Category: Press

The Cinema Of My Country: Marion Cotillard on Rust and Bone

from Crave Online / by Fred Topel

The Oscar-winning actress describes her latest unexpected transformation and her earliest appearance in TV’s ‘Highlander.’

Any discussion of Rust and Bone involves a form of spoiler, but if you know anything about the movie you probably already know. We’ll give you this chance to stop reading if you really want to go in blind. Once you even know the premise of the film, you may be intrigued by star Marion Cotillard’s approach to it. She plays a whale trainer at a theme park who loses her legs in a performance accident. In the rest of the film, a womanizing underground fighter (Matthias Schoenarts) helps her adjust and begins an affair with her. We got to spend a few minutes with Cotillard in Los Angeles, where I couldn’t help but notice her legs in real life. She’d kicked off her shoes, curled up on a sofa and played with her toes while we spoke. It’s not a foot fetish, it’s a personal touch in the aftermath of a day of wardrobe changes and photo shoots. Cotillard also attended AFI Fest which showed the film and presented a tribute to her career. Rust and Bone opens in select theaters Friday.

CraveOnline: Obviously the legs transform you quite a bit, but it’s all a special effect that you may not see until later, so does that make it easier or more difficult to feel the transformation?

Marion Cotillard: Well, first of all when we did the first costume fitting, we had to try those pants that were empty of my legs and I had to fold my legs in the wheelchair. That image was so powerful that we kept it throughout the movie. And also we worked with amazing CGI guys, this team was really, really talented but also that’s what we do as an actor. We believe something and if we work hard enough and we’re lucky enough then the audience will believe it too.

The scene where you wake up in the hospital and realize what’s happened to your legs, what were your thoughts on how to play that moment?

We didn’t know. It’s something that’s really hard to imagine so we tried many versions of it and then in the editing room Jacques [Audiard] decided for this version because also, there is not only one reaction. You take four people and in that situation they will have four different reactions. So we experienced and we explored different ways to find the authenticity of this moment.

What other ways did you play?

Well, we played shocked, silent shocked like you cannot even scream, you shook almost. And we tried a very violent reaction. We tried many things and the only one that stays actually stays.

Were the love scenes in this film like no other you’ve ever filmed?

Yes. I usually hate doing love scenes. I’m very uncomfortable but this one was very different because the sexuality of those two people is really part of the movie and also I happened to be so happy for her. That was almost something that I was giving to my character and I had to enjoy it because it’s something so powerful that happens in her life at that moment.

And she would continue this arrangement as long as it’s exclusive right? She’s not pushing for a relationship, she just wants “this” to be exclusive.

I don’t know if it’s about exclusivity. I think it’s about being respectful and the relationship with Alain starts with Alain looking at her as a human being in the most simple way and without pity, without anything but simplicity. That’s what creates a very strong connection between both of them, but he looks at her as a human being but not as a woman yet. That’s what she can teach him.

I first saw you in the movie Love Me If You Dare before I knew anything about you. I understand that became an important film for you personally, was it an important film for you professionally?

Yeah, I had always wanted to do a romantic comedy and that was a very special romantic comedy, crazy, crazy romantic comedy and I loved the screenplay and so wanted to do this movie. It took forever for the director to tell me that I was the one he had chosen and it was kind of hell to wait that long but yeah, I loved doing it.

It goes quite dark too, for a romantic comedy, doesn’t it?

Yeah, that’s why I loved it. It was not like a sweet romantic comedy. It was really dark.

One of your first jobs was an episode of “Highlander: The Series.” Was that a good experience?

That was an amazing experience. All the first experiences that I had, even sometimes [when] it was not exactly what I wanted to do, but it still was an experience as an actress and I was living from my passion.

Here we see actors like Brad Pitt and other really big stars on American shows like “21 Jump Street” before they were famous. Was “Highlander” like that where they were looking for European actors?

Well, yeah, because they were shooting in France so that’s why I ended up doing this episode.

How were your experiences on the Taxi films?

That was totally different. That was comedy and I didn’t feel very comfortable because I had no experience at that time. I would do it totally differently now but that’s an amazing experience for me because that allowed me to meet a huge audience and we had a lot of fun doing it too.

What did you think of the American remake?

I haven’t seen it.

How does that feel to have an AFI retrospective at this point?

I don’t really know. I’m just really happy to share this movie with the American audience because I’m very proud of it and I love French cinema. I’m always very happy to share the cinema of my country which is full of diversity and creativity.

