After a movie career lasting nearly 40 years Nathalie Baye can afford to choose her projects. Andrew Fenton asked the French film star about working with Audrey Tautou in their new film, the lively romantic comedy Beautiful Lies, and how she keeps her passion for acting.
Q. Beautiful Lies director Pierre Salvadori ( Priceless ) wrote the part of a mother who falls in love with the same man as her daughter specifically for you, right?
A. I’ve always loved his work so when he called me and said he was thinking of writing a character for me I was very happy. He told me the pitch but I didn’t ask him any more questions because I love the surprise, you know. Q. You also worked with Audrey Tautou who plays your daughter ( both pictured) on Tautou’s 1999 feature film debut Venus
Beauty Institute , didn’t you?
A. I was very impressed when I met her the first time. Twelve years later and she’s done a lot of successful things but she’s still the same girl. She’s very clever. She knows what she wants to do and what she doesn’t want to do and she’s very funny. Q. Now 63, you have appeared in more than 70 films since your breakthrough role as the script girl in the 1973 classic Day for
Night by legendary director Francois Truffaut. Is that correct?
A. Truffaut said: cinema is an improvement on life ‘‘ because [ in films] when you want to open a bottle it always opens easily and when you try to open a door, it always opens the right way’’. Everything is OK. I said to him: ‘‘ No, no life is great too!’’ We had a very big difference about that. Q. You say you keep your passion for acting alive by choosing the right projects, is that true?
A. It’s important as an actor to maintain your desire [ for the work] because if you do films just because you have nothing to do, or because you want money or for other bad reasons, I think the desire – like in a love affair – goes away.