The grande dame of film

> French screen leg­end Cather­ine Deneuve is happy to still be ac­tive and act­ing at 73

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

FRENCH film god­dess Cather­ine Deneuve, at 73, is plenty busy – act­ing, scoop­ing up awards, dip­ping a toe in so­cial causes. But one thing she’s not fuss­ing over? Age­ing.

Hav­ing worked for more than five decades, the screen siren said she’s happy to still be ac­tive in Europe, where older ac­tresses face less dis­crim­i­na­tion than their Hol­ly­wood coun­ter­parts.

“There’s a very big chal­lenge in the United States when it comes to age­ing, es­pe­cially for ac­tors and ac­tresses,” Deneuve told AFP in Hanoi, ahead of the dig­i­tal re-re­lease of her 1992 film In­do­chine, set in Viet­nam, a for­mer French colony.

“I’m not say­ing it’s easy in Europe, but in Europe, we ac­cept more read­ily to make movies with women in lead­ing roles who are 40, 45, 50 years old. That is still very rarely seen in the United States,” added Deneuve in the famed Metropole Ho­tel.

The leg­endary ac­tress has ap­peared in more than 100 films, in­clud­ing as a bi­sex­ual vam­pire op­po­site David Bowie in The Hunger, and a high-end pros­ti­tute in Belle De Jour, and con­tin­ues to break gen­der bound­aries in an in­dus­try no­to­ri­ous for sidelin­ing female ac­tresses be­yond a cer­tain age.

“You have to try to age as gra­ciously as pos­si­ble, to not be ob­sessed with your own im­age, be­cause ac­tors can eas­ily fall into the trap of think­ing just about this,” she added.

She even had a thought to spare about one woman shat­ter­ing glass ceil­ings of her own across the pond: Hil­lary Clin­ton.

“I think it’s great that there is al­ready an Amer­i­can pres­i­dent that is black, and to­day, there is a big chance – I hope at least – that it will be a woman who will be the leader of Amer­ica.” Deneuve is show­ing no signs of slow­ing down af­ter half a cen­tury of work. She stars in an up­com­ing film, Bonne Pomme with Ger­ard Depar­dieu, and was re­cently awarded the Lu­miere Award in France, which she ded­i­cated to French farm­ers. Deneuve is in Hanoi to pro­mote the new­lyre­mas­tered In­do­chine, about a French plan­ta­tion owner, played by her, and her adopted daugh­ter. The film pre­miered last week at the Hanoi In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val – in its fourth edi­tion and seek­ing to show­case Viet­nam’s lit­tle­known film in­dus­try at home and abroad.

And of all the films she’s worked on, she said In­do­chine, the only film to ever earn her an Os­car nod, main­tains a spe­cial place in her sto­ried ca­reer.

“It’s a movie that’s had a lot of suc­cess, the re­lease of the film, tak­ing the film all the way to the Os­cars, plus the coun­tries that I brought the film to over­seas, this was some­thing very spe­cial,” she said, a few hours be­fore hit­ting the red car­pet in Hanoi for the de­but.

As for what’s next, Deneuve said there’s no par­tic­u­lar ac­tor or ac­tress she’s hun­gry to star along­side, and says she’s mostly drawn to the work of di­rec­tors and scriptwrit­ers.

And with a litany of awards and ac­co­lades un­der her belt, Deneuve said the lack of an Os­car on her mantle­piece does not keep her awake at night.

“It’s not at all in my plans. These are things that hap­pen some­times, but frankly, I don’t think very much about this,” she added. – AFP

Deneuve (be­low) has had a long ca­reer with many iconic films, in­clud­ing (clock­wise, from above) the re­cently re-mas­tered In­do­chine; The Hunger with Bowie; and Belle De Jour.

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