I loved his set, even though it’s a big scale movie because it’s huge obviously, but it really stays at a human size. He’s a family guy and his set is like a family, which is kind of weird when you talk about Batman, but it’s actually true.

How do you do that logistically, working so much and being a young mum?
Well, he knew that I was a young Mom and he has four kids and they were amazing with me – they were really amazing. I cannot thank them enough to make me part of the adventure and still being entirely a Mommy.

Not many European actresses have made it in America. What do you put your success down to?
I just go where I think I belong. I’m so lucky that sometimes it’s in the US and I have the opportunity to explore a wider world. An actor is happy when you explore something that’s different each time and to get to explore Italy when I play an Italian woman, or Poland when I play a Polish woman, because then you learn about the history of the world and the history of a country. So I’m grateful to Olivier Dahan who gave me all this because of the role in La Vie en Rose. He’s the reason I’m so happy right now.

Where have you put your Oscar statue?
It’s in Paris. I’m never in Paris so it’s been a long time.

Where in Paris?
Well I’ve just moved from my apartment so it’ll be in a box somewhere.

How was it working with Jacques Audiard compared to other directors you’ve worked with?
Well it’s impossible to compare any of the directors that I’ve worked with. That’s why I had amazing experiences with all those people because they are so different, and that’s what I’m looking for. Something different each time, a different vision of life in a way. All the directors I worked with love the story they’re telling, obviously, and they love their characters but with Jacques it’s so strong the love that he has for his characters. It is so strong, that is, first of all, very inspiring and secondly, very beautiful to watch.

Finally, how was it to kiss Batman?
How was it to kiss Batman? Jeez (laughs).

Telluride 2012: Marion Cotillard Comes to Town for Career Tribute and 'Rust and Bone' Premiere

from The Hollywood Reporter / by Scott Feinberg

The actress could become only the fifth woman to earn multiple Oscar nominations for performances given in a foreign language.

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Jacques Audiard’s French-language drama Rust and Bone, which stars French Oscar winner Marion Cotillard and Belgian up-and-comer Matthias Schoenaerts, had its North American premiere Saturday night. Cotillard was in town — after taking four flights to get from Paris to Telluride — to attend not only the screening but also an intimate dinner hosted by Sony Pictures Classics (which acquired the film’s North American distribution rights months before its world premiere in Cannes back in May) as well as a career tribute given to her by the festival and moderated by THR’s film critic Todd McCarthy.

The film itself was very well received here, as it has been overseas, and I think it has a very strong shot at scoring Oscar nominations for both best foreign language film (unless France instead submits the more widely-accessible but less artistically-ambitious The Intouchables) and best actress. If it does secure a best actress slot, Cotillard, a best actress winner for 2007’s La vie en rose, would become only the fifth woman — after Isabelle Adjani, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren and Liv Ullmann — to earn multiple acting noms for performances given in a foreign language. Schoenaerts, meanwhile, deserves every bit as much attention for his brooding and brutish performance, which — like his work in last year’s Bullhead, a best foreign language Oscar nominee from Belgium — has earned him many comparisons to a young Marlon Brando. But the best actor category is jam-packed with big names this year, so he’s a long shot.

Audiard, who is best known for directing the widely-acclaimed French best foreign language Oscar nominee Un Prophet (2009), also co-wrote this film with Thomas Bidegain. It tells the story of two people, a whale trainer (Cotillard) and a frequently-unemployed single father who is staying with his sister and trying to make something of himself (Schoenaerts). They are both broken in different ways — she physically (after experiencing a terrible accident at work) and he emotionally (he vents his internal rage and pays the bills by competing in illegal bare-knuckle streetfights). They first cross paths before her accident and his streetfights; then they reunite afterwards and find that they can make each other feel a little better.

Virtually every moment of the film is visually beautiful and poetic, but the two actors each have one scene that seems to me particularly worthy of highlighting. (Spoiler alert.) For Cotillard, the moment comes early in the film, when she awakens in an empty hospital room and discovers, to her horror, that her legs have been amputated and her life will never be the same. For Schoenaerts, the wait is a bit longer, but well worth it: near the end of the film, while Schoenaerts’ character is spending time with his son and trying to prove to his sister that he is capable of being a responsible father, his son literally falls into a potentially deadly situation that requires the father to apply his physical strength for a truly important reason for perhaps the first time.

I sat next to Cotillard — who, even on no sleep, is drop-dead-gorgeous — for a chunk of the Sony Classics dinner, and we got to discussing, of all things, Ronald Reagan. I told her that I’m a lover of old movies — she said that she is, as well — and that while watching her hospital scene in Rust and Bone, I couldn’t help but think of the moment in the 1942 film King’s Row when Reagan awakens to discover that his legs have been amputated and shrieks, “Where’s the rest of me?!” Everything about that initial moment of horror — the initial look of confusion, the panicked realization, and the hysterical reaction — reminded me a lot of her scene, so I had to know if she was familiar with it and/or regarded it as an inspiration. She told that she had never heard of it before — SPC co-chief Michael Barker felt confident that Audiard had, though — and was now fascinated to check it out, so I emailed her — and am now sharing with you — a YouTube clip that includes that scene, starting at the 1:04 mark.

For my money, Cotillard’s scene — and those that follow it and show her without her legs, which were achieved using CGI techniques that required her to wear a grey sock — is every bit as good, and probably better.

