Catherine Deneuve Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (80)  | Personal Quotes (79)  | Salary (17)

Overview (4)

Born in Paris, France
Birth NameCatherine Fabienne Dorléac
Nickname Cath
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Catherine Fabienne Deneuve was born October 22, 1943 in Paris, France, to actor parents Renée Simonot and Maurice Dorléac. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was barely a teenager and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim gave her a meatier role in Vice and Virtue (1963). Her breakthrough came with the excellent musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), in which she gave an unforgettable performance as a romantic middle-class girl who falls in love with a young soldier but gets imprisoned in a loveless marriage with another man; the director was the gifted Jacques Demy, who also cast Deneuve in the less successful The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967). She then played a schizophrenic killer in Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965) and a married woman who works as a part-time prostitute every afternoon in Luis Buñuel's masterpiece Belle de Jour (1967). She also worked with Buñuel in Tristana (1970) and gave a great performance for François Truffaut in Mississippi Mermaid (1969), a kind of apotheosis of her "frigid femme fatale" persona. In the seventies she didn't find parts of that caliber, but her magnificent work in Truffaut's The Last Metro (1980) as a stage actress in Nazi-occupied Paris revived her career. She was also very good in the epic drama Indochine (1992), for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination (Best Actress). Although the elegant and always radiant Deneuve has never appeared on stage, she is universally hailed as one of the "grandes dames" of French cinema, joining a list that includes such illustrious talents as Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Huppert, Isabelle Adjani and the younger Juliette Binoche.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Thanassis Agathos<thanaga@hol.gr

Family (4)

Spouse David Bailey (18 August 1965 - 6 January 1970)  (divorced)
Children Chiara Mastroianni
Christian Vadim
Parents Renée Simonot
Maurice Dorléac
Relatives Daniele Clariond Tappou (half sibling)
Sylvie Dorléac (sibling)
Françoise Dorléac (sibling)
Anna Biolay (grandchild)
Delphine Cantelli (niece or nephew)
Milo Thoretton (grandchild)

Trade Mark (2)

Long, thick mane of blonde hair and an ever-present cigarette in her hand
Often co-stars with Gérard Depardieu

Trivia (80)

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#38). [1995]
An archetype for Gallic beauty, her image was used to represent Marianne, the national symbol of France, from 1985 to 1989.
Ranked #89 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Has a son by Roger Vadim: Christian Vadim (b. 18 June 1963).
Has a daughter by Marcello Mastroianni: Chiara Mastroianni (b. 28 May 1972).
Catherine is the is the second of three daughters born to the French actors Maurice Dorléac and Renée Simonot (whose maiden name she uses). The middle sister of Françoise Dorléac and Sylvie Dorléac, the latter of whom worked as Catherine's secretary for almost four decades. Daniele Clariond Tappou is their maternal half-sister.
She liked Breaking the Waves (1996) by Lars von Trier so much that she wrote a personal letter to him, asking him for a role in a film of his. The result of this is her part in Dancer in the Dark (2000).
Has never performed onstage due to stage fright.
Festival tribute at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival, France. [1994]
Was once fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent's muse, who dressed her for the films Belle de Jour (1967), Heartbeat (1968), Mississippi Mermaid (1969), A Cop (1972), and The Hunger (1983).
Launched her own fragrance, "Deneuve", in 1986. It won the FiFi Award in 1987. She also has designed glasses, shoes, jewelry, and greetings cards.
She speaks fluent French, Italian and English as well as semi-fluent German and Spanish.
Marilyn Monroe is her favorite actress, and The Misfits (1961) is her favorite movie starring Marilyn.
Vice President of the Official Competition jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994.
Is a grandmother. She has two grandsons and three granddaughters: Igor Divetain-Vadim (b. 18 September 1987) via son Christian Vadim and ex-girlfriend Hortense Divetain; Milo Thoretton (b. 31 December 1996) via daughter Chiara Mastroianni and ex-boyfriend Pierre Thoretton; Anna Biolay (b. 22 April 2003) via daughter Chiara Mastroianni and ex-husband Benjamin Biolay; Lou (b. 4 April 2010) and Mona Plemiannikov (b. January 2012) via son Christian Vadim and ex-girlfriend Julia Livage.
Former mother-in-law of singer Benjamin Biolay and of stylist Caroline Bufalini.
Her role in Mississippi Mermaid (1969) was played by Angelina Jolie in Original Sin (2001), the American remake of the movie.
