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Aug 2012
English Press  •  By  •  0 Comments

from Marie Claire (UK) / by Harvey Marcus

Overcoming a childhood racked with insecurities, Marion Cotillard has grown into one of the most celebrated actresses on the planet. What changed? She fell in love

Without mentioning names, there are certain actresses whose success only serves to prompt more questions about how they actually came about their stardom. During interviews they’ll explain away their careers by vacantly punching at familiar pre-programmed settings marked ‘precocious’ and ‘outsider’, through to ‘deep’ (as in, there’s always been something deep inside of me), before finally landing at ‘lucky break’. By the end, you may not be any the wiser but, if nothing else, you are left with a greater understanding as to why, given the fragile foundations underpining their fame, so many actresses self-implode when the spotlight begins to dim.

Not so Marion Cotillard. She’ll tell you how, as a child, she inhabited ‘her own world and was not very happy’. That for much of her life she’s been involved in a search to explain away those feelings. That when she acts she tries ‘to create a way of talking, laughing and crying – a body language that is not mine’. The result of this introspection and experiment is there for all to see in the performances she gives to camera. For Mario, acting seems less a calling and more a necessity. Her star has not arrived by chance.

We’re sitting in a spartan New York office space, post-Marie Claire shoot. It’s unseasonably chilly for the start of the summer so Marion, hair pulled back and stripped of make-up, wears jeans and a navy sweater adorned with a cute sailing boat motif. An exquisitely fashioned marionette, not quite free of her strings, she’s 36 now but you imagine her appearance – pretty, boyish – has changed little since she was young, growing up in a tower block on the outskirts of Paris, and later in a village outside Orléans. It feels like she’s been around for ever, but it’s still just over four years since she ran up on stage at the Kodak Theatre to claim Best Actress for La Vie en Rose, only the second time the Oscar – the first went to Sophia Loren – has been awarded for a non-English speaking role. Back then she yelled to the world, ‘Thank you life, thank you love,’ in broken English, charming the auditorium and many a studio exec.

Today her English, occasionally stilted yet fluent, has an accent that sits somewhere between West Hollywood and the Parisian home she shares with her partner, the acclaimed French actor and director Guillaume Canet, and their one-year-old son, Marcel.

Until La Vie en Rose, her CV promised much – she would argue that A Very Long Engagement, alongside Audrey Tautou, was her first true breakthrough role – but it was her portrayal of the legendary chanteuse Edith Piaf that mesmerised audiences. It was also the first time the world came to hear of the extraordinary lengths the actress was willing to go to in order to do justice to the characters she takes on.

Her performance in La Vie en Rose, went beyond the cosmetic. Having mastered Piaf’s raspy voice, developed a stoop, then shaved her hairline and eyebrows, Marion’s performance was so all-consuming that it’s almost become cinematic folklore that, months after filming, she still found it hard to rid herself of the French icon’s tortured personality and mannerisms.

While she acknowledges the debt she owes to La Vie en Rose for transforming her career, she’s quick to dismiss any postulation on my part that the insecurities and demons she so successfully channeled belonged as much to her as the did Piaf. ‘I never really tried to identify relations between her and me. If there are some similarities it’s okay, but most of the time I try to create someone who is really not me.’ A truer reflection of her own character, she says, can be found in a small and much-underrated French film that enjoyed limited release last year. Penned and directed by Canet, Little White Lies features an ensemble cast of France’s finest acting talent, including The Artist‘s Jean Dujardin, and centres around the unspoken truths and concealed feelings of a group of seemingly carefree Parisian friends who, each year, migrate to a beach house for a summer vacation. ‘It’s very hard for me to see this movie because for most of it, it is me,’ she says of her character Marie, a young thirtysomething whose blithe insouciance belies the worries of a woman who is no longer a girl.

‘She is not comfortable in her life. On the surface she’s got a great bunch of friends but inside she is very insecure – so I see myself on the big screen. It was unbearable and I couldn’t watch it.’ Marion breaks into a smile, eager to place on record that not everything in the film is her, assuring me that, unlike Marie, ‘I’ve never slept with the entire city like she does – boys, girls. I mean, I had my experiences but not like, “Whoo hoo! Party! Sex time!”‘ Then, thinking back: ‘No, it was so weird. It was like, “Oh my god, this is me. That’s what I feel.” And you don’t want to see yourself [feeling genuinely] uncomfortable. It was kind of hard.’

