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Nov 2012
English Press  •  By  •  0 Comments

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.

Nov 2012
Gallery Updates  •  By  •  2 Comments

As we posted about before, Marion is on the cover of the December issue of UK Harper’s Bazaar magazine, and last weekend I uploaded digital scans from the magazine to our Gallery. As well as the gorgeous new photoshoot and interview, the magazine also includes two new Dior adverts.

Digital scans are never the best of quality, but I think Mia intends to replace them with exclusive original scans when she is able to get a copy of the magazine herself. Until then, enjoy these:

018 Scans from 2012 > Harper’s Bazaar (UK) – December

Nov 2012
Gallery Updates, Other Work, Video updates  •  By  •  0 Comments

Joan at the Stake – With Marion Cotillard on medici.tv.

If you missed yesterday’s webcast on medici.tv of Honegger’s oratorio ‘Joan at the Stake‘ (Jeanne au bûcher) starring Marion Cotillard live from Barcelona you have still 90 days to watch it in delayed streaming on their website or here (see video above). It’s truly an amazing work, brought to life perfectly by the many musicians, choirs and the main reciters, especially Marion Cotillard. As Joan of Arc she was both powerful and vulnerable. From the first moment she makes you feel what she’s going through. And by the end you’re crying with her. It’s only when the applause starts that you can observe her waking from being Joan and becoming Marion again. The applause lasted for 10 minutes and Marion & the other leads came back on stage 3 times.

I added screencaps & a still:

517 Other Work > Theatre > Jeanne au bûcher – 2012

Nov 2012
English Press  •  By  •  0 Comments

from The New York Times / 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.”

Nov 2012
Fans, Gallery Updates, News & Rumours, Press Updates, Video updates  •  By  •  4 Comments

In just over 21 hours medici.tv will broadcast Marion Cotillard’s performance in Arthur Honegger’s oratorio Jeanne au bûcher (Joan at the Stake). It’s a free event and only requires you to sign in. Be sure to register now (for free) and bookmark their website! It starts at 7pm Barcelona time – there’s a countdown on the website that should help you figure out when to log on.

Already on Monday, Marion Cotillard arrived in Barcelona, Spain, and met with conductor Marc Soustrot. Tuesday morning, she talked to the local press and then met with the orchestra and started rehearsals.

Marion Cotillard, passion on stage, La Vanguardia, November 9, 2012
This is actually only a Google translation. At some points it’s not making much sense. But it’s a very interesting read. She talks about the oratorio, performing it back in 2005 and how the last 2 times there were plans to reprise the role it didn’t work out (there are many people involved and it costs a lot of money). She also talked about money and art:

Do you know that in Spain the Government believes that the theater, music and film are not culture but entertainment?
It is very dangerous to make this consideration, it kills art and forces you to work with productivity in mind. Art is not profitable, but much more importantly, a way of life and expression that is a treasure.

And in France cut subsidies to culture …
There will always be artists who find ways to express themselves and to share with the audience. Sometimes crises renew art, I don’t see that lack of money from our government can kill our culture. I don’t think that an artist can’t speak without money. They always find other ways. Even in the worst financial crisis, art and culture never perish.

Marion Cotillard talking about Jeanne au bûcher on Radio Catalan RAC1, on November 13, 2012
[audio:http://marion-cotillard.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/2012-11-13-RAC1-11h.mp3|titles=El món on RAC1 (November 13, 2012)]

149 News Segments > 8 al dia (8tv) – 13/11/2012

001 News Segments > 8 al dia (edited video, watch full video here)