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Jan 2014
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Even after becoming the most popular French actress in Hollywood, after an Academy Award (La vie en rose, 2008) and several international successes (The Dark Knight Rises, Midnight in Paris, Contagion, Inception, Nine), Marion Cotillard appears surprisingly shy and low profile. She is most discreet, not to say dumb, about her life with Guillaume Canet, actor-director who has been her partner for seven years and is the father of her son Marcel (2 years and a half).

She is the image of Lady Dior campaign, too, but she says: “I have never seen myself as a beauty. And I feel always a bit embarrassed when someone says so: I admire Monica Bellucci, she is really so beautiful and really so witty and smart in talking about that”. Marion speaks with a gentle, soft voice, so far from the high notes she reached singing in the Oscar-winning role of Edith Piaf. She hides her beautiful eyes behind sunglasses: she never took them off during this interview.

In films, everything changes. Strangely, her two new roles have something in common: in Blood Ties, where she is directed by her partner, she plays Monica, a hooker with Italian origins and accent, while in The Immigrant by James Gray (who also wrote the screenplay of Blood Ties) she is Ewa, a Polish girl who goes searching for a better life in America, in 1921, but is exploited as a prostitute and accepts anything to pay for the medicines her sister needs to stay alive.

James Gray wrote the film and the role for you. Do you feel a responsibility about that?

Yes, but I try not to think about it. I felt a lot of pressure when I was about to read the script, because I knew that he had me in mind, when he was writing it, and I thought: “Oh my God, what if I don’t like it? It would have been very painful to turn it down. As if the world was upside down: I should be the one to beg to work with him. But fortunately I liked the story.

How is to be directed by your partner, Guillaume Canet, for the second time after Little White Lies?

I was happy to get this opportunity and I guess he didn’t treat me differently from the rest of the cast…

In Blood Ties you play in English with an Italian accent, in The Immigrant a Polish one. Does your musical talent help you learning languages?

I help myself trying to know more about the culture that any language comes out of. I don’t repeat words by heart. I want to know the meaning. I try to learn as much as I can. The technique is very important but I realized that the more you know about the people, the better and faster you learn to speak their language. In any case, the most difficult thing for me was to speak Polish without any accent at all: I wanted to be perfect, but it’s a mission impossible, I guess.

The Immigrant is about the American dream: did it mean something special for yourself too?

The American cinema is part of my culture: as an actress I always wanted to do movies but I never dreamt about working in Hollywood, I never thought it might be possible. My dream was pretty simple, I just wanted to tell stories. This film is about miserable people’s American dream, people who want to escape their countries to have a better life. Very different from my own story and dreams…

How do you feel about immigrants?

What moves me is the way people put themselves in danger to seek for a better life. There is a mix of strength, courage, hope, unconsciousness in all of them, because they have no other choice. Hope drives them to dive in the unknown …

Sometimes they find hope in religion. Are you a believer?

I was not raised as a Catholic and I don’t have a good relationship with religion: there have been so many wars in the name of different gods! I don’t understand how you can kill someone just because he does not have the same belief as you.

How was shooting in Ellis Island?

It was an amazing experience. Most of the troupe and the extras had someone in their families who had gone through Ellis Island in the past. Therefore they talked and shared their stories. What I like most about Americans is that you can feel the solidarity and empathy when they talk about their lives. I heard lots of them. Included James Gray’s one: The Immigrant is a very personal film for him. At first, he didn’t get the permit to shoot at Ellis Island, but he fought to obtain it: without that, he didn’t want to start shooting it at all.

What was your own first step in the United States?

I was escaping a relationship that went bad. I was 20 and I went to New York with my best friend. It was kind of crazy: we landed and we went straight to the Empire State Building. We wandered around without knowing where to sleep. We ended up in a hostel. We walked and we were so excited… but after three days, I received a call from France and I had to go back immediately, to play in a film I wasn’t expecting to be chosen for. It was my first experience “in and out” the country.

You started working there 10 years ago with Tim Burton (Big Fish) and, after the Oscar for La vie en rose. Is Hollywood the greatest achievement for an actor?

It’s very personal. I remember being in Cannes with Melanie Thierry, one of the best French actresses. My American agent asked me to be introduced to her and Melanie didn’t want to: I was so surprised, I begged her, but she refused and I couldn’t believe it (editor’s note: later she has been directed by Terry Gilliam in The Zero Theorem). For me it’s different. Hollywood wasn’t my goal, it arrived unexpectedly when I just considered myself so lucky to do what I always desired to do.