Did winning the Oscar have different impacts in Europe and Hollywood?

I don’t know. It was different because I was known for my work in France before the Oscar and I was not known for my work here. It opened doors of the American cinema and I would have never thought that I would work here one day, but it makes me very happy.

"Rust and Bone's" Marion Cotillard on Blockbusters vs. Independents and the Role of Marine Parks

from NBC / by Scott Huver

The actress turns in another award-attracting performance, this time in her native language.

No matter what language she’s speaking, Marion Cotillard is utterly fluent in fine acting.

The 37-year-old French stunner took home an Academy Award as Best Actress for her immersive performance as singer Edith Piaf in 2007’s “La Vie en Rose” and has crafted an impressive list of Hollywood credentials in the aftermath, most notably working with director Christopher Nolan in “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Cotillard returns to performing in her native language with the unpredictable drama “Rust and Bone,” playing a whale trainer whose life is upended after a shocking accident, placing her on a journey of redefinition alongside an unlikely potential soul mate (Matthias Schoenarts).

Already topping many critics’ lists as a leading contender to take home another Oscar trophy, Cotillard provides a look into how she crafted her performance.

On delving into her complicated character:

What was different from the other thing I did before was that when I read the script, even at the end of it, Stephanie was still a mystery. And that was a mystery that [director] Jacques Audiard and I needed to solve. But I also found out that, usually when I work, I need to explore every bit of a character. I need to know who this person is entirely, and I realize that that mystery that she was not to be solved entirely because it was part of who she is. When we started working, before we started shooting, and even when we started shooting, Stephanie was a big mystery and we tried many things. And that one day, Jacques told me, ‘Yeah, I know now: she’s a cowboy.’ I thought it was kind of genius, and from there everything found its place. At the end of it, I didn’t expect to be so moved by her. She turned anger into power. That’s a cowboy thing, right?

On playing scenes in which her character’s lost limbs are exposed:

The physicality was never an issue. First of all, the CGI guys were really talented. They went really fast. They were very discrete on set when they were with us every day. But the fact that I actually have legs never got in our way. It was never an issue. Basically, it’s very technical: I wore green socks and they [digitally] erased my legs, so we had funny moments because I had to put my legs in this certain position so I would not cast some shadows on Matthias’ back, for example, in some scenes. So we actually had fun doing it.

On the most challenging physical demand of the role:

I had to swim in the sea – it was freezing, it was late October and I got bit by a jellyfish. The camera was not working and I knew that if I would go back on the boat, it would take longer, so I stayed in the water with the jellyfish biting me. And man, it burns! And I didn’t allow anyone to pee on myself.

On the most challenging mental demand:

What was the most difficult for me was to go to Marineland, because I don’t feel comfortable in a place like this. And I needed to consider the animals as an actual animal and not as something that was turned from an animal into a clown or something, an animal who does a flip-flop when you ask the Orca to do it.

And the first day, I thought it was kind of horrifying, when I would ask them to do something and they would actually do it. And I thought the connection was easy to have because I would give them some fish, and they would do whatever I wanted them to do, if I did the correct gesture. But then on the second day, I had this rehearsal for the scene behind the glass, and that was not choreographed like the show is. And that was basically improvisation with the gesture that I knew, and that day, I had a real communication with the whale, and that changed everything for me.

On facing her own strong personal feelings about aquatic theme parks:

On my first day, I arrived five minutes before the show and I watched it. And I thought it was horrifying. And my trainer turned to me after the show and said, ‘Did you like it?’ And I thought, ‘Okay – What am I going to answer? Am I going to lie? Am I going to tell the truth?’ I couldn’t lie, and I said, ‘Well, no – I hated it. But I don’t want you to think I’m disrespectful.’ Those people, they have a passion. They’re passionate about what they do. They love the animals, so they made my job easy because passion is contagious.

I will never go back to Marineland. This is an open question because some people’s children won’t ever have the possibility, because of money, to go and see the whales in their environment, and sometimes it can raise an awareness and the desire to save those animals. But then again, I have this example and maybe it’s silly, but I remember when ‘Finding Nemo’ came out. This is a story about not taking those fish out of their environment, and there was an explosion of sales of clownfish after this movie. And that was something that I really couldn’t understand because the story of that movie is telling the opposite: DON’T take them out to put them in an aquarium. And that’s exactly what happened. So sometimes, I don’t know – I’m really wondering if those Sea World, Marineland, however you call them, really make a difference.

