Marion Cotillard says she was ‘manipulated’ by male director: ‘I felt like an object’
Marion Cotillard has opened up about a time when she felt manipulated by an unnamed male director.
The French actor has been at the Cannes Film Festival in support of her forthcoming film Little Girl Blue. Directed and written by Mona Achache, the film explores the life of Achache’s mother Carole (played by Cotillard), who was a writer and set photographer.
After the film’s premiere, Cotillard was asked about a scene for which Achache asked her to remain in character on her tea break – meaning that she had to sip tea noisily as her mother did.
When asked whether she believed that this was an example of a manipulative relationship between actor and filmmaker, the Lady Macbeth star disagreed.
“I don’t see a director and an actor as being in relationships of manipulation. It’s more a collaboration,” she told Variety in a report published on Wednesday (24 May).
“It happened to me only once where I felt that I was being manipulated by a director, and I really didn’t like that.”
The male director, who Cotillard did not name, allegedly led her to believe that their experience would consist of “a process of working together with a collaborative connection”. She said she soon realised that he was intentionally influencing her in a way that made her uncomfortable.
“I thought: ‘Is he manipulating me because he thinks that I’m going to be unable to give him what he needs, what he wants, if he doesn’t act this way?’ And I felt like an object, and I really hated it,” she said.
“And the thing is, I saw right away all the manipulation, and I had the judgement that it was kind of dumb that you can’t ask me to do things without trying to use ways of manipulation that really don’t work with me, with my personality as a woman, I mean, as a human being, and as an actress.”
Little Girl Blue begins by showing Cotillard, 47, transforming into Carole Achache, who took her own life in 2016. Though she left no suicide note, Carole had 25 crates’ worth of letters, diaries and photos, which filmmaker Mona has used to gain a better understanding of her.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.