Marion Cotillard: 'the Oscar put me in a different universe’

from The Telegraph (UK) / by John Hiscock

French actress Marion Cotillard tells John Hiscock about her triumph as Edith Piaf, avoiding the paparazzi, and the importance of sex scenes in her latest film Rust and Bone.

Growing up in Paris, Marion Cotillard dreamed of being not just a French actress but what she calls an actress of the world. “My dream was wide, I didn’t see any boundaries, and maybe that’s why I crossed the ocean,” she says thoughtfully.

But now, having successfully crossed the ocean, she is ready to go home. We are talking at the Toronto Film Festival, where her new film, Rust and Bone, has been showing, but her flight back to France is booked for later in the evening and she is looking forward to getting on it.

She needs to seek refuge in France, she says, to escape the constant attention and hounding by paparazzi that has been part of her life in the US ever since her 2008 Oscar win for La Vie En Rose, the story of Edith Piaf.

She now chooses to divide her roles between French and English-language productions, usually playing complex, strong women in films as varied as Public Enemies, the musical Nine, Midnight in Paris, Chris Nolan’s Inception and The Dark Knight Rises.

“It’s not the fame that changed my life but La Vie En Rose,” she says. “It put me in a different universe and gave me the opportunity to discover different worlds.

“But I’m not like some celebrities who live with paparazzi 24 hours a day. That’s why I’m keeping my life in France.”

Her home is still in Paris, where she lives with the actor and director Guillaume Canet, whom she met in 2003 when they appeared together in Love Me If You Dare. Since then they have acted together in two other French movies and he has just directed her in the not-yet-released French thriller Blood Ties.

They have an 18-month-old son, Marcel, and live a relatively simple lifestyle, although she is clearly uncomfortable talking about her private life.

“Some people need a partner who is the total opposite of themselves and some people need to find someone who is exactly alike. It’s really hard to explain the combination of two people who love each other.

“I won’t say anything smart and beautiful about it today because the explanation would be very long.” She laughs. “But I loved working with Guillaume again and I’d love to work with him some more. He’s an amazing director for actors.”

The lissom, long-limbed Cotillard has a reputation for doing meticulous research. She has studied English diligently and speaks it almost flawlessly, albeit slowly.

After the festival screenings of Rust and Bone in Cannes and Toronto, she was singled out for special praise by critics for her performance as Stephanie, a whale trainer at a marine park who loses her legs when a show ends in tragedy.

Directed by Jacques Audiard, the movie co-stars Matthias Schoenaerts as Ali, a nightclub bouncer who becomes her helper and lover.

“I researched and I watched videos of amputees but I didn’t do major deep research because I didn’t really need to know exactly how you move without legs and I thought I would learn with her and experience it with her,” says Cotillard.

“If she had been an amputee for 10 years I would have done more, different research.”

For once, she did not object to love scenes, which for her are usually the worst part of being an actress. “I am shaking; I feel very bad and I want to cry most of the time because I hate it so much,” she says. “But here it was totally different. I was so involved with my character that I was happy she would enjoy something like that. It’s a movie about love, about flesh, about rust and bone and heart and sex, so without the sex scenes the movie would have missed something.”

It is not surprising that there is an air of theatricality about Marion Cotillard. She grew up in an artistic household, the daughter of an actor-director father and actress mother. As a child she appeared on stage in plays written by her father and began her professional acting career at the age of 16 in the TV series Highlander, then made her feature film debut in Luc Besson’s action-comedy Taxi. She appeared in several high-profile French films, winning a César award – the French equivalent of an Oscar – for her role in Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement) and in Ridley Scott’s A Good Year, with Russell Crowe.

For her first post-Piaf role she co-starred with Johnny Depp as John Dillinger’s love interest, Billie Frechette, in Public Enemies, living in Louisiana to perfect the character’s accent. She then spent four months learning to dance for her role as Luisa, the cuckolded Italian film director’s wife in the musical Nine. In quick succession after that came Inception, Midnight in Paris, Contagion and The Dark Knight Rises.

Until recently, Cotillard occasionally sang and played bass and keyboard with the French band Yodelice, with whom she recorded several songs. “It was two years ago, when I could still go on stage, and I would love to do it again because my place in that band is very special. They gave me a lot of freedom to come and go and I want to give some time to music. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Finding time is becoming more difficult for the actress now that she has a toddler. “It changes things because I have to organise myself differently,” she says with a laugh. “Usually when I work I’m totally dedicated to the role and when I leave the set I bring some of my character home with me, but I can’t bring anyone home with me now because my son would freak out.

“So I’m trying to totally separate my life as a woman from my life as an actress. And so far it hasn’t been that difficult.”