On tackling the role after just becoming a new mother:

I usually never talk about my personal life, but my personal life was totally stuck to this project because, yes, I had my baby with me. And he was very, very young, and all the crew was really amazing with me because it was not easy – neither for me nor for everybody!

On moving between smaller-scale films and big-budget blockbusters:

I feel very lucky that I can travel from one very special universe to another very special universe. My experience in Hollywood with the big blockbuster, though, is very special too, because it’s a blockbuster directed, written, produced by Christopher Nolan, who’s not a studio director. I had some propositions of big movies, and I met the director, and I thought, ‘This guy is just here because they need a director, but it’s not the most important thing in his life to tell this story.’ I need to work with directors who have the need to tell a story – and Christopher Nolan is definitely a director who needs to tell stories.

Wrestling a New Role Into Its Full Rebirth

Wrestling a New Role Into Its Full Rebirth

from The New York Times / by Kristin Hohenadel
By KRISTIN HOHENADEL
MARION COTILLARD was barefaced and sleepy eyed. “I just woke up,” she said, and did not quite stifle a yawn as she ordered room-temperature still water in a restaurant across from Central Park.

Marion Cotillard in her Oscar-winning role as Édith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose.” She said she had trouble shaking the part for months afterward, because she had so inhabited the role.

Dressed in pale-gray jeans, hands with chipped navy-blue-painted nails the only evidence of her otherwise cashmere-swaddled upper body, this 37-year-old French actress had been on something of an American journey. Her flight from Los Angeles had been diverted to Detroit the night before thanks to a northeaster. And upon landing in New York she made a beeline for Shake Shack, devoured two burgers and promptly took a nap that had made her slightly late for a conversation about her latest film, “Rust and Bone,” being released Friday by Sony Pictures Classics. Co-written and directed by the French auteur Jacques Audiard, it also stars the up-and-coming Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts.

After winning an Oscar for her role as Édith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose” in 2007 (the first Academy Award for a French-language performance), Ms. Cotillard has been catapulted into mainstream American moviegoing consciousness with turns in films like Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” and the latest Batman installment, “The Dark Knight Rises,” while retaining her art-house cred in Europe. She has caught the eye of the fashion crowd with Vogue covers, red-carpet appearances and a Lady Dior campaign, and in France she and her partner, the actor and director Guillaume Canet, are often referred to as a Gallic Brangelina. But she went unnoticed in the crowded Manhattan restaurant.

“Rust and Bone” was a critical and box office success in France and is already earning Oscar buzz for Ms. Cotillard. In the film she plays Stéphanie, an angry, inscrutable orca trainer at Marineland in Antibes, France, who loses both her legs from the knees down in a freak accident with one of the killer whales, a tragedy that transforms her from the outside in, as she becomes deeply involved with a struggling single father and former boxer named Ali (Mr. Schoenaerts). Mr. Audiard, who adapted the screenplay with Thomas Bidegain by combining stories in a collection by the Canadian writer Craig Davidson, has made an over-the-top-sounding tale into an understated meditation on the happiness that comes from opening yourself to love.

After seeing the film at the Cannes Film Festival, Manohla Dargis wrote in The New York Times that “the movie worked me over, then won me over.”

Learning how to move her body to make the amputation look convincing ended up being the least challenging physical aspect of preparing for the role, Ms. Cotillard said. She took swimming lessons to strengthen her technique during breaks in filming “The Dark Knight Rises” in Pittsburgh and spent a week at Marineland learning how to direct the whales. But she only briefly watched videos of amputees to figure out how to move her limbs. It helped that they were seamlessly altered using digital technology. (She wore green knee socks during the shoot.)

“I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t really need to watch those videos because it suddenly happened to my character that she lost her legs, and she learns in the moment how to live with that,” she said, speaking in French. “I put myself in the skin of someone without legs, and suddenly I totally forgot the lower part of my legs.”

For the filmmakers it wasn’t important to capture what an amputee might look like as if they were shooting a documentary. Ms. Cotillard chose to use a cane after her character is fitted with prosthetic legs, for example, something a real-life amputee might have no need for, but which was a visual cue to remind the audience of her condition.

But it turned out that for Ms. Cotillard the bigger challenge was putting herself into the emotionally groundless state that Stéphanie initially finds herself in.

