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Marion Cotillard

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Marion Cotillard (born September 30, 1975) is a French actress who has appeared in over thirty films in France. Cotillard won her second César Award, the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, Czech Lion, and the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as French chanteuse Édith Piaf in La Vie En Rose

Biography

marion cotillardCotillard began acting during her childhood, appearing on stage in one of her father’s plays.

Cotillard was born in Paris and grew up around Orléans, Loiret in an artistically-inclined, "bustling, creative household". Her father, Jean-Claude Cotillard, is an actor, teacher, former mime, and 2006 Molière Award-winning director of Breton descent (his mother Léontine Cotillard still lives in Plémet, Brittany). Her mother Niseema Theillaud, is also an actress and drama teacher. She has two younger twin brothers, Quentin and Guillaume. Quentin Cotillard is a sculptor and painter living in San Francisco, California with his Irish-American wife, Elaine O’Malley Cotillard, "a former Dutch National Ballet dancer who grew up in Marin County and is now a San Francisco fashion designer". Guillaume Cotillard is a writer.

Cotillard is currently in a relationship with French actor/director Guillaume Canet. They co-starred in the 2003 French film Love Me If You Dare. The couple’s relationship is widely reported in the French press, and they have been dubbed the French version of "Brangelina." Despite this, many reports say the couple prefers to live a simple lifestyle, and they are often spotting in cafes and shopping together in Paris. Cotillard is interested in environmental activism and has served as a spokesperson for Greenpeace allowing the organization to use her apartment to test products and being among the artists involved in "Desseins pour le climat" (Drawings for Climate), an album project that was released in 2005 and raised money for the environmental activist group. She is a fan of Radiohead, of Canadian singer Hawksley Workman as well and she has appeared in two of his music videos, most notably "No Reason to Cry Out your Eyes (On the Highway Tonight)". Workman even revealed in interviews about his last album Between The Beautifuls that he worked and wrote songs with Cotillard while they both were in Los Angeles during the movie awards season.

Career

After a few roles on television, her career as a film actress began in the mid-1990s with small but noticeable roles in such films as Pierre Grimblat’s Lisa alongside the iconic Jeanne Moreau, Swiss novel-adaptation drama War In The Highlands, Coline Serreau’s comedy La Belle Verte, or Alexandre Aja’s anticipation fantasy Furia among other participations in established directors’ productions. She rose to prominence in the late 1990s when she was cast in the Luc Besson production Taxi (1998) as Lili Bertineau, a minor role that she reprised in two sequels. She then earned very good reviews and the attention of cinephiles via her portrayal of twins who exchange their lives after one of them dies in Les Jolies Choses/Pretty Things adapted from the work of subversive feminist novelist Virginie Despentes in which she sang live on stage a couple of songs she had co-written.

In 2003, she had a small role in Tim Burton’s film, Big Fish, which introduced her to English-speaking audiences. She also played Sophie Kowalski in Yann Samuell’s Jeux d’enfants (English title: Love Me If You Dare), in which she played a complex yet appealing modern romantic lead. She appeared in two critically successful films in 2004: A Very Long Engagement, where Cotillard further demonstrated the range of her abilities by playing the murderous Tina Lombardi (garnering the César Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role), and the drama mystery Innocence.

2005 saw Abel Ferrara offering her a small role alongside Forest Whitaker (who would present her the Oscar two years later) in his religious movie Mary while she also played in Burnt Out, Fabienne Godet’s study of social oppression and stresses of corporate culture. In 2006, she appeared in Ridley Scott’s A Good Year, Belgian comedy Dikkenek and learnt to play the cello for her role as a concertist in the satirical coming of age movie You and Me.

She was chosen by director Olivier Dahan to portray the iconic French singer Édith Piaf in the biopic La Môme (English title: La Vie En Rose) before he had even met her, saying that in the eyes of Édith Piaf he noticed a similarity with Marion’s own.. Producer Alain Goldman accepted and defended the choice even though distributors TFM reduced the money they gave to finance the film thinking Cotillard wasn’t "bankable" enough an actress. Her portrayal was widely praised, including by the eminent theatre director Sir Trevor Nunn, who described it as "one of the greatest performances on film ever." It was dubbed "the most awaited film of 2007" in France, where some critics said that she had reincarnated Édith Piaf to sing one last time on stage.

On February 10, 2008, Cotillard became the first French actress to be awarded the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role since the BAFTAs in 1969 combined the Best British and Best Foreign actress award into one Best Actress category. She is also the first actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for a French language performance since Catherine Deneuve for Indochine in 1992. She is the first actress to win a Golden Globe for a foreign language performance since 1972, when Liv Ullmann won for The Emigrants. She is also the very first person to win a (Comedy or Musical) Golden Globe for a foreign language performance. As La Vie En Rose was also a Czech production (as she mentioned in her César acceptance speech), Marion Cotillard was nominated for the Czech Lion for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" on February 21.

