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Oct 2012
English Press  •  By  •  0 Comments

from The Wall Street Journal / by Lanie Goodman

When French actress Marion Cotillard arrived on the Côte d’Azur last October to star in Jacques Audiard’s gritty emotional drama “Rust and Bone” (“De Rouille et de l’Os”), she knew it wouldn’t be an easy shoot.

For one, she was fighting jet lag, having flown in straight from the Hollywood set of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” with her 5-month-old baby, Marcel, in tow. To prepare for her role as Stephanie, a French Marineland water-park whale trainer, she had only one week to master a few convincing tricks with the orcas. She would have to learn to swim without using her legs in the chilly Mediterranean and practice getting around in a wheelchair. The 37-year-old actress, one of the faces of Lady Dior, was also prepared for relentless close-ups without makeup in the glaring light of an Antibes beach.

But then, glamour isn’t everything. Ms. Cotillard’s moving, Oscar-winning performance as the struggling street singer Edith Piaf in Olivier Dahan’s 2007 biopic “La vie en rose” catapulted her into the international spotlight, revealing the actress’s ability to internalize the most somber depths of a character in all her frailty.

“I knew in advance why I was choosing Marion,” says Mr. Audiard (“The Beat That My Heart Skipped,” 2005, “A Prophet,” 2009), adding that he was “blown away” by her portrayal of Piaf and had been waiting for a chance to work with her ever since.

Like Mr. Audiard’s previous titles, “Rust and Bone” combines taut elliptic storytelling with an unvarnished attention to detail. The subject, an unlikely love affair, tells the story of two contrasting solitary characters thrown together by a harsh twist of fate.

Loosely adapted from a story by Canadian writer Craig Davidson, “Rust and Bone” opens with Ali, played by Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, who is homeless, broke and suddenly finds himself in custody of his 5-year-old son. Working as a bouncer in an Antibes nightclub, he rescues Stephanie (Ms. Cotillard), from a drunken altercation. Stephanie takes his phone number but is put off by Ali’s blunt compliments. But after a terrible accident at Marineland during which she loses both legs, she decides to give Ali a call. He takes her on outings to the beach, wordlessly carrying her on his shoulders to the sea.

The raw physicality of their relationship is rejuvenation for Stephanie, who rediscovers the pleasure of swimming and eventually, sex. Likewise, she becomes supportive of Ali’s brutal bare-knuckle fighting, an illegal sport but a quick way of earning wads of cash.

“The special effects had to be incredible in the film, but it didn’t affect the shooting. We just did the work we usually do, and CGI took my legs off,” says Ms. Cotillard. “What was complex about the part was understanding Stephanie’s emotions—all the different layers. I imagined how she would react to events, to life, to love. And to put it simply, I just imagined that I had no legs. For me, difficulties are always technical ones, and there weren’t any in this movie.” The actress speaks slowly, choosing her words in English with an ever-so-slight accent that no longer sounds French.

However, filming on location at Marineland was sometimes complicated, Ms. Cotillard says, recalling a moment of panic on set. “The first whale went kind of mad during the rehearsal, since it wasn’t her usual show. She screamed at me with her jaws really wide open. It was the only time I really freaked out, even though I knew the glass was secure and the crew was right behind me.

“I was lucky to have a really strong connection right away with the second whale,” she adds. “I had to find an improvisation between her and me. I’d wave, and she’d wave back—I’d tickle her nose and she would make bubbles. You never really know how they’re going to react.”

Mr. Audiard notes: “Killer whales are very dangerous animals, and Marion is very brave. She has a tomboyish quality about her, she’s got guts.

“During the entire shoot, I had to pinch myself and say, ‘she has no legs’, since she was wearing green tights,” the director continues. “But Marion never forgot it. As a result, even the erotic dimension of the love scenes were of a different nature. The first time that Stephanie takes off her clothes, she is terrified to give herself to someone. She’s more than naked at that moment.”

Though Mr. Audiard’s dramatic approach is emotionally charged, he also encourages his actors to exercise restraint, shying away from any hint of pathos. “In one scene, we did about 10 takes because Marion was playing the role full on, as if she were an actress in a Tod Browning film,” says the director. “I told her to slow down.”

Slowing down doesn’t seem to come naturally. After winning the Oscar, scripts were thrown at her feet like bouquets of roses. The actress—who had previously worked with Tim Burton and Ridley Scott—went on to star in films by some of the most prominent American directors, from Michael Mann (“Public Enemies,” 2009), Rob Marshall (“Nine,” 2009) and Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” 2010, “The Dark Knight Rises,” 2012) to Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris,” 2011) and Steven Soderbergh (“Contagion,” 2011).