“In the beginning of the film she is empty, she doesn’t know who she is or why she’s alive,” Ms. Cotillard said. “She is numb.” She added later: “It’s as if she were drugged. I have never experimented with hard drugs, but I’ve been at certain moments of my life in a state of shock close to something where you lose your footing, your sense of reality. I think that’s the gift of the actor, the ability to put ourselves in a state.”

Mr. Audiard said by phone that he knew after seeing “La Vie en Rose” that he would work with Ms. Cotillard one day.

“What touched me about her was her capacity to forget herself,” he said, “to really compose a character.”

Ms. Cotillard said, “I adore my own life, more and more I love being myself, but I love this work of totally changing personalities, of creating someone radically different from myself.”

But she said she was no longer the person who was haunted by Édith Piaf for eight months after shooting stopped. “I want to go profoundly into my roles,” she said. “If not, what’s the point? But I don’t think that will happen to me again. My life has changed. In a totally organic manner, when I went home to the hotel after shooting ‘Rust and Bone,’ I had my baby, and suddenly the separation between my life on set and off the set was very easy to make. Because at the time he was about 5 months old, he was a tiny little baby who needed me entirely, not me and my work.”

Nevertheless, “I think Stéphanie has moved me more than any character I’ve ever played,” she said. “She rediscovers the carnal, sexuality, love. Everything is very positive in the tragedy she faces.”

Mr. Audiard said that Ms. Cotillard’s schedule didn’t allow much time for them to consult before shooting, so he did more takes than usual. “She had worked on the character herself, and it was new for me to be confronted with the ideas of an actor without having participated,” he said.

To find the right emotional pitch, they did eight takes of the scene in which she wakes up in the hospital. “It seemed to me that Marion had a very, very tragic take on the character in the beginning,” Mr. Audiard said. “But she reminds me of a silent film actress. She is very, very expressive. The dialogue becomes secondary. We can almost do without it.”

Mr. Schoenaerts said by phone: “I saw her looking for how can I make this scene better, in every scene. She constantly questions herself to get the best of herself and knows how to be in the here and now, which is a very vulnerable state of being.”

Though the film includes sex scenes made vivid by Stéphanie’s altered anatomy, Ms. Cotillard said that it wasn’t those sequences that made her feel the nakedness of the part. “Her accident is the beginning of a rebirth,” she said, “and I had in my head during all those scenes that this was the birth of a little baby.”

Ms. Cotillard said that Mr. Audiard’s working method kept the co-stars alert.

“Once he stopped a scene and said: ‘How dramatic are you? Dramatic, dramatic, dramatic! It’s boring!’ ” she recalled. “We laughed, and it could seem a bit rude, but he was right. We were happy to have someone with that kind of genius to help us avoid going in the direction of things that are perhaps realistic but are not at all cinematic. And that’s why he’s a great director.”

She said that he often had them shooting scenes that weren’t in the original script or trying radically opposed interpretations of the same scene, experimentation that she was happy to embrace. “I love the possibility of finding a moment that will be more than authentic,” she said, “that will have a bit of magic and poetry.”

After a busy year Ms. Cotillard said she had no projects planned until next summer, though she isn’t ruling anything out. “I feel less like I have something to prove, but I still have things to prove to myself,” she said. “I’d love to do a comedy, for example. There are still plenty of risks to take. But I don’t know if I’ll be an actress my whole life. Nothing can ever be taken for granted in this métier. It makes you very exposed and that can be violent. I’m strong but also fragile, and sometimes it’s not easy to be exposed to judgment, and to play with your emotions, to go searching inside yourself to make yourself naked to the world.”

Marion Cotillard, Jacques Audiard discuss ‘Rust and Bone’, orca training, trusting existence

from Hypable / by James Bean

Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard has become one of the most coveted names in Hollywood, due in part to her natural beauty and intrigue, but mostly because of her so-good-that-it’s-not-even-fair-to-other-actresses level of natural talent.

Cotillard has earned a reputation for choosing her roles carefully, so any project lucky enough to earn the right to plaster her name on the poster normally carries a certain amount of artistic merit, including but not limited to her beloved independent pieces as well as summer blockbusters like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises.

Her latest title, Rust and Bone saw a French release back in May and it will gain more screens in major American cities this month. The film follows a struggling father, Alain, as he falls into a kinda-sorta relationship with the recently injured (and very complicated) Stephanie (Marion Cotillard).