That awkwardness with the world, those insecurities, have been a part of Marion’s life since she can remember. Growing up, her actor parents, Jean-Claude and Niseema, supplemented their income with teaching jobs. Together with her younger twin brothers, Quentin and Guillaume, she enjoyed a liberal upbringing in which children were encouraged to express themselves. The way she describes it, their tower block, being surrounded by actors, was a little piece of bohemia of their very own, full of theatre and art and parties – almost idyllic. Like sharing a house with a hundred people, as she puts it. Yet still, Marion couldn’t shrug off this sense of isolation and loneliness.

‘I had my own world and it wasn’t very happy,’ she recalls. ‘I was not a very sociable kid. That was my personality. I didn’t really know what to do with myself when I was young.’ As young as pre-school, she underlines, maybe since she was four years old. ‘Part of myself was happy and part of myself was so dark. For me relationships between people were very hard to get. I know a lot of people were jealous of my family because we had so much freedom. Our apartment was a space of creativity. We were allowed to draw on every wall of the house. I was confronted by jealousy very, very early on, and when you’re a kid it’s hard to be different. I was very sensitive.’ As a consequence, Marion would retreat into her own world. ‘A private world,’ she reiterates.

Those dark shadows have pursued her throughout much of her life; only in recent years has she been able to find some kind of accord with the anxieties she’s harboured. ‘I’ve finally made peace with myself,’ she reveals. ‘I’ve met amazing people who gave me the keys to make peace with myself.’

The catalyst for change almost certainly came in form of Guillaume Canet, one of the leading lights of French cinema who enjoyes heart-throb status in his homeland. Their friendship dates back to 2003, when they worked together on the film Love Me If You Dare, but it wasn’t until 2007, a year after Canet divorced actress Diane Kruger, that the couple got together. Their son, Marcel, celebrated his first birthday days before our interview and, accompanied by Marion’s mother, makes a visit to today’s shoot – a little billingual dynamo with the chicest of grandmothers.

Marion is typically guarded about her private life but can’t help revealing the positive effect Canet has had on her life and the depth of feeling they shere. When, while attempting to tease out the inner workings of her mind, I enquire whether she has ever had an out-of-body experience, she replies: ‘Not really,’ before correcting herself. ‘Halfway. Well, I think that when you’re in the state of extreme love you can travel with more than your body.’

Then there’s one of the books that changed her life: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – a new-age self-help text based on ancient Toltec philosophies (a precursor of the Aztec culture, based in Mexico), which found fame after being featured on The Oprah Show. The four agreements are: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. Marion confides how it has become central to her own way of thinking, before confiding: ‘My boyfriend gave me that book four years ago.’

Those past four years have coincided with the most productive period in the actress’s career. The Oscar effect has seen her star in films ranging from Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio to Public Enemies alongside Johnny Depp. This month she takes on one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises with the latest Batman movie release, The Dark Knight Rises, the details of which remain a closey guarded secret: ‘The superhero I’ve always been most obsessed with,’ is all she’ll say. Her schedule can only be described as hectic. A few days before we meet, she was in Cannes for the premiere of Rust and Bone, a French movie already touted as Oscar material. From there Marion flew back to New York, where she and Canet are currently shooting Blood Ties (he directs, she stars along with Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana and Clive Owen). ‘Working with the man you live with? she jokes later. ‘One day I’ll write a book!’ And I’ve not even mentioned her side project as occasional member of the French rock outfit Yodelice, making sporadic guest appearances in the guise of her alter ego, Simone.

It’s evident that, for Marin, work has therapeutic benefits, allowing her to explore psychological depths she might otherwise prefer to steer clear of. While warm and charming during the interview, and quick with humour – when asked whether she’s ever considered directing she responds, ‘Maybe in a few years, but by then I’ll have 35 kids of my own!’ – she thinks long and hard before delivering her answers. It’s a habit undoubtedly exaggerated by her endeavours to master a foreign language but is also a reflection of her desire to decipher her own thoughts. You get the sense those big existential questions about why we we are here and what we are doing are a constant torment, that her search for contentment is an ongoing project.