Published a collection of diaries, "A l'ombre de moi-meme" (In my shadow) in which she writes about the shootings of Indochine (1992) and Dancer in the Dark (2000). [2005]
Sang duets with Bernadette Lafont (1975), Gérard Depardieu (1980), Malcolm McLaren (1993), Joe Cocker (1995) and Alain Souchon (1997). In 1981, she released an album with songs of Serge Gainsbourg.
Member of the international jury of the Shanghaï Television Festival. [1988]
Her performance as Séverine Sérizy in Belle de Jour (1967) is ranked #59 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
From 1984 until 1991, was cohabiting with Pierre Lescure, founder of French TV channel Canal+.
Head juror of the 2006 Venice Film Festival.
She and Marcello Mastroianni made five movies together: One Hundred and One Nights (1995), Liza (1972), Don't Touch the White Woman! (1974), It Only Happens to Others (1971), and A Slightly Pregnant Man (1973).
Guest of Belgrade Film Festival - FEST 2005. [2005]
"Me and Catherine Deneuve Split up" is a song by Eton Crop.
Song "Catherine Deneuve and the Deus ex machina" is sung by band Kelly and the Kellygirls.
Juan Antonio Canta sings a song called "Catherine Deneuve".
As of the 5th edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider), she ties, with Mae Marsh (most of whose performances amount to cameos), as the most represented actress with 7 films. Included are the Deneuve films The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Repulsion (1965), The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), Belle de Jour (1967), Tristana (1970), The Last Metro (1980) and Dancer in the Dark (2000).
Lived with Irish cinematographer Hugh Johnson. They met on the set of The Hunger (1983).
Is involved with Amnesty International's program to abolish the death penalty.
Resigned from her job as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador to protest Angola's nomination of scandal-marred businessman Pierre Falcone to the cultural agency. [November 2003]
In 1995, she sued the San Francisco-based lesbian magazine "Deneuve", contending trademark infringement among other things. The magazine's title was changed to Curve, effective January 1996.
Brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton.
Was replaced by Isabelle Huppert for the role of Caterine Vauban in I Heart Huckabees (2004). No explanation was given for her departure.
Auditioned for the role of Francesca Johnson in The Bridges of Madison County (1995) but lost out to Meryl Streep.
Turned down the role of Bond girl Tracy DiVicenzo in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), which went to Diana Rigg.
Sharon Stone wanted Deneuve to play Milena Gardosh in Basic Instinct 2 (2006). She turned it down and Charlotte Rampling was cast in the role.
Considered for the role of Madame Maxime in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) that went to Frances de la Tour.
2012 recipient of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Chaplin Award.
Is one of 12 French actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination. The others in chronological order are: Claudette Colbert, Colette Marchand, Leslie Caron, Simone Signoret, Anouk Aimée, Isabelle Adjani, Marie-Christine Barrault, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Bérénice Bejo and Emmanuelle Riva.
Will receive the European Film Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award on December 7, 2013 in Berlin. [September 2013]
She was awarded a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on January 18, 2000.
She visited Argentina to receive a honorary award in the San Luis Cine International Festival. [November 2007]
Honored at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. [May 2008]
Has a tribal tattoo on the back of her neck and on the front of her left foot.
As of 2017, she has 14 César Awards nominations; 13 nominations for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress. She won twice; in 1981 and 1993. She's the second-most nominated actress, only behind Isabelle Huppert, with 16 nominations.
As of 2016, she has starred in 11 films that were screened in the official competition of the Cannes Film Festival. Her last film in competition was A Christmas Tale (2008) in 2008.
Parodied at different times by Nora Dunn and Cecily Strong on Saturday Night Live (1975).
Interests include gardening, drawing, photography, reading, music, cinema, fashion, antiques and decoration.
In early life she had aspirations to be an interior designer or an archaeologist. Going on thirteen, she took her first acting job, a walk-on in The Twilight Girls (1957), because school was out and she wanted to make some pocket money.
Likes to watch Mad Men (2007). Don Draper (Jon Hamm) mentions her in an episode.
Attended Catholic schools up to age of 12, says she believes in God although does not practice religion.
Admires Barbra Streisand, whom she has lauded as a "genius." Also a fan of actresses Cate Blanchett, Cameron Diaz, Kristen Stewart and Kate Winslet.
Longtime colorist is Christophe Robin.