In between her U.S. commitments, Ms. Cotillard also took part in a French ensemble piece, “Little White Lies” (2010), the third feature film directed by her boyfriend, French actor Guillaume Canet, who is the father of their son.

Born in the modest suburbs of Paris, Ms. Cotillard acquired her passion for acting from her parents, who were both working in the theater. The family later moved to Beauce, a town near Orléans in North-Central France, where her father, Jean-Claude Cotillard, a director and mime, founded his own company. Ms. Cotillard attended the Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique in Orléans until 1994, then headed back to Paris, where she landed her first part as a student in the 1996 film “My Sex Life…or How I Got Into an Argument” by French director Arnaud Desplechin.

These days, after “a crazy, crazy year” that included giving birth in May and shooting three films back-to-back, Ms. Cotillard says she is learning to juggle the demands of young motherhood while working hard.

“When I did ‘La vie en rose,’ I’d often stay with Edith Piaf and not go back to myself because it was a long way to get there every day—it was too emotionally difficult,” she recalls. “With ‘Rust and Bone,’ the character of Stephanie was also intense, but most of the time my son was on set because he needed me. So I would go back and forth.”

Ms. Cotillard says that she also enjoyed playing Miranda Tate in “The Dark Knight Rises,” the seductive wealthy businesswoman whose lofty ecological projects and femme-fatale looks jump-start reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne back into superhero action.

“I loved working again with Christopher,” the actress says. “He’s a family guy—he’s got four kids himself—and his set is like a family, which may sound weird for a big-budget cult movie like ‘Batman,’ but it’s true.”

For her role in director James Gray’s forthcoming period piece, “Nightingale,” written with her in mind, Ms. Cotillard immersed herself in the Polish language and culture. Set in 1920s Manhattan, she plays a newly arrived, guileless Polish immigrant alongside co-star Joaquin Phoenix, a shady character who forces her into prostitution so she can pay for her sick sister’s care.

“Some of my scenes are in Polish and I also had to have a Polish accent in English. It was a lot of work,” she says.

Mr. Gray also recently teamed up with Guillaume Canet to co-write the screenplay of the coming thriller “Blood Ties,” set in 1970s Brooklyn, a remake of the 2008 French film, “Les Liens de Sang.” Mr. Canet directs a cast that includes Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, James Caan, Mila Kunis, “Rust” star Matthias Schoenaerts and, unsurprisingly, Marion Cotillard.

“I always keep something from an encounter with a director,” the actress muses. “The first thing I keep is a lot of joy…and then, it’s hard to explain what else stays with me. You share something that is deep and has found its right place.” She pauses and adds, “An actor is a kind of anthropologist of the human soul. The more you explore, the more you learn.”

Oct 2012
Awards, Movies, News & Rumours  •  By  •  4 Comments

The American Film Institute has announced the Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings for its annual festival, which will take place from Nov. 1 through 8 in Hollywood, California.

Rust & Bone‘ (De rouille et d’os) is one of the Centerpiece Galas – and it will be featuring A Tribute to Marion Cotillard. Congratulations! It is scheduled for Monday, November 5, 7:30 p.m., at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

• Source: Movieline.com

P.S: I have listed some of the upcoming events in the sidebar so you can keep up with Marion’s busy schedule.

Oct 2012
Awards, News & Rumours  •  By  •  0 Comments

Congratulations! Variety reports that Marion Cotillard will receive a career tribute during the 22nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards ceremony held on November 26 at Cipriani Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. Other tributes will go to Matt Damon, director David O Russell and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll. The ceremony will also award winners in seven competish categories including feature, documentary, breakthrough director and actor, and ensemble.

Joana Vicente, Executive Director of the Independent Film Project, which run the Gotham Awards, is quoted as saying:

It is with pride and great pleasure that we give tribute to these luminaries, each of whom plays an amazing role in expanding the language of film, breaking boundaries along the way. Each has a unique voice and clearly defined vision of cinema for the current generation, bringing perspective and relevance to the film world today (Source).

Marion Cotillard is not only a delight to watch, she is one of the most talented women working in cinema around the world today. Her acting choices are always challenging and rewarding, and her performances show that she is a truly skilled artist, totally dedicated to her craft. We are so honored to present this Tribute to a woman of her magnitude (Source).