Marion’s hero is the late Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, who became the first African woman recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She’s also an active and passionate supporter of Greenpeace.

When I enquire if she’s surprised at the power and responsibility of celebrity, it’s apparent this isn’t the first time she’s examined a subject that has transparently been the cause of much soul-searching. ‘Lately,’ she says, ‘I’ve thought a lot about whether it really changes something if I speak for a cause or an organisation. Does it help? Is it worth it? Wangari Maathai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mandela – they change things. But actors and celebrities, I don’t know. Maybe…’ Then, arguing with herself: ‘Maybe it’s because I don’t give enough time to people I support. Sometimes I feel like I should choose between the life I have and supporting a cause that needs all the time we have.’

I wonder what would have become of Marion Cotillard had she not succeeded in becoming the actress she is today. ‘If it never happened?’ she replies. ‘Wow! I would have been…’ And her voice falls silent. There’s a lenghty pause, part of her lost in the unthinkable. ‘I don’t know,’ she says eventually. ‘I believe that you are where you should be and I believe that things that happen to you happen for a reason. So if it had never happened it would have been because I was meant to do something else.’

The Dark Knight Rises opens in cinemas nationwide on 20 July

Jul 2012
Movies, News & Rumours  •  By  •  4 Comments

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was released this week in most territories with France following next week. Marion attended the premieres  in New York and also London. Photos will be added to the gallery shortly.

There was a premiere planned for Paris this weekend but due to the shooting in Denver, Warner Bros has cancelled the premiere and all media interviews as a result.

Our thoughts go out to the victims’ families and friends.



Jul 2012
Gallery Updates, Press Updates, Video updates  •  By  •  2 Comments

Marion is on the cover of the following magazines:

Scans will be added to the site as the magazines become available.

Source: The Fashion Spot

Note: please credit the source if you repost the article as I spent a long time typing them all up by hand, thank you.

Jul 2012
French Press  •  By  •  0 Comments

de Grazia / par Marguerite Baux

Inspirée, surbookée, engagée, l’actrice interprète une héroïne écolo dans le dernier “Batman”. Après une folle année de films à la chaîne, l’égéerie Dior évoque sa famille, ses rencontres… et ses envies de comédie.

Course d’obstacles ou casse-tête chinois? Obtenir une interview de Marion Cotillard est une épreuve de force qui aboutit finalement à l’option “téléphone” – dernier recours pour se frayer une place dans les méandres de son emploi de temps. L’actrice vient de finir le tournage de Blood Ties, remake des Liens du sang, dirigé par ce jeune réalisateur qui monte à Hollywood, Guillaume Canet. Cette année, elle a aussi tourné avec James Gray et assuré la promotion des Petits Mouchoirs qui sortira cet été aus Etats-Unis. Malgré cette vie très américaine, c’est en France qu’elle prend ses vacances. Où ça? “Dans le Sud“, répond-elle évasivement. Derrière, on entend les babillages d’un petit Marcel, 1 an, qui se casse la figure, chouine un peu, se relève, se marre. A part ce scoop sonore sur sa vie de famille, Marion Cotillard a une façon très sûre de protéger son intimité, tout en restant chaleureuse. Eléments de langage: projets “magnifique“, “belles” rencontres, rôles “inspirants“. Les admirateurs de l’actrice se sont à peine remis de sa prestation dans De rouille et d’os de Jacquediard que, déjà, elle revient dans The Dark Knight Rises, troisième et dernier épisode de la saga Batman réalisé par Christopher Nolan. Mais si vous rêvez de Marion Cotillard en grande méchante – ce qui changerait de ses rôles, tout en vibration intime – ce sera pour la prochaine fois. Car le Bat-marketing, qui entretient autour du film un secret machiavélique, a laissé filtrer qu’elle y incarne une belle héroïne écolo. Cette bannière verte, hissée sur la scène mondiales des blockbusters, ne peut que réjouir note môme nationale. Connue pour sa sensibilité à la natur, Marion Cotillard nerate pas ne occasion de parler de ses chères forêts. Rompue au jeu de la promo, aus paparazzis, aux questions sur sa vie privée et autres fouineries, elle sait bien que ce n’est pas ça qu’on attend d’elle. “Vous allez me trouver chiante“, s’amuse-t-elle, avant d’en remettre une couche sur le collectif, dont elle est la marraine. Bigre: elle est la troisième Française à remporter un oscar de la meilleure actrice, après Claudette Colbert et Simone Signoret. Ajoutes-y un césar, un Bafta, un Golden Globe et vous obtenez une actrice qui a le droit de parler de protection de la planète si elle veut, quand elle veut. Et cette rumeur sur un break dans sa carrière? Un jour, peut-être. Mais tant que le cinéma lui apportera l’intensité qu’elle cherche, on la voit mal décrocher. Marion Cotillard est décidémment shootée aux émotions fortes.

