“The basic reason why anyone wants to become an actor is arrested development. Which is great when you’re 18. Becoming an actor is like becoming a father. It’s not hard to become one. Making a life of it is the challenge”
I had no idea who…Marion Cotillard was. When I was in Paris for “Two Lovers,” a publicist told me, “A guy named Guillaume Canet wants to have lunch with you.” So we met and had lunch, I found him incredibly funny — I didn’t know anything he had done at that stage, but we sort of bonded because a rat ran across the floor of the restaurant. And then he said, “Come meet my girlfriend” and I met this woman who looked like a silent film actress like Pola Negrior something. And I said, “Who’s your girlfriend?” and he said [French accent] ”You don’t know my girlfriend? She won an Oscar, are you stupide?”
And my wife and I became very friendly with them. One night at dinner we went to a restaurant and I told her I didn’t like some actor that she thought was great and she threw a piece of bread at my head, and I thought, “Well, you’re interesting.” So I wrote the movie [“Lowlife”] for her, having never seen her in a movie. Because she has this face, you know? She doesn’t even have to say anything, and that’s rare.
James Gray on Marion Cotillard
“The border is man-made. Nature doesn’t care.”—La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)
November 13, 1909 — May 24, 1986
“Smiles of a Summer Night was my best part of all, I think, to play. It was a wonderful time. So it went on from year to year. The part of the writer in Through a Glass Darkly was a portrait of Bergman himself. I had to weep, very short and very intensely, and when they did the playback it was too short. So, Ingmar said it was so good, but one more take, one more take! Anything I am playing, I draw it from within myself, from every part of my character. Being an actor means taking one aspect of yourself and projecting it—you’ve got everything within you, actually. That can be very difficult, especially to avoid compromising. I cannot do it coldly and technically.”
“For ten years we had all been told to go out and die for freedom and democracy; but now the war was over, The Red Shoes told us to go out and die for art.” — Michael Powell
— Cicero, circa 43 BC.
Could you describe somehow the way he has influenced your life?
Well, it has been 40 years. He is the father of my child. He was my best friend, and we shared so much, because I was his actress. And after all, I was directing some of his scripts. We had a lot of fun together, we laughed a lot. As I said, because he always took his work seriously, he made it possible for all of us who worked with him to take the work seriously too. It wasn’t for money, but commitment. (…) I have worked with good directors, especially in the theatre. But working with Ingmar was special. He allowed me to use everything creative within me, as much as I know about my craft. There are no secrets left, that haven’t been challenged. He was there just as an inspiration. - Liv Ullmann