Put countryside estate Château de Primard in Normandy on the market at an asking price of £3,990,000. [June 2014]
Lobbied hard for the female lead in Bobby Deerfield (1977) opposite Al Pacino, but Pacino's real-life lover Marthe Keller got the part instead.
In 1979, was attached to star in a movie version of Ronald Kirkbride's novel "The Short Night" for Alfred Hitchcock. The project was canceled in early stages of pre-production due to the director's declining health.
Was the 4th French actress (out of 7) to be nominated for an Academy Award for a French-language performance. The others in chronological order are Anouk Aimée, Isabelle Adjani, Marie-Christine Barrault, Marion Cotillard, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert.
Former Chanel No. 5 and MAC spokesmodel.
Has appeared in eight films by André Téchiné: Hôtel des Amériques (1981), Scene of the Crime (1986), My Favorite Season (1993), Thieves (1996), Changing Times (2004), The Girl on the Train (2009), In the Name of My Daughter (2014) and Farewell to the Night (2019).
She and her daughter Chiara Mastroianni both appeared in My Favorite Season (1993), Marcel Proust's Time Regained (1999), A Christmas Tale (2008), Park Benches (2009), Beloved (2011), Lines of Wellington (2012), 3 Hearts (2014) and Claire Darling (2018).
Used hypnotherapy to quit three-packs-a-day smoking habit in 1985. Started again in 1996. Unsuccessfully tried switching to electronic cigarette in 2014. She quit again following a November 2019 stroke.
Deneuve is ultra-private concerning her personal life, so reputable journalists are only at liberty to bring up the long-deceased fathers of her children (Marcello Mastroianni, Roger Vadim) and her one ex-husband (David Bailey) who she actually spent just two years with before separating in 1967. During her twenties/thirties, the press linked her with Sami Frey, François Truffaut, Jerry Schatzberg, Franco Nero, Bertrand de Labbey, Burt Reynolds, Milos Forman, Jean-Loup Dabadie, Julien Clerc, Hugh Johnson, Serge Gainsbourg and even John Travolta. There have also been after-the-fact claims of purported flings with Johnny Hallyday (mentioned in Vadim's 1986 memoir), Clint Eastwood (first reported by Patrick McGilligan in McGilligan's 1999 biography of Eastwood) and Carlos Lozano (surfacing in the Spanish media in 2015), which she hasn't addressed. Rumors circulated in 2000 that her beau was a 25-year-old technician she'd picked up on a recent film, but no writers could identify him. She has not had a boyfriend of record in decades (since splitting from Pierre Lescure in 1991), despite always remaining a public figure. This combined with the fact she's made out with women onscreen has prompted members of the LGBT community to label her a closeted lesbian. Deneuve acknowledges the existence of such speculation (she laughs it off) but still refuses to say who she's dating.
Testified about her own illegal abortion in 1971 to help French women obtain abortion rights.
In September 2020, Deneuve's mother, Renée Simonot, turned 109 years old.
Joined more than 100 other Frenchwomen in entertainment, publishing and academic fields in the pages of the newspaper Le Monde and on its website in arguing that the #MeToo movement as well as its French counterpart, #Balancetonporc ("Expose Your Pig"), in which women and men have used social media as a forum to describe sexual misconduct, have gone too far by publicly prosecuting private experiences and have created a totalitarian climate. [January 2018]
She and Jacqueline Bisset starred opposite each other's then-boyfriends on two separate occasions. Marcello Mastroianni played Bisset's love interest in The Sunday Woman (1975) while dating Deneuve in real life, and Vincent Perez played Deneuve's love interest in Indochine (1992) while dating Bisset in real life. Bisset also appeared with Deneuve's sister Françoise Dorléac in Cul-de-sac (1966), and she and Deneuve were both featured in the same episode of Nip/Tuck (2003) although they did not have any scenes together.
Good friends with Dominique Lavanant.
Best known to American audiences for her role as Miriam Blaylock in The Hunger (1983).
Questions overuse of the word "still", which journalists have been using to preface descriptions of her since her late 30s.
Common-law stepmother of Barbara Mastroianni.
Is credited with helping descandalize out-of-wedlock births.
Has been hospitalized in Paris following a minor stroke. [November 2019]
In his new book, "Lady Lucille," biographer Gilles Lhote says Deneuve and singer Johnny Hallyday maintained a carefully hidden, 56-year affair that began when they were teenagers in 1961 and continued until Hallyday's death 2½ years ago. [May 2020]
Born on exactly the same date as Speed (1994) director Jan de Bont.
