“There was something…really dark about me.”

Posted by · 9:55 am · June 24th, 2009

Marion Cotillard in Public EnemiesWhat is beautiful/sexy anyway these days?  Is classic back in?  Does bombshell still register?  Who knows, but for me, very much so lately, actress Marion Cotillard seems to be a certain embodiment.

A taste thing, obviously.  Subjective.  But I put her near the head of the pack in a business so hung up on boiler-plate image that it tends to miss gems like Cotillard.  Fortunately, thanks to an Oscar and prime film gigs, audiences Stateside are making her introduction.

It is with these, perhaps overly dude-ish thoughts that I read Heather Hudson’s unique profile of the actress in London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.  Painting a portrait of depth at the very top of the piece, Hudson begins to capture a quite complicated, attractively thoughtful actress.  The writer details a “propensity for complicated emotion” and conversations concerning “intrinsic worth” that absolutely captivates.  Or maybe it’s just another crush.

With featured roles in both Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” and Rob Marshall’s “Nine” this year, Cotillard is set to have a stellar year.  Upcoming collaborations with Christopher Nolan and Guillaume Canet are sure to further spread her global appeal.  Both Mann and Marshall are quoted in the piece, singing the actress’s praises, of course, but this section detailing Cotillard’s work ethic in establishing the proper accent for her character in “Enemies” is indicative of the kind of dedication Mann demands:

In preparation for the role, Cotillard talked to Wilma Mankiller, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1985 to 1995, as well as Michael Chapman, a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and spent time in Las Vegas and Chicago, talking to girls working in nightclubs and bars. Cotillard also trained herself to speak in a French-Canadian-Wisconsin accent without a trace of her native tongue.

‘It was the hardest thing, really, I’ve ever had to do. Even being old and depressed like Edith Piaf was much easier. The hardest thing was that I deeply knew that it wouldn’t be perfect and it’s – agh! It was something unbearable.’ For four months she worked with a dialect coach every day, and during the three-month shoot, in true method style, spoke only in English, even to her family and friends.

‘I couldn’t speak French. No French. Even my French friends and my family when they called me, we would speak English.’

Indeed, Mann says Cotillard is “a great and real person who doesn’t fall into the movie stardom cliché…an artist first and foremost,” and he admits that he’s “never seen anyone work so hard” in his life.  High praise indeed.

→ 21 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

21 responses so far

  • 1 6-24-2009 at 10:34 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Yeah, Cotillard demonstrated a “propensity for complicated emotion” and “intrinsic worth” when she appeared in “Innocence” five years back. She’s the real deal, even if I was on Team Christie last year. Excited (and frankly, a little surprised) that Hollywood has taken a shine to her.

  • 2 6-24-2009 at 10:40 am

    andrew said...

    I’m so happy shes breaking through. She first caught my eye in Big Fish and then A Very Long Engagement. I’m glad she’s getting bigger roles in French and American cinema now. Was totally rooting for her Oscar win, and I can’t wait to see her next week and in the fall!

  • 3 6-24-2009 at 10:42 am

    rosengje said...

    Uh, Kris.. why did I just get a press release saying the Best Picture category has been expanded to ten?

  • 4 6-24-2009 at 10:47 am

    Mike said...

    “…Daniel Day-Lewis was absolutely blown away by her…”

    Talk about a compliment.

  • 5 6-24-2009 at 10:49 am

    The Dude said...

    1) Great article, love Cotillard. She is both gorgeous and amazing at what she does. Most international stars come from America or England or Austrailia…great to see that the American press is warming up to a talent like hers.

    2) So Variety is reporting the Best Pic slate is expanding to 10 this year!? Did you see this yet!?http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118005322.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2854

  • 6 6-24-2009 at 10:49 am

    The Dude said...

    Oops, rosengje beat me to it!

  • 7 6-24-2009 at 10:56 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The Dude: Yeah, not a report, actually just a press release we all got from AMPAS. Just posted about it.

  • 8 6-24-2009 at 11:16 am

    Vito said...

    I love her. She’s gorgeous and incredibly talented.

  • 9 6-24-2009 at 11:19 am

    Troy said...

    I’ve had a thing for her since sseeing her in Big Fish.

  • 10 6-24-2009 at 11:51 am

    Mr. F said...

    Although I was rooting for Julie Christie on 2007, I was still happy that she won. She is truly talented and I’m glad she’s getting all these roles.

  • 11 6-24-2009 at 11:56 am

    JC said...

    I have a feeling that if Chris Nolan chooses to do a third Batman film, and decides to use the Catwoman character, Cotillard is going to be his obvious choice.

    La Vie En Rose should be coming up soon in my Netflix queue.

  • 12 6-24-2009 at 12:11 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “Cotillard is going to be his obvious choice.”

    Completely ignoring the fact that Nolan continuously shies away from the “obvious choice.”

  • 13 6-24-2009 at 12:27 pm

    Vito said...

    Cotillard, or Beckinsale as Catwoman and no one else! Hahaha.

  • 14 6-24-2009 at 12:37 pm

    JC said...

    Kris, I just meant obvious choice in that both Nolan and Bale will have worked with her, and perhaps have a good enough rapport with her that she’d slide into the gig nicely.

    And, quite frankly, Bale was a pretty obvious choice for Batman…the fanboys were clamoring for it a number of years ago. He then cast the guy again in his next film. Directors grow attached to actors, is all.

  • 15 6-24-2009 at 12:52 pm

    MattyD. said...

    God, I love Cotillard. And I’m with Vito! She’d be PERFECT for Catwoman!

  • 16 6-24-2009 at 2:01 pm

    [thiago] said...

    compliments from both mann and day-lewis. she must really work hard.

  • 17 6-24-2009 at 2:04 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    JC: I’m well aware that the fanboys were rabid for Bale, but that’s the ONLY example of an obvious choice throughout this franchise. I just try to steer the conversation away from these things when they get out of control (not that they have now). Kind of like all the, “Hey, maybe Hugh Jackman will play Dent” stuff, ditto Guy Pearce.

  • 18 6-24-2009 at 2:05 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    That said, I obviously think Cotillard would be a perfect choice for Catwoman.

  • 19 6-24-2009 at 2:19 pm

    JC said...

    Fair enough, Kris. :)

  • 20 6-24-2009 at 6:52 pm

    katie said...

    Big fan, loved her in “A very long engagement”

  • 21 6-24-2009 at 6:54 pm

    katie said...

    and of course as Edith Piaf, specially towards the end, those eyes when she remembered her child.