Do you feel like an “immigrant” too, now that you live for long periods in Los Angeles?

No, I could totally live there. I have been spending years over there. I love Los Angeles, but I need my country too because I am deeply French.

You miss France, then.

No, it’s funny though: I never miss France when I am having interesting things to do somewhere else. From 2008 I spent almost four years in the US without problems. But strangely, when I came back to France I missed Los Feliz, the area where I live, and the life I created there in Los Angeles. It’s not for professional reasons, but for lifestyle: it’s a city in the middle of wildness, in front of the ocean. And now I miss my son whenever and wherever I go without him.

Do you regret a more discreet life you had in France?

Not anymore. Even home, I can’t go out jogging without seeing someone taking some picture as soon as he recognizes me.

You come from a creative family, your parents are actors. Is this the reason why you wished to act?

Yes, I think so. I grew up surrounded by storytellers and an atmosphere of great energy. That was fascinating. When I was a kid, I saw plays that were not for kids at all, but I have very vivid memories of those moments. It usually happened when the nanny was not available and my mother had to take us all, me and my twin brothers, to the theatre even when there was some ancient Greek tragedy on stage. Sometimes we would go crazy, and she would go crazy too… but it was awesome to watch actors I knew as my parents’ friends, who transformed themselves completely on the stage, sometimes they even became cats or dogs. That’s why I always wanted to be an actress.

Do you remember your first time on stage?

I was 4 or 5. My mother laid on the floor beside a big piano and the director asked me to do something I can’t remember well now. I was confused. I didn’t understand why they were saying crazy things to pretend that my mother was dead, while she was not dead at all!

Jan 2014
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2013 saw Marion Cotillard grace the cover of several French and international magazines. The release of two of her movies in Europe, ‘Blood Ties’ and ‘The Immigrant’, first in Cannes and then in the whole of France later in the year, earned her some attention from the media. While most of the coverage was in France, Marion was also on the cover of US ELLE in 2013, coinciding with the award she received from the magazine in late October.

We have finished adding all the scans from 2013 which featured brand new shoots and interviews.

With ‘The Immigrant’ having been released in Italy yesterday, the Italian press has been featuring Marion as well, providing us with these early 2014 scans from Gioia magazine and quick appearances in newspapers.

Both of Marion’s films should be released worldwide throughout the first half of this year.

018 Scans from 2013 > Madame Figaro – France, July 5
007 Scans from 2013 > Grazia – France, October 18
005 Scans from 2013 > Fémina – France, October 28
001 Scans from 2013 > Le Figaro – France, October 30
001 Scans from 2013 > Figaroscope – France, October 30
005 Scans from 2013 > Grazia – Spain, October 30
004 Scans from 2013 > ELLE – United States, November
006 Scans from 2013 > ELLE – France, November 15
005 Scans from 2013 > L’Express Styles – France, November 20
002 Scans from 2013 > Le Point – France, November 21
010 Scans from 2013 > Obsession – France, November 28
007 Scans from 2013 > Journal Officiel du FIFM – Morocco, December 7
004 Scans from 2013 > Tu Style – Italy, December 26
001 Scans from 2014 > The Independent – UK, January 3
001 Scans from 2014 > La Reppublica – Italy, January 8
005 Scans from 2014 > Gioia – Italy, January 26

Icon Marion Cotillard, Elle (US), November 2013
Rencontre avec Marion Cotillard, Elle (France), November 15, 2013
A Woman Whose Softness Could be Taken for Fragility, Journal Officiel du FIFM, December 7
Marion Cotillard Talks ‘The Immigrant,’ ‘Lady Macbeth,’ Scorsese and the Dardennes Brothers, Variety, December 7, 2013
Marion Cotillard on life after Edith Piaf, The Independent (UK), January 3, 2014

Jan 2014
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The Independent Critics List named Marion Cotillard “The Most Beautiful Face” of 2013.

1. Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard is generally considered to be one of the very best actresses of our time. Her role in “La Vie En Rose” was one of the most sublime in recent memory. The Oscar winner continues to be featured in some of the best films every year. However, her beauty is now also legendary. She has been on our list for 12 years, all but two of which were in the Top 20. She has had an 8th, a 7th, a 4th, a 3rd and a 2nd… But in 2013, she reigns supreme. Marion Cotillard is the Most Beautiful Face of 2013.