Cotillard acknowledged in a recent press event with Hypable that the enigma that is Stephanie was what drew her into the production in the first place. “When I read the script, even at the end, Stephanie was still a mystery,” said Cotillard.

For those unfamiliar with Stephanie’s tragedy, early on in the film she loses both of her legs to a terrible orca incident. The challenge of internalizing the trauma of losing limbs proved to be less about the physical and more the emotional impact. “I cannot compare my personal struggle to someone who has lost their legs,” said Cotillard.

Instead of making Stephanie’s struggle about how to physically carry on without legs, Cotillard chose instead to rely on her parent’s wisdom to help her come to understand what Stephanie could be going through. “The value my parents gave me is this: I trust existence.”

Marion began her process by setting out to understand Stephanie, who after her accident adorns her thighs with tattoos that read “love” and “hate”.

“I need to know who this person is entirely,” said Cotillard. “I never really see a challenge, it’s the exploration of the story.” After days and days of exploring the labyrinth of Stephanie’s mind, her director, Jacques Audiard, suggested that she was some kind of cowboy.

“I loved that,” said Cotillard. “She’s a cowboy. She turned anger into power. That’s a cowboy thing, right?”

Interestingly enough, replicating the anguish suffered by someone who has just lost their legs wasn’t the most difficult part of the filming of Rust and Bone for Marion Cotillard.

“The most difficult for me was in Marineland,” said Cotillard. “I didn’t feel comfortable. I needed to see the animal as an animal, not as a clown.”

Cotillard has long been an advocate of not identifying orcas as “killer whales”, and more recently, coming forward to express her disgust for holding whales in captivity and making them perform tricks.

During the press event, Cotillard noted that it’s very strange for her to see films like Finding Nemo, the message of which protests the idea of removing marine-life from their natural environment, only to see sales of clownfish skyrocket in the following weeks.

Audiard, who decided to use actual show-whales for the film, has a very different outlook on how the whales are mistreated in their staged environment.

“Katy Perry is the actual music of the show,” said Audiard, referring to the whale show that functions as the catalyst for Stephanie’s accident. “And the whales had to listen to Katy Perry over and over again all day. It was cruel.”

Fans of the original Rust and Bone short story will be hard-pressed to find Cotillard’s character, mainly because she doesn’t make an appearance in the film’s ink and paper twin. “What came first was the desire to tell a love story,” said Audiard. “It was only after that I read the short story; we piled the desire to tell a love story on top of it.”

Being an avid lover of the ocean, Cotillard’s character discovers a yearning to return to the water after her accident. This gave the production the legitimate challenge of making Cotillard really seem legless, even in a watery environment.

Although trying to swim without using her legs proved to be a very technical process, it wasn’t what halted filming.

The problem had more to do with the post-production lackeys and how Audiard’s would handle the filming, not how Cotillard inhabited the character. “The fact that I have legs never got in the way, said Cotillard. “I wore green socks and they took my legs away.”

The movie-magic aspect of removing her legs wasn’t what posed a challenge, it was filming the scene and keeping Cotillard in the water for long periods of time that gave the production crew their biggest problem.

“The water was freezing. It was November. A jellyfish bit me and the camera wasn’t working. So I stayed in the water with the jellyfish. It burned! I did not let anyone pee on me.”

Although Marion Cotillard doesn’t typically discuss her family life, she did reveal that she brought her newborn son to film with her in order to remain close. Marcel doesn’t make a cameo appearance in the film, and it’s probably for the best since Rust and Bone tackles how family ties are stretched, or even broken.

“The hardest moment is when he [Alain] beats his child. It was very hard,” said Audiard. “The child started crying, because he had developed a relationship with Matthias.”

Rust and Bone explores virtually every type of relationship that a person can experience, and how different people react when tragedy is thrust upon them. More than anything, it highlights the need to protect, the will to provide for, and the desire to love people that we consider family. It’s not a feel-good film by any stretch, but it is a feel-something film.

Rust and Bone will hit American theaters later this month and will continue to add screens through the end of the year.

Cotillard the conqueror takes on Hollywood

from Belfast Newsletter (UK) / by Shereen Low

Growing up, Marion Cotillard thought breaking into Hollywood was a far-fetched dream. Being an actress is magical, though, she tells SHEREEN LOW

Marion Cotillard has had the life most actresses can only dream of.