Catherine and Pierre Lescure have remained very close since their breakup in 1991. Lescure told French media in 2020 that they talk to each other every day.
Has a palpable rapport with Charlie Rose, but it's clear that Rose is very unfamiliar with Deneuve's work as he asks her the same questions every time he interviews her. She went on his program six times between 1995 and 2014. Rose's show has since been canceled due to the #MeToo movement, of which Deneuve is an outspoken critic.

Personal Quotes (79)

People who know me know I'm strong, but I'm vulnerable.
I'm lucky. I'm getting older with some directors who are getting older.
I don't see any reason for marriage when there is divorce.
To work is a noble art.
A star remains pinned on a wall in the public imagination.
But being a film actor is very different from, say, a theater actor. You get involved with a character after spending a long time waiting, and this demands a lot of energy and concentration. So I am very involved with the character, but I have to leave it as soon as it's finished. And also, you always have to be at the right level when it's time to shoot, which is not always the best time for the actor. Sometimes, if you're shooting a complicated scene, you have to stay in a position and wait for the technician to do his job, and then you have to be where you're supposed to be, right on the spot. You don't rehearse all that much on films. If I think of the amount of time I spend on set compared with the time spent shooting, it's ridiculously short.
But that's what I like about film - it can be bizarre, classic, normal, romantic. Cinema is to me the most versatile thing.
Directors have to push me because I never start [high] and then need to be pushed down; I have to be pushed up. Not all the time, but often.
I find sometimes that it's more difficult to do very simple, low-key films, like I've done with André Téchiné. Sometimes, at the end of a shoot with him, I feel very down, like I'm leaving something because these are low-key but novel characters. But when you do films like Repulsion (1965) or musicals, where you have to play someone so far away from yourself, what I do is I come in the morning and get involved in the character, but I'm always very pleased to leave it at night and have my life. No, I don't live that much with the character. I find it hard enough having to spend so many hours with the character during the day. Because you don't act all the time and you spend a long time waiting, but you still have to support this character all day long.
[on her looks] I know that if I didn't look the way I looked, I would never have started in films. That, I remember, and I know I have to accept it.
I like to be directed, it's true. If I didn't like that, I'd do something else. Being an actor means being an instrument for someone else.
I'm not always the nicest person to meet, because I forget very easily that I'm an actress when I'm not working. I live very normally, I go out with my friends, we go to the movies, I queue, we go to restaurants. Then if something happens to remind me that I'm an actress then I become a little different and things become a little heavy. I like the advantages; I know it's not right but I like being famous when it's convenient for me and completely anonymous when it's not.
Interestingly, people who have come to visit me on set - which I don't like - they're very surprised and say that I'm not the person they know. I'm not available to them, I cannot go off with them, I cannot get involved in their conversations, so they get the impression that they're seeing someone else. I tell them, yes, I do love to see them after a shoot, but during the shoot, I am with the people I work with. They ask, how can I stand being on a set waiting for so long, and that it must be so boring. And I have to explain that to wait, for an actor, is not at all like someone who's waiting to see the doctor. It's not the kind of wait where you get bored. Even if I try to think about something else while I'm waiting, I am living with the film, with the scene. But I do often feel tired during the day, and I'm lucky because I can go to sleep very easily, for even 10 to 15 minutes, even if I'm in costume or under a wig, so I do.
Interviews are written by someone else - the journalist makes the decision to add or take things away and I couldn't recognize my voice, or anything of myself in that.
What I don't like is close-ups, unless the actor is in the camera with me. I have to feel his presence. If I have to feel the presence of the camera before my partner's, it's very difficult. I love to do very long and complicated scenes. I like to have this impression that we are all working together, where you can see all the technicians and everybody is really doing the same thing at the same time. With close-ups, of course you have the crew there, but most of them are just around and it doesn't involve that many people.
[on Gene Kelly] It was mostly an aura about him. For me he was Hollywood. The way I'd imagined it as a child.
[on Jean-Louis Trintignant] I adore working with him. He's so generous, he doesn't play only for himself, but for his partner. He's also concerned with everyone on a set. That's why the technicians have great respect and tenderness for him.
[in 2008] I find cinema still very interesting. For me, to see a film, and to see a film and to be shown a story with actors that I like or actors that I don't know, it's always a discovery. I'm a great fan of films and I still go to see films in theaters. Even when I'm working, I try to see films. It's a desire, and it's something very important in my life. It's still something that I'm looking for, you know? It's like listening to music - it's part of my life.
