TIFF 2011: Toronto International Film Festival

Wednesday | April 23, 2014

Marion Cotillard choosy on movie roles


Marion Cotillard. (I. Kavanaugh/WENN.com)


Marion Cotillard seems to have her feet firmly on the ground.

This is no small thing, considering both her head-turning level of celebrity and the seven inch high heels she sported at in interview session in Toronto on Friday.

The Oscar-winning actress, 37, is in town to promote Rust & Bone, a gala presentation at TIFF. The film is a stunning drama from director Jacques Audiard; Cotillard plays a killer whale trainer seriously injured at work and Matthias Schoenaerts portrays a thuggish blue-collar worker she relies upon after the accident.

Cotillard was a virtual unknown to North American viewers in 2008 when she took home a Bafta, a Golden Globe, a Cesar and an Academy Award (among many other prizes) for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.

After that, she quickly made a lasting impression on the movie-goers' collective consciousness with starring roles in such films as Public Enemies, opposite Johnny Depp, the musical Nine, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, the blockbuster Contagion and Christopher Nolan's Inception and The Dark Knight Rises -- two of the biggest movies of the last few years.

It didn't happen by chance. The actress says she has been very careful about who she works for.

"I was offered roles in movies that were, for me, studio movies and not director movies," she says. "And I could never do that. One day I was offered a dream role, a huge, big American movie, and I thought, 'Oh, my God, it's going to be a lot of fun.' And then I met the director, and I thought, 'I have nothing to do here. Nothing!' He knew nothing about actors. He was just there to direct -- I don't know what, but not me."

Still, Cotillard's friends told her she was crazy to turn down the role.

"The movie came out, it was a huge success and I went to see it to see what I missed. And my God, I didn't miss anything! I thought it was so bad. And I had the explanation -- there was no director for the actors on set. There was a director for, ah, I don't know what."

Despite all the work, Cotillard and director Guillaume Canet found time to have their first child together in May, 2011, even while Cotillard's schedule took her all over the planet. Now she's a working mother. She's not complaining.

"It's hectic," is all she says about juggling motherhood and career. "But I finally managed to take some time off. My life is in movement, constant movement, and I love it, but sometimes you just need to relax and not work too much."

She adds, "And I want to see my son every day of my life and do nothing and just stare at him."

Describing herself as a 'gypsy', Cotillard says she lives in France, then corrects that and says she's just spent six months living in New York. She shot two new movies there, including Blood Ties, a film directed by her partner Canet; it co-stars Mila Kunis and Clive Owen and reunites her with her Rust & Bone co-star, Matthias Schoenaerts. ( Of Schoenaerts, she says, "Finally, cinema has found him! Working with him was amazing. Sometimes you meet someone and there's this feeling you've known them forever, like a brother.")

Cotillard says she is indeed hounded by paparazzi, but again, she's not complaining. "We turn it into a lot of fun, like when I have to go to the airport and suddenly my publicist says, 'Oh, my God, paparazzi,' and I look like s--t, so I put some makeup on. And that's ridiculous! To put on makeup just to take a plane? So we make fun of it.

"It's not difficult. Difficult is no money to feed your kids. Difficult is something totally different. Sometimes it's annoying, sometimes when you want to have time for yourself and your family it can be more than annoying, but you have to take a little step back and see that difficulty is what I just said, and not my life.

"My life is amazing and I shouldn't complain."

liz.braun@sunmedia.ca

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