Est-ce que le mot “vacances” signifie quelque chose pour vous?
Oh oui! D’autant plus que là, j’en ai vraiment besoin. Bien sûr, j’ai tout le temps mon fils avec moi, mais j’ai envie de passer beaucoup de temps avec ma famille, pas seulement quelques jours entre deux tournages, et de profiter de ce truc très français : prendre des vacances!

Vous travaillez trop?
C’est-à-dire que j’ai reçu des propositions tellement inspirantes que j’ai eu du mal à refuser. Le film d’Audiard, par exemple, c’était fou de me lancer dans cette aventure alors que je sortais de Batman. Mais comment refuser un rôle aussi beau? Depuis, si j’ai été capable de dire non à de très belles propositions, c’est pour la simple raison que je suis épuisée. C’est important d’avoir sa vie et d’avoir envie de retourner travailler.

Qu’est-ce que vous faites quand vous êtes en vacances? Il paraît que vous avez un petit côté popote : vous cuisinez? Vous tricotez?
Oui, j’adore cuisiner! En revanche, pour le reste, il ne faut pas croire tout ce qu’on lit dans la presse. J’ai appris à tricoter pendant la préparation de La Môme. Piaf tricotait tout le temps, je voulais me plonger dans le personnage, et c’était moins dangereux pour la santé que certains aspects de sa vie… mais je ne sais faire que des carrés! Ceci dit, c’est vrai que j’aime les choses simples.

Le nouveau Batman, réalisé par Christopher Nolan, sort dans quelques jours. Vous avez toujours l’inderdiction d’en parler?

Votre personnage vous ressemble-t-il un peu?
C’est une femme d’affaires qui consacre sa fortune au développement des énergies durables, au service d’un avenir propre. Je suis forcément sensible à ce côté-là. Mais je ne suis pas du tout une femme d’affaires!

C’est fini, la période où vous étiez une “petite Française”?
Je ne sais pad du tout. Mais vous savez, cette expression vient surtout d’un e nos tics de langage. Quand on écoute les Français, tout est petit! on va boire un petit café, on est un petit peu fatigué, on fait une petite promenade…
Justement: vous avez une prédilection pour les rôles intenses. Est-ce que vous n’auriez pas envie d’un petit peu de légèreté?
La légèreté, il y en a dans ma vie. Mais c’est vrai que j’ai envie de comédie. Pour l’instant, je n’ai pas pris le temps d’y aller parce que ça demande énormément de travail. Cela représente un gros challenge.

Le challenge, ne serait-ce pas la seule chose qui vous intéresse?
Ce n’est pas la seule chose, mais c’est une forte motivation. J’ai besoin d’avoir ce questionnement quand j’accepte un rôle : est-ce que j’en suis capable, ou pas?

Audiard a dit que ce qui vous intéresse dans le métier d’actrice, c’est de “communiquer avec le monde“, et que peut-être un jour vous trouverez un autre moyen de le faire.
Il a dit ça? C’est drôle, on n’en a jamais parlé ensemble. C’est vrai : je ne sais pas ce que l’avenir me réserve – ou plutôt ce que je réserve à mon avenir -, mais il n’est pas impossible que je fasse autre chose un jour.

