Marion Cotillard is encouraged by the progress made by the #MeToo movement, but believes, “We still have a long way to go.” The Oscar winner stopped by the American Pavilion in Cannes today to chat with me about her latest film, Little Girl Blue, which is an Official Selection Special Screening here at the festival and which deals with themes of sexual abuse.
Director Mona Achache plays herself in the film, a woman trying to understand why her mother committed suicide and who discovers a stash of thousands of letters and photographs that provide insight into a person she doesn’t recognize. Enter Cotillard, as herself, taking on the role of the mother and bringing her, in a way, back to life in order to retrace her journey.
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Cotillard said she felt very close to these women because, “a lot of women in this world had experienced this relationship to men. My mother and my grandmother and even further have had this journey through very difficult relationships with men and sexual assault. I was very touched by this quest because it’s a journey to healing.”
When I asked her how far she thought the film industry has come since the early days of #MeToo, she exclaimed, “We still have a long way to go!” She added, “I always have in mind this woman who goes to another march, another walk with her sign saying ‘I can’t believe I’m still here dealing with this sh*t’.”
Cotillard continued, “I’ve been an actress for a long time; I was [put] in situations that I shouldn’t have been in…There still are some sick men, and women sometimes, who will take advantage of the youth, who will take advantage of the passion that we have as an actor, the fact that we depend on the desire of directors, producers.”
But, she sounded a positive note, “To know that today those young actresses know that this is not right, that if someone asks you something that you’re not comfortable with you can say ‘No.’ I didn’t know that when I was a young actress, it was a very different time.”
Turning back to the festival at hand, Cotillard recounted her favorite Cannes memories, noting that the red carpet for Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone was something special. Recalling further back, she said that after finishing La Vie en Rose, for which she ultimately won the Best Actress Oscar, the team made its way to the market here to show off a 10-minute reel: “We felt that something was happening, and that was a fantastic thing to live because I understood. I would run into people and they would say ‘Oh my God, we saw those 10 minutes,’ and we felt the desire that was rising.”
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