‘Jeux d’enfants‘ (Love Me If You Dare) was released on Blu-ray in Germany last week. I replaced our screencaptures of Marion Cotillard as Sophie in this tumultous love story with Julien (played by Guillaume Canet) that was originally released 10 years ago with ultra HQ screencaptures. Enjoy!
Marion Cotillard has confessed working with her director partner Guillaume Canet can sometimes be heaven, but sometimes be “hell”.
The Oscar-winning actress stars in new crime thriller Blood Ties, which Guillaume wrote and directed. The couple have been together since 2007 and have a two-year-old son.
Marion revealed: “The difficulty of having your partner working on a set, it’s hard to explain.
“I really want him to be happy with everything he wants, and sometimes when it doesn’t work… I’m not [just] talking about me acting, I would do anything to give him what he wants, but the general things that happen on set, when he’s not happy, it touches me deeply.
“But it’s really, really, interesting to be in the life of someone who’s in the creative process. Even though sometimes it’s really hard to live, sometimes it’s heaven and sometimes it’s hell.”
But Marion, who has been directed by Guillaume before, as well as acted opposite him, revealed she does her best to support him.
She said: “I’m being supportive because this creative process is very intense. You really open your mind and your heart and your soul to what you’re going to give your actors and your crew and eventually the audience. It’s really interesting to watch closely, and I’ve always been very impressed to watch him working.”
Blood Ties also stars Clive Owen, James Caan, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, Billy Crudup and Matthias Schoenaerts.
After exclusively bringing the news that Marion Cotillard would lead the next drama from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, we managed to catch up with the duo to find out where, production-wise, they find themselves, and what any plans might be for a release. One need only look at previous productions to see they’re very secretive, but we were able to secure a few details.
Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Two Days, One Night), the Belgian duo’s follow-up to The Kid with a Bike, has wrapped and is headed to the editing room today. Shot entirely in the Walloon region of Belgium, near the brother’s hometown of Seraing, Cotillard plays Sandra, a young woman who has only one weekend to convince her colleagues that they must give up their bonuses in order for her to keep her job. Fabrizio Rongione, a Dardenne regular after Rosetta, The Child and The Kid With a Bike, plays Sandra’s husband in the social drama.
We asked the filmmakers what it was like working with the actress, to which Luc Dardenne quickly replied, “…it was formidable”; he further described her performance as “strong and one of excellence.” Cotillard, however, will have to wait until the premiere to see her work onscreen, as the filmmakers said nobody working on the project was allowed to watch dailies.
When asked when we could expect the premiere, the filmmakers replied, “If the film is selected for Cannes, we’ll premiere it at the festival. If it’s not selected, we don’t know. We’ll see!” While they play coy, considering nearly all of their films have premiered at France’s prestigious festival, it’s a safe bet we’ll see them return next May. While the Dardennes prepare their film for a premiere and eventual U.S. release (via Sundance Selects), Cotillard is off to shoot her role as Lady Macbeth, opposite Michael Fassbender, in the Justin Kurzel-directed reprisal of Shakespeare‘s tale.
What: Blood Ties, French director Guillaume Canet’s fourth feature film about a pair of brothers (played by Billy Crudup and Clive Owen) — one a cop, the other a criminal — in 1970’s New York. Marion Cotillard plays the mother of Chris’s (Owen) children, who’s trying to run her own brothel.
When: Sept. 10, 10:45 a.m.
Who: Director Guillaume Canet, producer Alain Attal, Marion Cotillard
1. Canet, who has long been fascinated with the 1970’s, has always wanted to set one of his films during this period in New York.
“I grew up with … the cinema of the 1970’s in the U.S. Like Sam Peckinpah and Jerry Schatzberg,” said the Tell No One director, seated beside his real-life partner, Cotillard. “I’ve always been very excited about making a movie of that genre.”
2. Canet and Cotillard admit there are ups and downs to being in a working and personal relationship.
The couple, who have been together for several years and have a child, talked at length about the difficulties of both living and work together. “I trust Guillaume 200 per cent,” said Cotillard. “I would do anything for him to get what he wants. When he’s not happy, it touches me deeply. But it’s interesting to be in the life of someone who’s in the creative process. Even though it’s sometimes really hard to live, sometimes it’s heaven and sometimes it’s hell. But I’m supportive because I know this creative process is really intense.”