NOT only has she successfully conquered Hollywood, she’s made history as the first – and so far only – winner of a best actress Academy Award for a performance primarily in French, her native language, for her mesmerising turn as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose.

The 37-year-old has worked with top filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan (twice), Tim Burton, Michael Mann and Rob Marshall, and kissed Hollywood hunks like Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Not bad for someone who describes herself as “this girl from the French Bronx”.

Looking effortlessly chic in a black lace top, satin trousers and emerald green heels, Cotillard, who is stunningly beautiful in person, is in London to discuss her latest role in Jacques Audiard’s French drama Rust And Bone, which screened at the 56th BFI London Film Festival, following its premiere at Cannes in May.

The daughter of a theatre director father and actress mother, Cotillard “always wanted to be an actress”, but admits she thought Hollywood was out of reach.

The fact she’s been able to work in her home country and in the US is an even bigger bonus.

“I’m very happy and feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work in two countries that really built my desire to be an actress,” she explains.

The last time she was in London was for the star-studded premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, where she walked the red carpet alongside co-stars Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

“A French actress being in a Batman movie, I never expected it,” says Cotillard.

“This is a dream you cannot have. When I was a kid, I watched a lot of American movies and even though I never thought I would have the opportunity to work in the US, the movies are part of my culture so I feel blessed.”

While Rust And Bone is a vastly different production from Nolan’s Batman follow-up, she’s proud to be involved, labelling two-time Cesar Award winner Audiard a “genius”.

“I really wanted to work with Jacques and when I got the call that he wanted to meet with me, I totally went crazy,” she recalls.

“When I read the script, I realised it was something I had never done before. I don’t tell many love stories and this one is very unusual. I totally fell in love with all the characters.”

Cotillard’s character is Stephanie, a whale trainer who loses her legs following a workplace accident. The film charts her journey as she learns to live as a paraplegic, with the help of Ali, a drifter and father-of-one, played by Matthias Schoenaerts.

“I didn’t do any research about what it is to have lost a part of your body, because what was very important for me was that what she gained after the accident was much more than what she’d lost,” she explains.

She did research orcas, though.

“I didn’t know many things about orca whales, so I looked at a lot of footage and images of them,” she says. “I got to have a strong connection with them, even though I’m not very comfortable being in an environment where the animals are kept in captivity.

“There is something very special because they are gigantic, beautiful and still wild. That was my biggest fear actually.

“I didn’t fear the animals, but the environment they are in. These big, magnificent animals in a swimming pool doesn’t make any sense for me.”

Cotillard had no qualms about playing a paraplegic: “I never see a role as a challenge. It was powerful, one of the most powerful roles I’ve had.

“You learn a little more about the human soul with each movie you do, each character you take and each person you try to understand.”

As for the CGI wizards who made her legs disappear on screen, she says: “We were lucky to work with amazing people – the special effects people were very talented, very discreet and very fast. So the fact that I had legs never was an issue.

“We had this first image one day when I was doing fittings, and I sat in the wheelchair with my legs folded and we had this image that was very strong and powerful, and that told us that it would work.”

Having shared screen time with Tinseltown’s finest, how did her Belgian co-star Schoenaerts compare?

“You know sometimes you meet someone and you feel like you’ve known them for a long time? It really happened with him,” she says, her face lighting up.

“He’s an amazing actor. I expected Jacques to choose an amazing actor but when we did our first reading, it was beyond my expectations.

“I really admire Matthias as a man and as an actor. He’s everything I love about an actor and a beautiful person.”

Cotillard’s performance has already garnered some early Oscar buzz, but she would rather “stay away” from awards talk.

“It makes me very happy that people like the movie and what I did in it – that is what’s important,” she says. “Awards are something you have to enjoy when people want to celebrate what you did, but the expectation is not part of my way of living.”

Off-screen, Cotillard prefers to maintain a “simple” lifestyle with director partner Guillaume Canet, whom she starred with in 2003’s romantic comedy film Love Me If You Dare, and their one-year-old son Marcel.

The family, who are often pictured together, have split their time living in the US and France for the past couple of years.

Cotillard admits that being a mother has made her more aware of not taking her work home with her, but she’s still in love with her career.

“Every day is still magical,” she says.

“When it becomes like, ‘Oh yeah, well it’s just another day’, I think I would do something else.

“This job has to stay magical.”

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