Congratulations Marion! La Reine!

Years on List: 12 ….. Highest Position: Winner 2013

We have posts of Marion making this list for the years 2007, 2008 and 2010.

In addition, Red Carpet Fashion Awards named Marion Cotillard “Brand Ambassador of the Year” in 2013 – for Christian Dior of course (click link to see pictures of her wearing Dior in 2013).

French star Marion Cotillard was Christian Dior most lavish representative, with a grand sum of 19 looks to her name over the past 12 months.

The face of Lady Dior, she wears the brand well, gracefully balancing designer Raf Simons’ sophisticated yet still-edgy offerings. Not that she didn’t have competition in the category, with Natalie Portman and Jennifer Lawrence also working the Dior angle—sometimes more successfully than others.

That said, Marion started the year off with a bang, cementing an early spot on the best-dressed list with her risk-taking, citron-yellow couture gown at the 2013 BAFTA Awards that was breathtakingly bold and thereby unforgettable.

More Dior moments at the Met Gala, the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival soon followed, with the actress later wrapping up her 2013 designer run at the Marrekech Film Festival.

Rather regrettably for this year’s Dior-Marion match, she wavered as a pristine style steward of the brand, also landing the unfortunate award of Magnifique to Tragique 2013.

Jan 2014
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They are some of the most glamorous and successful leading ladies of film.

Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, and Scarlett Johansson are among stars snapped by London photographer Andy Gotts for a project started by Bafta eight years ago to record all living performers ever nominated for its movie honours.

The portraits are among 100 at an exhibition opening on Monday ahead of the Bafta awards on February 16. It also features Juliette Binoche, Jodie Foster, Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro, and Clint Eastwood. Gotts told how he was initially given just 12 minutes with Brad Pitt on the set of Troy: “But he said, ‘Take as long as you want.’ One and a half hours later we were arm-wrestling.” Pitt handed Gotts his phone with George Clooney on the line. Clooney invited the photographer to his villa in Italy, where Gotts found him feeding the ducks on Lake Como.

Gotts, 42, has taken pictures of more than half of about 800 candidates.

The exhibition, Behind The Mask, runs from January 20-February 7 at Somerset House, before a smaller display at Bafta HQ in Piccadilly. Limited edition prints are on sale to support Bafta’s charitable work.

Source: Evening Standard

BAFTA will project every image from the series onto the façade of its headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, London during the weekend of the EE British Academy Film Awards. Go the Exhibition Homepage.

20 January – 7 February 2014
Open daily 10.00-18.00
West Wing Galleries, West Wing
Free admission

001 Sessions from 2013 > British Film Awards – Session 001
001 Scans from 2014 > Evening Standard (UK) – January 16

Jan 2014
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Her turn as Piaf made her, but get ready for more defining roles from Marion Cotillard, writes Kaleem Aftab

“It was a dream come true,” says Marion Cotillard, describing the job she has just completed with the Dardenne brothers, the two-time Cannes Palme d’Or winners. But the statement could apply equally to everything she does. The actress will soon be in England, fulfilling another childhood ambition by playing Lady Macbeth in the latest big-screen adaptation of the Scottish play.

This is on top of two films that will soon be gracing our picture houses. The 38-year-old plays a down-on-her-luck Pole coming to 1920s New York in James Gray’s The Immigrant, and she has a part in the ensemble thriller Blood Ties, directed by French heartthrob Guillaume Canet, with whom she has a two-year-old son.

It’s not just on cinema screens where Cotillard has been wowing. Wherever she goes, someone has seemingly spent hours laying out a red carpet for her to strut down in the latest creation from Christian Dior. She’s been the promotional face of their handbag line since 2008, a contract that landed soon after she became the first woman since Sophia Loren in 1962 to win the Best Actress Oscar for performing a non-English language role.

In any room she enters, Cotillard is seemingly the only person there. This is true even when she dresses in jeans and a T-shirt, as she does when we meet at the Marrakech Film Festival, where she has been on jury duty, rubbing shoulders with heavyweight movie directors – Martin Scorsese, Paolo Sorrentino and Fatih Akin. Everything she does, even dressing down, oozes confidence.

