Audrey Tautou Interview
Audrey Tautou Interview
French actress Audrey Tautou made a name for herself on the big screen in the world wide hit Amelie back in 2001. Despite much acclaim from America, including her role opposite Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code, she has refused to get involved too with Hollywood and continues to nurture the homegrown industry in France with films such as A Very Long Engagement and Coco Before Chanel.

In London recently to talk about her latest film, a romantic comedy in the traditional French farce style, she spoke to View’s Matthew Turner about working on Beautiful Lies with director Pierre Salvadori, the difficulties of comic timing and bad haircuts.
You and Pierre Salvadori, the writer/director, worked before on Priceless. What was it about that film that made you say yes to this one?

Audrey Tautou

Because we had an amazing complicity in our work on Priceless, because I loved the movie and the part he wrote for me. I have a very special relationship with Pierre because we laugh at the same things and we speak the same language.
What was it like working with Natalie Baye? Had you worked with her before and did you have time to develop the mother/daughter relationship?

Audrey Tautou

I had worked with her on Venus Beauty Salon ten years ago – it was my first movie. But I can say that I really discovered her on this film, because our relationship as mother and daughter created a link. We didn’t have any time to create the relationship so we had to be efficient immediately but our understanding was so easy that things went very smoothly. She’s a very generous, professional and wonderful actress.
Has her career inspired you?

Audrey Tautou

Well, I admire, of course, her career, but you know, I’m not inspired by any career because I don’t have any expectations.
What is it like working with [co-star] Sami Bouajila? In some ways Emilie is an unsympathetic character. How did you bring about her likeability, so that Sami's character would fall in love with her?

Audrey Tautou

Well, in fact, Sami is an actor who it was my dream to work with one day. For me, he is one of the best French actors – he is always right and perfect. If he works in a drama, the film is amazing. He always disappears behind his characters – you never see him working and for me, that's when an actor is just great. So I really enjoyed this experience with him. And my character, yes, she can be unbearable, but she's also very charming and I think that Sami's character, Jean, falls in love with her because he’s a clever man. He knows that behind this facade, this appearance of confidence, she is deeply good and not that confident. I think she’s attractive because she’s complex and contrasted. That's why she's interesting.
Once you've announced that you're not that interested in working in Hollywood, they don't come calling...
Why have you decided to stay in France and do predominantly French movies as opposed to, say, going to Hollywood?

Audrey Tautou

Because I think that in France they offer me great parts in great movies and I'm not sure that it's easy to find very interesting female characters in Hollywood movies. And also, I don’t want to become more famous than I am today. I’m not interested in being in movies that are going to be shown all around the world and get a massive audience, so I'm interested in doing foreign movies as long as it stays an exceptional case and is, you know, exotic.
Whilst this is a comedy that has romantic parts in it, was the fact that it explored this darker side of love something that drew you to the project?

Audrey Tautou

Yes, I like the fact that this romantic comedy doesn’t fit into a formula. Usually, in a romantic comedy, when there's romance, it's a bit sweet and a bit, you know – everybody is kind and lovely and nice. There's something a bit – not boring, because we love watching this kind of movie on Sunday night – but I like the tone of Pierre, because there's something more realistic, because everybody has a dark side and just because you're talking about love, doesn't mean that you can't show something that is less pretty. To see the light, you have to have some shadows or everything's flat. And what I like about Pierre's universe is that it's not flat.
Did they cut anything out of the film that you hated to lose?

Audrey Tautou

Yes, a few little moments. I remember one scene that was cut. It was the moment where I manage to get rid of my mother, who wants to go and see Jean. And she succeeds in getting rid of her and goes past Jean, who she's just tried to fire and then she sees him again and tries to compliment him, to try and get him back on side, telling him he has a very nice shirt and so on. “Your shirt is clean,” and there were other compliments that I can't quite remember.
Is there a typical role that Hollywood offers you that's perhaps part of the reason you're not interested in taking those parts?

Audrey Tautou

Once you've kind of announced that you're not that interested in working in Hollywood, they don't come calling. So I don't get that many requests. They’ve got so many people that are so keen to work in Hollywood that they don’t then go and find the girl who isn’t that bothered.

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Content updated: 17/10/2019 19:14

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