Mais les sensations fortes de votre métier, on y prend goût. Il va falloir vous désintoxiquer. Vous n’avez pas peur de vous ennuyer?
Je pense vraiment qu’il est impossible que je m’ennuie un jour! Le monde regorge d’expériences vibrantes. Les voyages et les rencontres que j’ai pu faire en Inde, en Afrique ou en Amérique du Sud, ont été d’une intensité au moins égale au voyage intérieur que je peux faire avec certains personnages, voire plus forte. Il pourrait me prendre l’envie d’en faire des films, par exemple.

Dans la série de films que vous avez interprétés pour le sac “Lady Dior”, vous jouez une star qui envoie tout balader. Est-ce que vous vous y reconnaissez?
C’est surtout la vision d’un réalisateur, John Cameron Mitchell, pour lequel j’ai beaucoup d’admiration. “Lady Dior”, c’est une très jolie aventure, ça fait maintenant trois ans qu’elle dure. Chaque fillm est dédié à une ville et signé par un réalisateur différent. Ça m’a pris de rencontrer David Lynch ou justement John Cameron Mitchell.

Là encore, difficile de refuser. La publicité n’est pourtant pas forcément votre truc…
Je ne l’ai jamais vu comme de la publicité. C’est d’abord une rencontre avec les gens de la maison Dior, avec John Galliano à l’époque, et Raf Simons maintenant. Nous sommes en train de réfléchir à une manière de continuer l’histoire. Je ne peux pas en parler pour le moment, mais c’est un projet très créatif qui m’apporte beaucoup et allie le cinéma et la musique.

Comment vivez-vous la promotion, qui fait de plus en plus partie du métier: avec plaisir, intérêt, fatalisme?
Ça dépend. J’aime défendre les films, j’aime parler de mon travail, et certaines interviews se révèlent enrichissantes. Mais parfois j’en sors en me disant: “N’importe quoi! Quelles questions de merde!” Quand je lis l’interview d’une actrice qui répète “ma vie est géniale“, c’est super pour elle mais je m’en fous! Et quand je m’entends parler de moi, je me demande à quoi bon.

Vous voulez dire que c’est peut-être la dernière interview que vous faites?
Non, bien sûr. Mais plutôt que de moi, je préférerais parler d’autre choses, de ces gens passionnants qui font des choses tellement belles, comme la navigatrices Maud Fontenoy (porte-parole de l’Unesco pour les océans, ndlr). Vous allez me trouver chiante, mais moi ça m’intéresse. Là, j’ai l’impression que parler et utile.

Vous avez un certain talent pour voir le bon côté des choses, pour éviter ce que la réalité peut avoir de moche ou de pénible.
Dans ma vie, je me suis engouffrée dans pas mal de choses moches et pénibles. Il y en a toujours. Mais je les identifie bien maintenant et je préfère les éviter.

Vous n’êtes pas du tout une cynique, on dirait?
Ah non, pas du tout. Je préfère être complètement débile plutôt que cynique. Ou du moins passer pour.

5 conseils cadeaux à s’offrir cet été
• La sieste en famille.
• Un hectare de forêt amazonienne sur Ils vous envoient un petit certificat à votre nom, c’est un très joli cadeau.
• Un saut en parachute.
• Se baigner tous les jours!
• Je vais enfin pouvoir finir le livre de Patti Smith, Just Kids. Et j’offre souvent Celle qui plante les arbres, l’autobiographie de Wangari Maathai, la première Nobel de la paix. Et les livres de Pierre Rabhi.

Jul 2012
Gallery Updates, Press Updates  •  By  •  4 Comments

The goodies just keep coming. More pictures as well as a ton of behind the scenes photographs from the shoot previously used for L’Express Styles and Paris Match have surfaced as Marion Cotillard graces the cover of tomorrow’s French magazine Madame Figaro. As with the British Marie Claire there are 2 versions of the cover.

I myself have internet problems and will be away so I will not be able to post on here again before August. But Jess & Luise will keep you updated.

Marion Cotillard, star made in France, Madame Figaro, July 6 (read with Google Translator)

002 Scans from 2012 > Madame Figaro (France) – July 6
003 Sessions from 2012 > L’Express Styles
019 Behind the Scenes > 2012 – L’Express Styles, Paris Match & Madame Figaro