My relationship to character is made up of mental things that you should not put words to. To do so would be immodest. The most decisive moment of my work around a character happens as we are shooting. That moment is so tense, so exhausting that once it is over, I need fire doors between the set and me. Back in my dressing room or in the hotel, I shut myself off, because the state I am in on set is too exhausting.
When we are filming, I can concentrate very quickly, but it does tire me out. It throws me into such a state! A trance-like state. So, what I need is either a trick for a calm type of trance or a sleepwalking trick.
I am incapable of working by myself without a director, without someone to coach me. But that doesn't tally at all with my idea of what a film character should be. I have to soak in what will happen on set, that day, the location, the light... I need to know what happens before in the story. To me, that is the most important thing: to relate to a character in relation to where we are in the film. Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I have never done any real character parts. Even with Tristana, which required a bit of character acting. But Luis Buñuel and I would talk off set, we had dinner together. The same is true of André Téchiné. We meet up but we always wind up talking about something else. And even though we have ended up talking about something unrelated, something useful has still come out of it. We have a conversation about something else but, at the same time, we are aware of what surrounds us, why we are here-the questions are very present in our head. But it is never straightforward. No, it is never straightforward.
[about Michael Mann] I watched Miami Vice (2006) again. I hadn't really liked it the first time round. But even so, it's a whole other way of filming, it's fascinating. There is a force, an incredible energy to it. His films are very long, but there are no gratuitous shots. When he decides to film the nape of an actor's neck, there is a real tension. It's there, it's not at all . . . an effect. It's surprising. He makes you feel the weight of things. (Filmcomment, 2008)
I was supposed to make a film with [Alfred Hitchcock]. It was set up north too, just like the Torn Curtain (1966). It was going to be a spy story. At the time it was still only a synopsis. I had lunch with him in Paris and he died some months later. I would have loved to work with him.
I do prefer to start without any intention at all, rather than arrive with my own idea. I am incapable of deciding what a character is. At the same time, from the moment I have accepted the part and read the script, I know that things will circle in my mind. It won't happen all the time but nor will it ever stop entirely. But I am not obsessed, I don't have any trouble getting out of character, at night. I am always happy when filming and I am always happy to leave at night - it's true that there is always a kind of a nervous fatigue. Which I know is hidden away somewhere during the shoot. There are some things that fall into place without me doing anything. I know that now.
I am shocked when people talk about me and sum me up as: blonde, cold, and solemn. People will cling on to whatever reinforces their own assumptions about a person.
Hollywood was already changing when I went there in 1968. I love American directors. I would love to work for Francis Ford Coppola or Martin Scorsese. But they don't need European actresses.
Why should I go to the States to do a film I wouldn't consider in Europe, just because it's English-speaking?
[2012] My mother turned 100 this year. She lives alone in Paris; very independent but near to me, and she is quite incredible. She has a very good head; she still plays bridge, she still wins. Longevity may be in my genes but I don't know if I will live to be 100 because I have not had the same lifestyle as my mother - she never smoked. It may be different for me.
I am a feminist through experience not choice. I was a feminist from a very early age because I am from a family of women, so it comes naturally to me. Over the years I have been involved with various causes for women.
I think the best decade of my life was between 40 and 50. Forty was the turning point for me as an actress.
[on smoking] It's great. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed of it either. It's getting harder and harder in Europe. I light up from time to time, and that's when everyone flashes a camera at me. Those are the only shots anyone ever wants to use. So i'm described as an inveterate smoker.
I like men who have a light spirit. It's okay to be serious about your work but in everyday life it's difficult to find men who are very alive and positive. In life I like people who are cheerful.
I could never have been a model in the way actresses today are expected to be; I was never thin enough. I love a wonderful meal at the end the day and a good burgundy. I try to be careful but I am not American - I am not always worrying about calories and working out.
[on director Luis Buñuel] Bunuel didn't like to talk too much. It would physically tire him. But we had a mute understanding.
[differentiating her children's fathers] I raised my son, but we raised our daughter.
I am a contradiction. I am impetuous. I go for what I want. I cannot wait to test the waters, I throw myself in. That's how I became a mother. I wanted those two children from those two men. Marriage, fatherhood, all that was a secondary consideration. I was only seventeen when I was with Roger Vadim. I was so in love with him. He was the first man I had loved. I wanted a child from that love. I needed to have that child. Roger didn't want to marry me, not when I was pregnant. But it never even crossed my mind not to have that child. It was natural and beautiful and important to me to have that baby. Then, after he was born, Roger wanted to marry but I rejected him. It was too late. Something important had gone out of it.
