The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

“She did. Stéphanie. My char­ac­ter. I to­tally fell in love with her. It is al­ways like that for me. I read. I get ob­sessed. If I have not been of­fered the part, I will do ev­ery­thing to get it. She moved me. A lot. Some­times, even on set, I was moved by what hap­pened to her. And some­times I was very happy be­cause of things that hap­pened to her. It’s hard to ex­plain. It’s weird.”

Rust and Bone, to an even greater chal­lenge than Piaf, claims Cotil­liard. The work, how­ever, had to re­main just that. “Now that I’m a mum I have to do things dif­fer­ently,” says the 37-year-old. “On Jac­ques’s movie at the end of the day I would run home to my fam­ily. Hear­ing ‘cut’ was my cue to get back to be­ing a mother. With­out a kid I would have worked dif­fer­ently. With a kid you can’t bring some­one else home.”

She laughs: “Es­pe­cially when she’s a to­tally fucked-up am­putee girl.”

Did an in­verted phan­tom-limb syn­drome ever set in?

“Yes! I al­most for­got I had legs. They were there all the time but I wouldn’t see them. The spe­cial-ef­fects peo­ple were re­ally bril­liant and they were so dis­creet and fast that they never got in our way.”

She speaks in per­fect English that can sound vaguely Los Angeles and vaguely Lon­don in the same sen­tence. Cotil­lard has been do­ing this for a long time. Born into an artis­tic Parisian house­hold, she first en­tered into the fam­ily busi­ness as a child. “It was or­ganic, nat­u­ral,” she says.

It sure was. Her fa­ther is Jean-Claude Cotil­lard, a one-time mime and a Molière Award-win­ning di­rec­tor. Her mother, Niseema Theil­laud, is an ac­tor and drama teacher. Guil­laume, one of Mar­ion’s younger twin broth­ers, is a screen­writer and di­rec­tor.

“We were to­tally free to do what­ever we wanted to do,” re­calls Cotil­lard. “My par­ents just wanted us to be happy. What was im­por­tant for my par­ents was for us to be free to be cre­ative and to be re­spect­ful. Re­spect your­self and oth­ers and the place you live in. I


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