Rust and Bone opens on November 2

Marion Named ‘International Actor of the Year’ by Harper’s Bazaar

Marion Named ‘International Actor of the Year’ by Harper’s Bazaar

As mentioned in the last update Harper’s Bazaar held their Women of the Year awards at Claridge’s Hotel in London last night. Marion Cotillard was named ‘International Actor of the Year’ for her critically acclaimed performance in Rust and Bone. Congratulations!

The award was presented to her by Ralph Fiennes who said Marion Cotillard broke his heart in La Vie En Rose (source). ‘British Actor of the Year’ Emily Blunt – who was photographed with Marion – declared stalker tendancies towards her girl crush Marion Cotillard (source).

news-2012-11-01-01Marion Cotillard was wearing a Spring 2013 Dior dress with a navy silk panel and a broad black tulle skirt, white Dior heels and a diamond necklace. I simply love her makeup & dreamy, somewhat messy hairdo. It’s flawless! I will add pictures as soon as I have time!

Here are all the winners:

Stella McCartney – British Designer of the Year
Marion Cotillard – International Actor of the Year
The Queen – Icon of the Year
Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton and Ellie Simmonds – British Ambassadors of the Year
Dame Vivienne Westwood – Inspiration of the Year
Raf Simons – Man in a Woman’s World
Anya Hindmarch – Businesswoman of the Year
Ruth Wilson – Breakthrough of the Year
Cindy Sherman – Artist of the Year
Emily Blunt – British Actor of the Year
Emeli Sande – Musician of the Year
Marie Colvin – In Memoriam

On the Cover of Harper's Bazaar UK December

Marion Cotillard graces the cover of the December issue of UK’s Harper’s Bazaar after she received the International Actor of the Year award from them during the Women of the Year 2012 Awards last night. Check out a preview & a behind the scenes video.

When Marion Cotillard arrived on Bazaar’s cover shoot in LA, it was clear she was approaching the project with as much professionalism as she would if arriving on a Hollywood film set.

The concept of the day? High glamour, couture, rich colour, diamonds, luxurious fabrics, and a powerful, graceful elegance befitting Bazaar’s Women of the Year December issue; the edition in which we celebrate those women (and men) who have touched our lives and made an impact on our world in 2012.

With slicked back hair and smoky eyes, Cotillard models bespoke gowns from Giambattista Valli to Dior. It took the French star just minutes after greeting the team on the day – photographer Ben Hassett, stylist Julia von Boehm and make-up artist Kara Yoshimoto Bua – to slip naturally into the role of fashion muse.

But, while the Academy Award winner undoubtedly has had plenty of experience to draw from for the part – Cotillard is ambassador to the fashion house Dior and was the first to wear Raf Simons’ debut couture collection on the red carpet – she is just as at home in ‘the unpretentious cream sloppy sweater (she doesn’t know or care who by) and brown fedora’ she meets us in when interviewed the day after the shoot in LA’s Chateau Marmot.

With Bazaar writer Lorien Haynes, Cotillard discusses the emotional intensity asked of her to play her latest part in the critically acclaimed Rust and Bone (and Oscar rumours are already swirling), and the challenges of balancing a career as an A-list actor with her latest role as mother to 18-month-old Marcel and her relationship with actor and director Guillame Canet, Marcel’s father, which brings Cotillard to tears.

001 Scans from 2012 > Harper’s Bazaar (UK) – December
003 Sessions from 2012 > Harper’s Bazaar UK
060 Behind the Scenes > 2012 – Harper’s Bazaar UK

001 Magazines, Photoshoots > Harper’s Bazaar

ELLE meets Marion Cotillard

from Elle (UK) / by Anna Smith

‘I was turned upside down, overwhelmed with joy.’

That’s how it feels to win an Oscar, something Marion Cotillard could be experiencing again at next year’s awards if the reviews for her new film Rust and Bone are anything to go by.

Describing the film as a ‘love story’, Cotillard plays Stéphanie, a whale trainer who befriends a single father Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts) after a terrible accident. The film was a hit at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Despite the regular red carpet appearances that are part of the actress territory, it’s taken Cotillard a while to feel at home in front of the flash bulbs.

‘At the beginning I was mortified, so uncomfortable, but you get used to it and you find the fun. I’m very lucky that the publicists, make up artists and all those people around me are my very dear friends.’

For the London premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in July this year, Cotillard was the first person to wear one Raf Simons’ designs in his new role at Dior.

‘I LOVE his first couture collection so much, I was so happy to be able to wear one of those amazing dresses.’

We await next year’s Oscar red carpet with baited breath.

Rust and Bone is in cinemas from 2 November

Rust and Bone: Marion Cotillard and the spoiler debate

from BBC News (UK) / by Tim Masters

Some reviews of French film Rust and Bone have been accused of giving too much away. As this and new 007 adventure Skyfall hit cinemas, how easily can film-goers avoid the dreaded spoiler?

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read further if you do not wish to know about the plot of Rust and Bone.