I'm not interested in giving more of myself than I've done. I've no desire to be more public. I'm not interested in talking about the past, because if you are still working, doing things, you have to look forward. You have to look for things, read things. Of course in my private life, I do look at the past.
[on female directors] I hope there is a difference between men and women. You don't think of it when you work. A man is supposed to be stronger, to be more tough, than a woman, but in the case of Emmanuelle Bercot, it's not that at all.
I couldn't do justice to the image media gave to me, by the way. Sometimes it's frustrating that people face me prejudiced. Especially in the beginning I feel a distance. But once people become acquainted closer with me, they are relieved in general.
When it comes to falling in love, experience doesn't help you in any way.
I'm extremely shy. I could never empty my handbag in front of anyone. I find it so excruciating to play nude scenes. For Belle de Jour (1967), in the most difficult scenes, to overcome my modesty I had to take a few strong drinks. One must always help oneself to reach where one must go. I got there I hope, but it was hell. I don't even run around naked in my own house very much. I don't think there are many actresses to whom nude, very explicit physical love scenes come easy. There's a simple reason for female reluctance. Clothes are like a new virginity, but, above all, not that many women are proud of their nude bodies.
In France, most of the actors are homosexual. In England, many are, and the same in the States; but in most European countries it is a vast majority. Acting is a very unrespected profession in France, still. So being an actress, I can't help becoming friends with those men... it is not difficult, since they usually make good friends. But sometimes actresses have to worry about falling in love with bisexuals. It can be a problem, because some develop an attachment to a man who is more interested in men but wants to use her as... une barbe, how do you say, a beard... especially if the actress is popular. I am not at all prejudiced about anyone who is different, since I feel I myself am different, but one thing I do not want is to fall in love with a homosexual - or even a bisexual. This man, for me, must like women only. Otherwise, I am not comfortable in bed with him.
[on Brigitte Bardot] I saw extracts of her book: they were the most horrible things you can possibly read. Imagine writing that you wanted to get rid of your baby son, as she did. Not being a good mother is her problem, but making it public like that... It could have been a very human piece of writing, but in her case it was just harsh and inhuman. I know her a little and she's a strange human being. She's very childish. She loves animals, because loving animals is very easy, but emotionally, I think she has a big problem. She's like someone who never grew up. I don't consider myself to be a grown-up person but I'm more interested in people than in animals. And I think that if you are involved as much as she is with animals, then there is something strange about your dealings with the human race. She's like a sauce which has curdled. There is nothing you can do. There is no hope.
In The Hunger (1983) it was apparently so astonishing that I played a vampire that only that aspect was commented, not that I seduced Susan Sarandon. Although, in America I heard that "The Hunger" is a cult movie now. I thought that was because of David Bowie, the incarnation of cult, but it was because of Susan and me. Well, I have to disappoint you all: our scene is shot with body doubles. On the premiere we saw shots we knew nothing of. Susan and I were used to doing nude shots, there was no reason to assume that we would refuse that scene if we were convinced of the need for it. It would have looked less rancid. Our face was not shown, there were no gentle gestures, it was just a clumsy fiddling of bodies with no sensuality.
For years I was a big star in France and Europe, but in the States they still called me a starlet in magazine stories and photos... It was Chanel who brought me to the Americans. Before that, I was only known as Mastroianni's woman or to art house moviegoers or to homosexuals, who are generally informed about many more things than other men.
I cannot imagine having a physical relationship with a woman. I have not done that. But I really love women. I have a very strong relationship with a woman that I have known for a long time. I knew her for some time before I knew that she was a lesbian, but that never changed anything about my relationship with her.
I have no ambition. I am sure that I should, but... I do films when they are proposed. But I never go and look for them.
There are many female columnists and women in general who hate me through jealousy. It is strange, because if they knew my looks make me no happier than anyone else, perhaps we could be friends.
The relationship I had with Susan Sarandon was very good, and I think something came out of it onto the screen. You can tell. There was something very natural between us. She is a very warm lady. It was a very long shoot, and neither of us was in our own countries, so we spent a lot of time together. Afterward, we saw each other and wrote to each other. We have a bond. I have a picture of her children in my home. She is always in my mind and heart. Also I think the scene we did was very sophisticated and good-looking. I think it was a very idealistic image of women together, a very good thing to have on film for homosexuality.
