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Nov 2012
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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
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In just over 21 hours 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:|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)

Nov 2012
Gallery Updates, Press Updates, Video updates  •  By  •  1 Comment

Wow! Marion Cotillard is on the cover of the December issue of W Magazine! Check out the portraits, article & video. I’ll be adding scans later this month.

Red Hot: Marion Cotillard

001 Scans from 2012 > W Magazine (US) – December
007 Sessions from 2012 > W Magazine
189 Behind the Scenes > 2012 – W Magazine

001 Magazines, Photoshoots > Lynn Hirschberg

Nov 2012
English Press  •  By  •  0 Comments

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.

Nov 2012
Gallery Updates, Video updates  •  By  •  1 Comment

Young Hollywood uploaded the video of when Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts visited them to promote Rust and Bone and talked about their favourite American things. Enjoy!

Gallery: 117 Talk Shows > Young Hollywood Studio – 2012
Video: 001 Talk Shows > Young Hollywood