How different it was when I first met the actress in 2004. At the time, she was getting rave reviews for her turn in the abstract romantic fantasy Love Me If You Dare. Looking back, the film is one of those curiosities that seemed to be a signifier for her life and career. She played an outsider of Polish extraction, who, over the years, plays destructive games of one-upmanship with her childhood best friend, depicted as an adult by a certain Mr Canet, who at the time was married to the German actress Diane Kruger. Different interpretations of Édith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” was one of the thematic motifs of the romantic tale – and three years later, it was playing La Môme Piaf that won Cotillard her Oscar.

But what always stuck in my mind was how nervous and awkward the actress seemed. At the time she said of her teenage years, “I was crazy, but I was not wild. I was not very sociable, not very happy either. I could do crazy things but in a way to destroy myself.” She continued, “I decided to be an actress. Perhaps the idea was to escape – but I realised that it was the exact opposite, that it was the only way to meet myself. To meet my true self and not to escape anymore… being someone else helped me to find my true self.”

Well it seems that fame, adoration and an Oscar can bring confidence. Meeting again, it’s hard to imagine a more sure-footed person.

She sees two big moments as altering the course of her career: “The first was Jean-Pierre Jeunet offering me the most beautiful role in A Very Long Engagement, which put a different light on my work.” Cotillard won a French César for her supporting role as an assassin in the First World War drama. In hindsight, it was the moment when the principal star, Audrey Tautou, handed over the baton as France’s most coveted actress.

The other, more predictably, was La vie en Rose, after the success of which, “I started to get proposals of good roles in America – and it was watching American films that first got me interested in acting.”

Now she’s one of the most sought-after actresses in the world, as her recent cameo in Anchorman 2 demonstrates. She’s also one-half of France’s most famous movie couple. When I ask her how different performing is when the director is her husband, she pauses, reflects and then says, “Well, I sleep with the director.” She then holds her head in her hands, seemingly embarrassed and adds, “It’s a joke – but it’s true.” I only realise later that whether or not Canet and Cotillard have actually married has never been publicly announced. But she chooses not to correct me.

She also starred in Canet’s underrated 2010 family drama Little White Lies, as well as the forthcoming Blood Ties. Living with him has made her appreciate the director’s lot: “I now know what it is to direct a movie. I have to live the whole journey of realising a movie and I know how hard it is. Now when a director cannot get what he wants, most of the time because of money, it breaks my heart.”

She gives an example from The Immigrant. “I could feel that James was not happy on set, and I asked him if he was okay. He said, ‘yeah, I was just thinking about what I wanted to do’ – and he started to explain; it was beautiful, but then he added that it would cost twice the budget that he had. I felt that he was very sad, and it affected me more than it would have before, because I know what it’s like to put years of your life into a project and be frustrated.”

Gray is full of praise for Cotillard, saying, “She’s an actress who can perform without needing words.” When this is recounted to the Parisian, she retorts, “Yeah, he says that, and then he writes 20 pages of dialogue in Polish and asks me to do it.”

She spent three months learning Polish to play Ewa Cybulski, an immigrant who gets separated from her sister at Ellis Island and is then torn between two men, one volatile (Joaquin Phoenix) and the other sweet (Jeremy Renner).

The forthcoming year may be her best yet. Michael Fassbender will be playing Macbeth in the adaptation by Snowtown director Justin Kurzel. “I knew that one day I would play Lady Macbeth, but in my mind it would be on stage and in French,” she says. “I never thought that one day I would say the original lines, which took me ages to understand. I was very honest when I read the text for the first time. I called the director and said. ‘Thank God I know the story, because I didn’t get any of the words’. It’s kind of crazy for them to ask a French actress to do that.”

On the subject of Lady Macbeth, Cotillard says that she’s infatuated by, “The depth of humanity in her – but it’s all driven away by fear and despair. How you do things to have a better life – but when they are against humanity, you will fail.”

Moral decisions are also central to her forthcoming turn in the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night. The film is expected to land at Cannes in May and Cotillard says, “The way they do cinema is everything that I love – and they pushed me as much as they could, and I was ready for anything. It’s hard to talk about the movie, because they are still editing and I haven’t seen it yet…” The film is about a woman who will not be made redundant if she can persuade bankers to forego their bonuses. She adds, “Okay, I know the set-up is fake.”

Fake or not, the plot is intriguing, and with Cotillard starring, it’s one of the most anticipated films of 2014.

“The Immigrant” and “Blood Ties” will be released in the spring