Now that people know nothing about my private life, they start guessing: is there still a man in her life and who is he then? When they see me two or three times with a female friend they say: we've always known that. Well, they can enjoy it to their heart's content, when they see me in 8 Women (2002) with Fanny Ardant!
For a woman, I'm quite masculine, you know, in the relations I have toward people, men. All of them, I don't make much difference. And I think it's the way I'm quite straightforward, you know, and he can love me as a man. I understood what he meant, you know, because he has a very feminine quality and I have a masculine quality. I don't try to charm, I have quite strong and straight relations with people. In film it's different. In films you are a character and woman.
I am an actress, so I must live in a mirror... a goldfish bowl. Sometimes I run away to be completely by myself like a hermit. Other times, I read about my every move and date in the papers. It is one extreme or the other; this is not an ordinary life. Then there is my beauty, which is often a nuisance. So many men cannot treat me like an ordinary person. So often they act drunk; they hold too many doors and won't let me do anything for myself or they help me with packages when I don't want help. I also have to become suspicious whenever a man expresses any kind of interest in me. Usually he wants me for something... if not sex or a date, then an interview or a favor or a job or to introduce him to someone. Or to be seen with me. I receive letters from famous or rich men who say they will make a deal with me if I go out with them, to help them get publicity for their own purposes. I never agree to this. My professional life is commercial, and the commercial intrudes into my private life, but I will not willingly make my personal life commercial, too. I believe in the sincerity of the emotions. After all, what else if left if we take them away or put a price on them?
We are not prepared for death. I was raised a Catholic but they cheat you. They tell you morbid preachments about death but nothing that you can deal with when it happens. Other religions do it better; the Chinese, the Indians. All that dear departed stuff, the heavy scene in church on the day of interment. My sister was a beautiful woman, my closest friend, my true love. Instead of sex education in the schools, they should give a course in death education. In living you find out about sex - but dying, how do you find out about that?
You know, a doctor said something nice to me the other day, that the reason French people are the biggest consumers of sleeping pills and antidepressants is not because they give out more, but because the sensibility is different here. Maybe we don't try to fool ourselves. The problem with Prozac is that it has become a caricature, but when things become so much of a problem that you can't work any more, it's...
I've had one motto which I've always lived by: dignity, always dignity.
My relationships have never really lasted very long. I suppose there is something within me that is not right for that way of life.
Men don't understand that there are things that can only be shared with a woman. Disappointment shuts off my life flow. It is a physical thing. I feel it in my body. I can hurt people badly when I'm down, like a wounded animal. So I must be alone. Oh, not completely alone, that would be too frightening, but with a woman friend who will sit there in the silent room with me.
[to Russian news agency TASS in 2016] I would like to live here for several months and act in a film, as being a tourist one can discover practically nothing about the country, but when one works here, he or she learns a lot. In fact, everything depends not so much on the producer as on the story itself. I am French, I don't speak Russian, that is why a story must be found where I could play a role being a foreigner. This should be the script that would intrinsically fit within my character. As for producers, I like very much films of Andrey Zvyagintsev, but it he doesn't have a suitable scenario, nothing is going to work out.
[on her Oscar campaign for Indochine (1992)] I traveled to Los Angeles twice and did a number of interviews. It was quite nice! Back then it wasn't as much work as it is today with all the different shows and social media... Marion Cotillard, for instance, seems to be working very hard. But in retrospect, I should have probably used that momentum to get a good agent there and pushed to get more opportunities. I'm not as shy today.
I don't have a greatest achievement. It's something said by other people or journalists when they give you an award, or after some time you've been in the industry.
Follow your instinct. That's my message.
[October 2017] I'm lucky to still have my mother who is at a very advanced age, which is pretty incredible.
[September 2019, about her mom Renée Simonot turning 108] It's pretty amazing, it comes from her genes. My sisters and I are holding her. She has been in a home for two or three years. At the same time it's a little scary. It still seems very far in life. I am all the more surprised by her longevity that she is not sick.
I don't envy the rich. They must always be worrying about how to keep their money. You and I get to read the movie reviews in the newspaper, but they have to read the stock market results. Fortunately there are a few rich people, like Pierre Bergé, who know how to have fun in life without worrying about their money; I am glad I'm a spendthrift. The rich are deformed by their wealth. They never think about the real worth of a project, just its profitability.
