MARION COTILLARD - ALLIED
French-born actress Marion Cotillard, also a musician and singer-songwriter was born into a family of performers and seemed destined for the spotlight. At the young age of 16, she made the decision to become a professional actress and moved to Paris to pursue her dream. The dream materialized, and Marion went on to star in over 40 different French films, but her most iconic role was in La Vie En Rose in which Cotillard starred as the fallen French singer Edith Piaf that catapulted her into international fame. The President of France heralded her performance, and she went on to take home both a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award for the role. It was the first time in years that a film with foreign dialog took home the Oscar. She embodies her characters that she plays so intensely that you might not even recognize her on the red carpet. This star is usually immersed in her work, and not too much with the fame that goes along with her job.
Unfortunately, before her new film Allied was released she was pulled into the divorce drama between Hollywood power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Rumors swirled that the steamy chemistry between Cotillard and Pitt was the reason the couple was splitting up. Marion vehemently denies all these claims and has maintained that the drama was something she had nothing to do with. Like any great artist, she wants the focus to be her work, and this movie is a beautiful story.
Allied takes place in the middle of World War II. Cotillard and Pitt play undercover agents posing as a happily married couple. During all the chaos and the danger of being caught the two find themselves falling in love for real. Legendary Director Robert Zemeckis and writer Steven Knight bring the dramatic love story to life.
STRIPLV: What attracted you to the film Allied?
COTILLARD: When I read the script, I wanted to see the movie, and I thought that it was such a beautiful love story, very deep and powerful. It has this spirit of old movies, and I liked that, and knowing it would be directed by a visionary like Bob Zemeckis made the project even more exciting.
STRIPLV: What makes the film such a thriller?
COTILLARD: It is, at the same time, very entertaining and it examines what your choices are in extreme situations like war. Especially when your work is being a spy, and pretending that you’re someone you’re not. In the beginning of the movie, both characters (Marianne Beauséjour and Max Vatan) are spies that meet, and they don’t know anything about each other. They have to pretend to be this loving couple, and it turns into this very extreme situation that war creates.
STRIPLV: What was it like to work with director Robert Zemeckis?
COTILLARD: He’s a really big part of my desire to be an actress. I’ve watched all of his movies, and I like what he wanted to tell with this story. When we first met, he said, “You know, I’m not used to telling love stories like this one. This is new for me.” So, it was even more exciting to see him be very honest and so committed to something he was not used to doing and deliver spot on. We had three weeks where we sat together with Brad Pitt and Bob, with Steven Knight and Graham King. Steven Knight, who had written this amazing script, and we had a nice period of time where we could get to know each other, get to understand what we really wanted to say throughout this movie. I was fascinated with him (Zemeckis) on set because all of the movies he’s directed in the past. He’s been a big part of creating and changing cinema with his films.
STRIPLV: How would you describe your character, Marianne Beauséjour?
COTILLARD: She’s very complex. She’s very mysterious, but she’s a woman in love. So, that makes her kind of simple too.
STRIPLV: What was your experience reading the script for the first time?
COTILLARD: I’d read the script a little more than four years ago and I fell in love with the story. I fell in love with the characters and I was so happy to be apart of the project.
STRIPLV: What was it like working with Brad Pitt to bring these characters to life?
COTILLARD: Well, we had the chance to work for almost three weeks together before we started shooting. It’s something that’s really amazing and that is not that common to have that much time to prepare and get to know each other. We got to talk about the script a lot, and share our thoughts, and it was wonderful.
STRIPLV: How important was costume design in building the characters and the story?
COTILLARD: Of course on any movie costumes are very important, even if you’re wearing a t-shirt and jeans. As a kid I dreamt about movies like this, watching American movies from the 40’s and 50’s, and the glamor of that era. Being a part of a movie like this is what I dreamt about from a young age and it was very special.