'Dark Knight Rises' and 'Rust & Bone' star Marion Cotillard honored in Telluride

from / by Kristopher Tapley

TELLURIDE – Actress Marion Cotillard didn’t really explode onto the domestic film stage until “La Vie en Rose,” but what a coming out it was. She managed to win an Oscar that few (ahem) saw coming and transformed that newfound respect and goodwill into a thriving Hollywood career, but it was hardly an overnight success story.

Cotillard had already seen plenty of success in her native France before that 2007 explosion. She starred in Arnaud Desplechin’s “My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument,” Pierre Grimblat’s “Lisa” and the “Taxi” action comedy trilogy — earning plenty of recognition for each — before breaking out in Yann Samuel’s romantic comedy “Love Me If You Dare” (in which she co-starred with eventual husband Guillaume Canet) in 2003. She also eventually landed a prime role in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “A Very Long Engagement,” which brought her a César Award for Best Supporting Actress.

It was around this time that Cotillard appeared in Tim Burton’s “Big Fish,” and what an interesting director to have “discovered” her on these shores. But word gets out on talent wherever they may be on the globe, and soon enough, Cotillard was working with Abel Ferrara (“Mary”) and Ridley Scott (“A Good Year”). Then, it was “La Vie en Rose.”

Olivier Dahan’s Édith Piaf biopic was bound to be a ripe opportunity for whoever got the role, but Cotillard nailed it. It was much more than an impersonation of a larger-than-life singer. It was a brave portrayal, a fully immersive one. She went on to win the BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for Best Actress (the first winner of the latter for a foreign performance in 35 years), yet still pundits expected SAG winner Julie Christie to take the Oscar for Sarah Polley’s “Away from Her.”

That didn’t happen. Cotillard took the prize, as well as, eventually, another César — only the second person to win both awards for the same performance. She was also the first foreign performer to win the Best Actress Oscar in nearly 50 years.

Cotillard then lept out into a new phase of her career. Her next collaboration was with Michael Mann (“Public Enemies”), and it was one she relished for the director’s process of fully investigating a character’s backstory and thoroughly carving him or her out of whole cloth. She was one of the best parts of the film, which wasn’t all that well-received, and the promise was all the more clear that a star was on the rise.

She soon found roles in big ensembles of movie stars, and she seemed to fit right in: Rob Marshall’s “Nine,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” etc. The latter nailed down a nomination for Best Picture, while the very next year, she starred in another: Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.”

This year she’s already appeared in Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” (though in my opinion she was perhaps wasted in a role that had such promise but was ultimately little more than a cog in the twist-ending wheel). Yet again, she seemed at home in a blockbuster, a perfect fit as a first-timer at the end of a trilogy that was one of the biggest money-makers the industry has seen. She’s also present on the indie circuit this year in hubby Canet’s “Little White Lies.”

More importantly, though, Cotillard already dazzled audiences at Cannes with her performance in Jacques Audiard’s “Rust & Bone,” which is playing Telluride this year. The film will surely thrust her into the Best Actress conversation later this year as more and more people get a look at it.

Coming up there is James Gray’s currently untitled film (formerly known as “Lowlife”) that could be something to watch for next year, as well as a role in Canet’s “Blood Ties” (written by Gray) opposite Clive Owen, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana and James Caan, among other notables. And once again, surrounded by such firepower, she seems perfectly at home. Just five years after most of us really got a look at her, Marion Cotillard has been welcomed into a pantheon and shows no signs of letting up.

It’s a perfect time, then, for Telluride to offer up a tribute to her work. The festivities happen tonight at the Palm Theatre here in town, and I imagine she’ll likely be humoring similar this-is-your-life appreciations for years to come.

Plastic Surgery Makes Marion Cotillard Sad

from New York Magazine – The Cut / by Jada Yuan

While some women take a militant stance against Botox, 36-year-old French actress Marion Cotillard says the subject merely makes her feel blue. A self-described “injection phobic,” she’s never had any procedures done, but she won’t judge others who feel differently — well, for the most part. She sat down with us recently to discuss her latest projects, and shared a few thoughts on plastic surgery while she was at it:

I have no judgment on that subject. I just think it’s kind of sad, because it shows the fear of women. I’m a total injection freak, injection phobic. The last time I had a shot was when I went to Mali, and I had to have the shot against yellow fever. And when I have to have an injection I’m like a four-year-old, running around the room with the nurse behind me trying to catch me. So I guess I won’t have Botox or whatever you put inside yourself to look younger. But then, I mean, I don’t know. I cannot judge this fear. It just makes me sad.

On the French tradition of aging gracefully:

In France … I was at my friend’s house the other day, and all those women there, they were between 50 and 70, and they were so beautiful … Sometimes in LA or even in New York, you run into a lot of products, a lot of women filled with all those products. It’s not just about plastic surgery now, it’s about injections … and all the women look kind of the same. It just shows fear, and that makes me sad.

On getting old and wrinkly:

You know what? I’m not looking forward to it. I know that it’s going to come. Some of the women around me, they tell me it’s not fun to get old. But it’s not about your look, it’s about the fact that you can not run like you did when you were younger, or — it’s just about when your body gets tired and you don’t have the hundred percent energy sometimes. So it’s not something that I look forward to.

And this adorable quote, just for good measure:

But I have to say, since I’m a mum, I’m really looking forward to being a grandma. This is kind of my obsession right now. I hope my kids won’t wait so long, like me, to have kids, because I want to be a very healthy and young grandma. So it’s not getting old but being a grandmother … this is really something that I look forward to.

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