On February 22, 2008 she was awarded the César Award for Best Actress, and two days later she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. After Simone Signoret in 1959, Marion Cotillard is the second French cinema actress to win an Academy Award for Best Actress, though French expatriate Claudette Colbert was given an Oscar in 1934. She is the first Best Actress winner in a non-English language performance since Sophia Loren’s win in 1961. She is also the first and so far only winner of an Academy Award for a performance in the French language. In her Oscar acceptance speech, Cotillard proclaimed "thank you life, thank you love" (allegedly a reference to one of Piaf’s songs) and, speaking of Los Angeles, said "it is true, there is some angels in this city!"

On March 1, 2008, Cotillard won the Czech film industry’s highest acting honor, the Czech Lion Award for Best Actress. She could not attend the ceremony in Prague due to the filming of her next US film, Public Enemies. Her friend Pavlina Nemcova - who played the journalist in La vie en Rose - was there to accept the award on her behalf.

Cotillard has also been cast to play Luisa Contini in the film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical Nine.

marion cotillard naked

Career

Washington made her screen debut in the ABC telefilm Magical Make-Over (1994). She was in the cast of the 1996 PBS sketch comedy-style educational series Standard Deviants, and she appeared in the short "3D" and the feature film Our Song in 2000. She went on to roles in several movies, including Save the Last Dance (2001), The Human Stain (2003), Spike Lee’s She Hate Me (2004), Ray (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Little Man & I Think I Love My Wife (2007), and, in a departure, an accented, period role as a wife of 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the UK historical drama The Last King of Scotland (2006). Washington has also appeared in the recurring role Chelina Hall on the ABC television series Boston Legal, and in several episodes of the A&E cable-TV series 100 Centre Street.

She is the new spokeperson for L’Oréal starring in commercials and ads alongside fellow actresses Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria, and model Doutzen Kroes.

She also co-directed and appeared in the music video for hip-hop artist Common’s song, "I Want You", the fourth single off of his album Finding Forever.

In addition, Kerry serves as the narrator of the critically-acclaimed 2008 documentary about the New Orleans-based teenage TBC Brass Band entitled From the Mouthpiece on Back, which also lists The Roots as one of the executive producers of the movie.

She has also been known as apart of the African American group ‘Negro Hunters’ that find troubled black students in schools across the west coast and try to help them regain their way into an education..

Controversy

On February 29, 2008, the website of French magazine Marianne published quotes of an excerpt of a television interview dating back to February 16, 2007, in which she said:

Cotillard: I have a tendency to often share the point of view of the conspiracy theory.

Paris Dernière: Are you paranoid?

Cotillard: No, no, it’s not a paranoid thing — because I think that we are told lies about lots of things.

Paris Dernière: Yeah?

Cotillard: Coluche, 9/11, all that. We can watch on the Internet all the films that, well…about 9/11, about — about the conspiracy theory. It’s fascinating. It’s even addictive after a while.

Paris Dernière: Let’s take 9/11, for example. What did disturb (sic) you more concretely?

Cotillard: You are shown that other towers of the same kind that were hit by planes, that burnt — there is a tower, I think that it’s in Spain, that burnt for twenty-four hours.

Paris Dernière: Before collapsing…?

Cotillard: It never collapsed! None of these towers collapsed. And, over there, in a few minutes, the thing collapses. And, then, after that, we’ll talk lengthily about it because there was — because the thing was filled with gold, the towers from 9/11. And then it was a money-sucker because they were finished, it seems to me, in ‘73, and to update all that, to modernize all the technology and everything, it was much more expensive to have work done, etc., than destroying them. Did man walk on the moon? I’ve seen quite a lot of documentaries about it, and I ask myself. But, in any case, I don’t believe everything that I’m told, that’s for sure.

She made this statement during a long conversation with host Xavier de Moulins in which La Vie En Rose Oscar-winning make-up artist Didier Lavergne—a close friend of the late Coluche, the controversy over whose death was mentioned just before in the discussion—intervened as well and it was edited into an approximately one hour show. At this particular moment, they were visiting the Catacombs, a famous underground ossuary, during a nocturnal walk in various places of Paris for Paris Dernière, a Paris by Night cultural television program.

A few days later Cotillard released the statement: "My statements on that program have been taken completely out context and been crafted into a story that has no merit." She stressed her deep apologies regarding how her statements or their misunderstanding could have hurt any people. Her attorney, Vincent Tolesano, said that "Marion never intended to contest nor question the attacks of September 11, 2001; and regrets the way old remarks have been taken out of context."

Filmography

Year Movie
1996 “La Belle Verte”
1998 “Taxi”
1999 “La Guerre dans le Haut Pays”, “Furia”, “Du Bleu jusqu’en Am?rique”
2000 “Taxi 2″
2001 “Lisa”, “Les Jolies choses”
2002 “Une affaire priv?e”
2003 “Taxi 3″, “Love Me If You Dare”, “Big Fish”
2004 “Innocence”, “A Very Long Engagement”
2005 “Cavalcade”, “Edy”, “Ma vie en l’air”, “Mary”, “Sauf le respect que je vous dois”, “La Bo?te noire”
2006 “Toi et Moi”, “Dikkenek”, “Fair Play”, “A Good Year”
2007 “La m?me”
2009 “Public Enemies”, “Nine”

marion cotillard bio