Oct 2012
Gallery Updates, Movies, News & Rumours  •  By  •  0 Comments

Le Monde featured an article about James Gray’s upcoming movie starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in their magazine M this past weekend. I added digital scans (sorry for the somewhat poor quality). It featured new stills from the movie. It looks so exciting and I can’t wait to see the it. Apparently, the audience at a masterclass during the Zurich Film Festival last month – held by the movie’s producer Greg Shapiro – were also treated to some footage from the movie (Screendaily.com). However, it will probably be released next spring (Bluewin), so we have to be patient.

004 Movies > Nightingale – 2012 > Stills
004 Magazine Scans > Scans from 2012 > M Le magazine du Monde (France) – October 6

Oct 2012
English Press  •  By  •  0 Comments

from Film3Sixty Magazine (UK) / by Matt Mueller

Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts reflect on their roles in Rust And Bone, a powerful tale of flesh, blood and love…

Director Jacques Audiard always knew that he would make Rust And Bone with Marion Cotillard, or no one. “In her personality and in her expression, she’s this perfect mix of masculine and feminine,” explains the French filmmaker. “I first noticed it in La Vie En Rose. There were moments in that film where she was almost transcendent and would reveal the male part of her personality. I always hoped our paths would cross.”

Cotillard was equally thrilled at the prospect of working with Audiard, besotted by his earlier “poetic” visions The Beat That My Heart Skipped and A Prophet. In the director’s new dark fairy-tale, the actress plays Stéphanie, a killer-whale trainer who loses her legs in a marine-park tragedy but overcomes her desolation thanks to the kind attentions of a brusque street-fighter (Schoenaerts). “To go on this journey with Jacques was so exciting and inspiring,” reveals Cotillard, who won an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Cesar for her performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose and will certainly gain traction in the looming awards race with Rust And Bone. “With Piaf I wanted to explore everything. With Stéphanie I didn’t need to do that. The mystery I felt about her stayed with me throughout the shoot.”

It’s a tale of two outcasts who find each other, accidentally. Stéphanie is “an arrogant princess” – Audiard’s words – whose misfortune opens her up to life; Ali is a tough single father who decides to simply help her, without compassion or pity. On Schoenaerts’ first day with the actress, he arrived on set to find Cotillard in a wheelchair, staring at the ground and not speaking to anyone. She was already locked into Stéphanie’s sorrowful mindset and while at first he found himself unsettled by her startling transformation, the two actors – who both won rave reviews for their performances at the Cannes Film Festival – went on to build a powerful rapport that has been rendered on screen in one of the most evocative and moving love stories of the year. Cotillard talks about her powerful performance to Film3Sixty magazine…

Jacques Audiard describes you as a “virile” actress. Do you think he’s right?

Marion Cotillard: I never think of myself as any particular kind of actress but I do take it as a compliment. And what I know is that, in my family, the feminine side and the masculine side are very equal so that must reflect in me.

Has having your first child changed you as an actress?

MC: It definitely changed something. On set, it was the same because when I’m in the character, then it’s only the character. But even though I don’t stay in character when I’m not shooting, there is this part of me… someone is sharing my body and is there most of the time. With my son, it’s impossible to take someone else home.

How do you psychologically prepare to play a character who has lost both her legs?

MC: I try to do the best I can to imagine what it would be and if I’m lucky enough it works. But losing something and being in pain… I know what that is, and then it’s just my imagination that works to try to find that authenticity of what it feels like to lose your legs. I think it’s beautiful to show how someone can survive and be more complete without a part of herself that she was when she had her whole body. Emotionally, it’s a beautiful journey to play.

Jacques told you to think of Stephanie as a cowgirl. What did he mean by that?

MC: I’d say a cowboy! I think her strength is related to the love that she has for life even though she doesn’t know yet that she deeply loves life. She actually doesn’t know how to live with herself. She pretends she’s strong, she pretends she’s tough when on a certain level she’s not. But she will discover that she is stronger even than what she pretends.

Do you consider yourself tough?

MC: Tough, I don’t know. But I definitely have strength. There are very few things that would put me down. In fact, I can’t think of a single one.

Could you live without acting and films?

MC: I definitely could live without acting. I just wouldn’t be very happy.


Born: December 1977 in Antwerp, Belgium

Previously seen in: Loft, Bullhead (2012 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign-Language Film)

Next up: Blood Ties (also with Cotillard; co-written and directed by Cotillard’s partner Guillaume Canet)

On playing the brutal yet sensitive Ali in Rust And Bone: “It’s just part of being human. We’re not one thing. We can be tender and brutal at the same time.”

On his surging career: “I’m going with the flow and seeing what comes my way. But I’m not in a rush. I’ll take my time.”

Rust And Bone is released in UK cinemas on 2 November.