Interview with Marion Cotillard

French actress MARION COTILLARD talks make-up and motherhood with Pierre de Villiers

“My life is like a constant movement and I love it, but sometimes you just need to relax and not work too much,” says the Oscar winner, who became a mother for the first time last year. “I want to see my son [Marcel] every day of my life, do nothing and just stare at him. I spend a lot of time outside of France; sometimes it’s good to go back to your roots.”

Cotillard, who won an Oscar in 2008 for her portrayal of the singer �dith Piaf, certainly earned her Parisian time off. Before the break, the 37-year-old star had appeared with Matt Damon and Kate Winslet in disaster film Contagion before sharing the screen with Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. Cotillard also completed Jacques Audiard’s drama Rust and Bone, in which she plays St�phanie, a sealife centre worker who loses her legs in an attack by a killer whale.

The actress was drawn immediately to playing a multi-layered, intriguing character. “Usually when I read a script and I love the story and the character, I feel a strong connection; I know who the person is. But with St�phanie, it was like – I don’t know who she is. I realised part of her would stay a mystery and that was OK.”

In what is a vanity-free performance, Cotillard appears on screen stripped of all make-up, something that might shock those used to seeing her look a million euros on the red carpet. For the actress, though, staying clear of the eyeliner comes naturally.

“When I have to go to the airport, my publicist goes, ‘Oh my god. There are paparazzi’ and says I need to put some make-up on,” she chuckles. “It’s ridiculous to do that just to take the plane.”

Cotillard will soon be back in the media spotlight, starring with Jeremy Renner and Joaquin Phoenix in romantic drama Nightingale before collaborating with actor/director Guillaume Canet – her boyfriend and father of Marcel – in crime drama Blood Ties. While Cotillard is well aware that the paparazzi will continue to circle, she dismisses suggestions that it is difficult dealing with all the attention.

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“Difficult means no money to feed your kids,” she says. “It is not difficult, although sometimes it’s annoying. When you want to have time for yourself and your family, it can be more than annoying. But my life is amazing; I shouldn’t complain.”

Rust and Bone is in cinemas now. .