When Rust and Bone was unveiled at the Cannes film festival in May many reviewers chose to reveal its central plot twist, pointing out that it happened early in the film.

Not all readers were happy though, with some venting their frustration online.

Now Rust and Bone, which won the top prize at the recent BFI London Film Festival, is about to open in the UK. It stars Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, a killer-whale trainer who is involved in a catastrophic workplace accident.

She awakes in hospital to find her legs amputated below the knee. The story goes on to explore her relationship with Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a bouncer she met before the accident during a fracas at a nightclub.

The UK trailer for Rust and Bone gives little away about the fate of Stephanie, while the French version offers a glimpse of Cotillard’s missing limbs.

Ahead of the film’s UK release, director Jacques Audiard and screenwriter Thomas Bidegain are realistic about how much audiences have already picked up before seeing the film.

“I think the audience knows but it is important for them not to see [Cotillard without her legs] in advance,” Bidegain says.

“The interest is in having a huge star losing her legs,” adds Audiard, whose previous film was the Oscar-nominated prison drama A Prophet.

“If the actress is unknown and you cut her legs off it is like a working accident. When Marion Cotillard loses her legs it’s like an industrial accident.”

According to Radio Times film editor Andrew Collins, reviews should, as a general rule, steer clear of any plot point that isn’t clearly signposted in the film’s trailer.

“The trailer is ambiguous,” Collins says of Rust and Bone. “It hints that the killer whale has something to do with Cotillard’s character’s accident, but it does not give away the nature of the injury.

“Even talking about it in vague terms risks drawing attention to it. I knew exactly what happens because I’m the type of person who reads everything before a film, and can’t stop myself. It didn’t ruin it for me, as the scenes connected to the accident and the outcome are so powerful it’s not the surprise element that’s vital.”

But how much should audiences know in advance before they see a film?

“As little as possible,” advises Collins. “Although it’s getting harder and harder to avoid the hype.”

He adds: “I remember seeing Blade Runner in 1983 as a teenager and literally knowing nothing about it, other than it had Harrison Ford in it, and was science fiction. Can you imagine replicating that kind of glorious innocence in today’s networked world?”

When the new James Bond film Skyfall was first screened to journalists two weeks before its UK release, attendees were asked not to give away any major plot points.

Most reviews have held back on revealing the big twists.

“We’re delighted that they’ve been very respectful to the audience in letting them discover the secrets of the story themselves,” Bond producer Barbara Broccoli tells the BBC. “We’re very appreciative.”

“When you come up with an idea for a story you have to assume that the secret will be kept,” says Skyfall writer Robert Wade. “In the end it would fall apart if everyone knew.”

Co-writer Neal Purvis adds: “The surprises will come out I’m sure.”

Indeed, Skyfall’s biggest secrets have been posted online, but are concealed behind layers of spoiler warnings.

So when does a big twist, such as the famous one in M Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense (1999), become fair game for open discussion?

“A twist should stay a twist,” says Collins. “There may be someone out there who has not yet seen The Sixth Sense. Let them enjoy the twist.

“I like The Sixth Sense very much, but once you know the twist, and have seen it for the second time, knowing the twist, the film’s like a spent match: of no further use.

He adds: “It’s fine to discuss films in forums, as these are specialist environments for fans. But in mixed company, you should always check that everybody has seen a film before discussing it. That’s basic social etiquette.”

Collins admits, though, that in the age of social media, avoiding spoilers is almost impossible.

“I often record TV shows and watch them 24 hours later, due to build-up on my PVR, and if I’m daft enough to use Twitter in those 24 hours, it’s my own fault if I find out, say, who was voted off the Great British Bake Off.

“It’s the responsibility of the individual in that case. Twitter and other sites are forums for discussion, often live, so you either join in, or you keep well away!”

One writer who knows all about shock twists is David Nicholls, author of bestseller One Day.

As well as adapting One Day for the screen last year, he has also penned the new version of the Dickens classic novel Great Expectations.

Directed by Mike Newell, the film stars Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and is out at the end of November.

Great Expectations contains the famous revelation about the true identity of Pip’s benefactor. Nicholls admits that even having read the novel around 25 times, he is still surprised by the second revelation about Estella’s parents.

“There is this other ingenious twist, but the novel doesn’t rely on that at all,” he tells the BBC. “For me the strength of the novel is in the human relationships.”

But does he talk now about the plot twist of One Day? “I still don’t mention it unless it’s mentioned. When I answer questions at book events if people give it away there’s always some hissing and some booing!”

“I feel sorry for people who read a lot of novels,” says Andrew Collins. “They must always know the ending to films. I never made it to the end of Atonement, so I was pretty smug when we got to the ending of that film and I was, presumably, one of the few people in there who didn’t see that coming.”

Rust and Bone is released in cinemas on 2 November. Great Expectations is out on 30 November. Skyfall is out now.

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