[on Mae West] She is the goddess of the homosexuals. They are almost violently protective of her, and some groups in France have adopted her as their patron saint. But it must be a little frightening to a woman - I would think, personally - to be so au courant with men who are attracted to other men. What does that say about her own appeal to ordinary men? Especially since she is not nearly as popular with the latter.
[on moving out early] I wanted to live my life, you know. At home, we sisters were very close, always together, and I didn't want to live in a group any longer.
[on Anita Bryant] Why is she so upset? Is there a past experience she is hiding that makes her so irrational? Perhaps she once lost a man to a homosexual, who knows... I think she is an awful woman, but unfortunately I am told so many in the States sympathize with her, so many are like her.
I know how important the hair is for the femininity of a woman. If you have weak hair you feel weak.
I do believe that journeys open your horizon. You know, I started working very early and bore my children when I was very young. When I was finishing with my work I was going home, trying to be as much as possible with them. I did not have the time to travel as much as I wanted.
I am glad to have anybody for a fan, but to become the exclusive property of one group of human beings, this is restrictive and rather frightening. But it pleases me to appeal to men who like women and men who like men... and to women, of course. I am not at all against my sex, and I want to be among their favorites, too.
If you are not violent, you can not survive. This is a law of life. You have to be protected and to protect the people around you when somebody threatens you.
[2015] There are no longer any stars in France. A star is someone who should be seen a little and then remain discreet, reserved. With the introduction of the digital age, the intrusion is into everything, everywhere and all the time. We see a huge amount about people who are very famous, who have millions of followers ... and who have done absolutely nothing.
It's wonderful to be able to take photographs, but I detest selfies ... taking photographs of yourself all the time, showing off on FaceTime ... it makes everything banal. It's terrible, this notion that we're always in the process of looking at ourselves doing something and not living.
[asked who she finds sexy] I was not really prepared for that kind of question, but I would say I find Sean Penn very sexy.
I am a night owl. I walk around, clear my flat or read and enjoy the silence when the phone does not ring. Then I also have the leisure to have my thoughts ramble. As a child I never had enough room for myself because we lived in a small flat and I had three sisters who were all very vivacious and talking all the time.
The creativity of an actor - if at all it exists - is indescribable, it escapes even himself. The most beautiful experience as an actor is that you inspire creativity in those you work with. I prefer to experience that on the set. He who thinks of me at his worktable, is guided mostly by the parts he knows me of and writes a variation on them. Maybe I'm being ungrateful, I prefer parts that were not meant for me, then I can improve myself. Recently I turned down the film written by someone who said he would write for me. He had a good script, but as soon as my character came up, my interest disappeared: it was nothing that I hadn't played many times before. I thought: the audience will yawn, this is wrong for the movie, he has to find a less predictable actress. So I react neutrally when someone wants to write for me, even if it seems blasé. I will not influence him. An actor has responsibility, not power. When we go over the script I give practical suggestions: that scene seems more efficient without dialogue, or, there I need a sentence. I never ask to adapt the character or the story.
[on Marcello Mastroianni] I hope he considered me both a partner and a lover. He was the biggest love of my life.
When I did Thieves (1996), American journalists told me that an actress couldn't do such a role in an American film. Even an icon like Meryl Streep had to wait a certain amount of time. Maybe today they have let her do it, but 20 years ago would not have got away with a part like that even if she had wanted to. And I'm sure she would have wanted to.
[criticizing Carla Bruni's defense of an Iranian woman sentenced to death for adultery] When you are a famous person you need to be more cautious when you lend your support to causes - with her past, she should have been more careful. It can be a double-edged sword. The other side just took the ball on the bounce. Their hint at her private life was as if to say, 'Mind your own business.'

Salary (17)

Indochine (1992) FRF2,700,000
Place Vendôme (1998) 480.000 euros
Le vent de la nuit (1999) 381.000 euros
Belle maman (1999) 610,000 euros
Pola X (1999) 274.000 euros
Le temps retrouvé, d'après l'oeuvre de Marcel Proust (1999) 305,000 euros
Est - Ouest (1999) 274.000 euros
8 femmes (2002) 457,000 euros + 9% of the gross
Nip/Tuck (2003) $40 .000
Princesse Marie (2004) 610.000 euros
Le Concile de Pierre (2006) 215,000 euros
Potiche (2010) €250,000
L'homme qui voulait vivre sa vie (2010) €250,000
Les yeux de sa mère (2011) €300,000
Les bien-aimés (2011) €300,000
Astérix & Obélix: Au service de sa Majesté (2012) €300 000
Elle s'en va (2013) €300 000

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