les Actualités

A conversation with…Isabelle Huppert


“Blessed to be actress”

Impressive, diligent: more than ever, French actress Isabelle Huppert embraces her passion for acting. In a small group meeting, she told us all about it.

On Paul Verhoeven’s psychological thriller.

Elle I feel totally confident when working with Paul Verhoeven, as I completely trust him. I was a high school student when I first saw one of his masterpieces, Turkish Delight. Since then, I have noticed his propensity for playing on the chords of misunderstanding and ambiguity while combining different genres, ranging from thrillers to comedy. This is why I am so pleased to perform in his films.

On her preference for bold and dangerous characters.

I do not perform because I like to be exposed to danger. Playing roles dominated by a sense of “perversion” is neither a compliment nor an insult. It is rather about a willingness to stress the duality that lies within everyone. Good and evil, the obverse and the reverse, the normal and the abnormal. We ar all made of one thing and it's contrary. The role of cinema is to highlight these contradictions. If not, what is the point of making films? I do not only choose roles of strong and secure women. I feel like performing strong roles while showing their vulnerability. In Elle, for instance, I embody a woman who is strong, but also solitary.

Are you more into cinema or theatre?

I am hooked on both.

What about singing?

I sang in two films and it has always given me much pleasure. In the same way that actors like singing, singers like acting. For me, singing is the ultimate form of expression.

And acting?

Acting leaves a souvenir that is akin to what we experience. Every film is an experience that leaves a mark on the soul. But, be sure that afterwards I remain exactly the same.

How do you move from experienced directors to young filmmakers making their debuts?

When working with young directors, once doubt is dispelled, trust prevails. My wit and intuition guide me. All the first movies I performed in so far are successes.

Have you thought of becoming a director?

Being an actress is a big privilege that one should feel happy about every morning. It is the pleasure to do what we like. I am satisfied. If someday I happen to be directing, it will be out of curiosity rather than need. I am curious by nature, so we will see.

On the Marrakech Festival:

I had already been honoured to be invited to chair the jury and today I am here to pay tribute to Paul Verhoeven by presenting Elle. Every time I come I live wonderful moments and I am always glad to return. Marrakech is lucky to host the screening of films to which the public is not used. We are breaking borders.