3. Don’t ask the La Vie en Rose actress about her personal life, even if you disguise it as a question about Parisians being more romantic.
When a journalist asked how the couple keeps the romance alive at home since France is the most romantic country in the world, Cotillard gracefully responded, “I cannot answer this question. We never talk about our personal life.” Canet quickly turned to the actress and said, “You can just say I’m very romantic at home, too.”
4. Cotillard accepted the role partly because she was looking for a film set in the 1970’s, since she’s acted in films from virtually every other period in recent history.
“I was very excited to explore this period because I had explored the 20s, 40s, 50s, 60s, even the 80s, but never the 70s,” said Cotillard, to which Canet joked, “This is why I picked the 70s, to make sure she would accept.” The actress, smiling, replied, “No, I would have accepted anything,” before adding, “There is a special groove to the 70s and I loved working on the very specific body language that really comes with what they wore and the period’s time and the way people wanted to set themselves free of the constrictions that they had lived in for years.”
5. Cotillard, who dons an Italian accent in the film, had no trouble picking up Polish for a role, but failed miserably at learning Italian.
Cotillard had to learn some Polish for her work in the film The Immigrant, but says she simply couldn’t pick up Italian for Blood Ties (even though it was all her idea!) “I wanted to learn a little bit of Italian, but I failed,” said Cotillard. “It was kind of dramatic for me, but I didn’t have to speak Italian in the movie so it was’t like a major public failure … The amount of time it took me to learn four lines in Italian was the same amount of time it took me to learn 20 pages in Polish. I mean, I am really not good at Italian.”
Marion Cotillard, the stunning French actress who won an Oscar for La Vie en Rose, was delighted that she did not have to strip off her clothes to play a prostitute in Guillaume Canet’s Brooklyn crime thriller, Blood Ties.
“How it was written,” she told a TIFF press conference on Tuesday, “I didn’t have to do crazy naked stuff.”
Emotionally, she did have to go to extremes, but that was easier because that is her job as an actress. “I would have gone wherever Guillaume wanted to go.”
Cotillard, of course, was confident she would not be exploited by writer-director Canet. After all, he happens to be her life partner, and father of Cotillard’s two-year-old son Marcel. Blood Ties is also the second time they have worked together, after she starred in Little White Lies (2010), his French-language dramatic comedy. Blood Ties is Canet’s English-language debut.
Working together is like a love affair, only with a different set of complications. “Personally,” Canet said, “I think it is an advantage only for the director … and not at all for the actress.”
“That’s not true!” Cotillard said, glancing at her lover, who is a heartthrob movie star in France when not directing his own films.
“It is very different for the actress,” Canet continued, describing how Cotillard would have to come home after a day of shooting “and you don’t want to hear all the director’s problems that he had all day long.”
Filmmakers who direct their lovers also have another issue to deal with, he said: “They don’t want to express too much the admiration and love (they have) for their partner. So, on the set, unconsciously, they are less … (he pauses, searching for the phrase in English) …”
“Open to compliments?” Cotillard offers with a mischievous grin.
“Yes! On the other hand, I think there is something really, really important and magical when you shoot a movie with someone who is your partner.” That something is trust.
“All directors know that Marion has something extraordinary in her way of working. She is very generous and, once she is committed to a movie, she is trusting the director no matter what. With me, it is even more because she knows she would give everything. She trusts me because she knows me, and she knows I don’t want to disappoint her and (put) her in a weird situation. For me, that a huge gift — to have this complicity.”
For Cotillard, their relationship is based on that same sense of trust that Canet described. “I trust Guillaume 200%.”
As for being given a hard time on set, “He was always fair. Don’t believe what he said about being more difficult. And I would do anything for him to get what he wants.”
Cotillard and Canet are well known for not talking about their personal life together in Paris. So their revelations about their working relationship are somewhat unusual. But Cotillard brought down their cone of silence when a Mexican journalist awkwardly asked her to describe her romantic relationship with Canet.
“We never talk about our personal life,” Cotillard said.
“You can just say I’m very romantic at home, too,” Canet suggested.
“Which is true, actually,” Cotillard confirmed.