“I al­ways say that I won’t be able to stop as long as I’m not sat­is­fied that I haven’t wasted my life in this lousy business.”

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - DUEL -

I dis­cov­ered this very early on when I watched films by John Cas­savetes with Gena Row­lands, and Roberto Ros­sellini with In­grid Bergman!… It was my dream. That’s why I’ll never get over it.

Do you re­mem­ber any other un­usual nights like that one? VH

In no par­tic­u­lar or­der and off the top of my head, I IA re­mem­ber be­ing at the George V ho­tel in Paris one night, just after the ac­ci­den­tal death of Natasha Richard­son, Liam Nee­son’s wife. He was in Paris for a film première. I knew him from the time I was with Daniel Day–Lewis. I saw some­one who was in­cred­i­bly, phys­i­cally, alone. We had lost sight of each other, but we recog­nised each other. We sat down to­gether in the gallery and talked for hours, un­til the clean­ers brought us out of our bub­ble. It was like re–liv­ing our lives, which had not turned out to be what we had imag­ined them to be. I re­mem­ber another night I spent wait­ing for a man I loved. It was my birth­day. He came, but im­me­di­ately left again. And yet I sat there alone, in the gar­dens of the Ritz, un­til dawn, hop­ing that he would come back. Dark, sleep­less nights al­ways win, but the dark­ness leaves scars!…

The word “eclipse” of­ten comes up in con­nec­tion with you. A mechaVH nism of dis­ap­pear­ance"/"reap­pear­ance. It’s very strik­ing that in most of the ar­ti­cles about you, the theme of your sup­posed come­backs re­curs all the time. What’s your take on that? To tell the truth, it de­presses me. They’ve tran­sIA formed it into a sort of ready–made con­cept, a stance that isn’t mine. I be­lieve I’m ab­so­lutely not aware of time pass­ing. And I hope it doesn’t end in dis­as­ter (#laughs#). I was simultaneously happy–go–lucky and too anx­ious about the re­al­ity of life. Life swept me up. I gave the pri­or­ity to my pri­vate life, I took care of my fam­ily, I looked after my par­ents, peo­ple around me who weren’t do­ing well. My chil­dren. And even then I won­der if I did the right thing. When I hear ac­tresses say “my chil­dren are won­der­ful, very well–bal­anced, and I make three films a week”, I won­der what I am. A fail­ure as an ac­tress? (#laughs#)? I truly be­lieve that when you do this job with the am­bi­tion it re­quires, with­out re­nun­ci­a­tion, hav­ing chil­dren is a high–risk op­tion. The older gen­er­a­tion of Hol­ly­wood ac­tresses knew that. But we pre­tend not to know it. To an­swer your ques­tion straight up, I feel that I haven’t made all the choices I should have made, I haven’t met all the peo­ple I should have met. Ev­ery­thing I’ve done since I started out has screwed up my life. I hid my­self away. I with­drew into my­self. But by pro­tect­ing my­self, I sac­ri­ficed my­self as well. I gave up my rights through a form of dis­ap­pear­ance, as you say, that was the only way I could re­gen­er­ate my­self so that I could reap­pear once more. I know, I ought to change the al­go­rithm! (#laughs#).

I imag­ine that, when you started out, you couldn’t have pre­dicted VH that path#… It’s funny, but when I was 20, I re­ally thought that IA I was go­ing to work my rear end off, star in all the world’s most stand­out films, of course, and after that I would stop and write and make ba­bies. In fact, my life was com­pletely the re­verse. I al­ways say that I won’t be able to stop as long as I’m not sat­is­fied that I haven’t wasted my life in this lousy business. So in the next ten years, I’m go­ing to have to do things that will al­low me to say that even if I’m no longer 25 years old on screen, the fem­i­nine com­po­nent I bring to the roles has style, value, and im­por­tance. I feel as if I’ve been asleep for God knows how many years, and that, now I’ve wo­ken up, there’s a war on. You need to ma­noeu­vre like a strate­gist th­ese days, and some ac­tresses are play­ing along be­cause they’ve got bril­liant back–up to keep them per­fectly sta­bilised, which has never been my case. When I see the sort of things that Ju­lianne Moore has done, I’m full of ad­mi­ra­tion. She has some­how man­aged to dis­able all the ma­jor en­gines of de­struc­tion of which she, like so many oth­ers, was the tar­get. Is it a prob­lem if I’m not ca­pa­ble of do­ing that? As I’m talk­ing to you, you see, I’m telling you that all is lost and noth­ing is lost (#laughs#).

All is lost? VH

As you’re in­tel­li­gent enough to steer me to­wards IA the con­crete, I’ll go to­wards the con­crete. The other evening, I went to see a per­for­mance of Vic­tor Hugo’s Lu­crèce Bor­gia at the Comédie Française. Have you seen it? I beg you, do go, hon­estly: its one of the big­gest aes­thetic shocks of my life. Guil­laume Gal­li­enne and Éric Ruf, who did the play’s stag­ing, have done an in­cred­i­ble job. I was stunned, and on the inside I was scream­ing with emo­tion. What I saw and I heard that evening cor­re­sponded to the es­sen­tial rea­son for my de­sire to be­come an ac­tress. And right there, I said to my­self that I wasn’t in this pro­fes­sion at all, any longer. I de­spaired. I had set foot in the Comédie Française so rarely since I left it that I was ter­ri­fied of suf­fer­ing. After the per­for­mance, I met up with the ac­tors on the square out­side, and I sud­denly found my­self in tears as I was talk­ing to them. I heard my­self say­ing to them “I ad­mired you so much this evening and I re­ally can’t bear it any more, not to be do­ing what I should be do­ing.” Dur­ing the night, I said to my­self that I had to have the courage to ask my­self what had be­come of my de­sire, and what I want it to be­come, and if I want it to be­come some­thing!… When I con­fess this to you, I tell my­self that you un­der­stand what I’m say­ing. But of­ten, I talk to friends who pat me on the shoul­der and say: “What are you on about? Are you for­get­ting ev­ery­thing you’ve done in your ca­reer?” And at that point, all I want to do is just clap my hands over my ears and shout: “Enough al­ready!” That re­ally is what it’s not about.

Do you re­gret leav­ing the Comédie Française for the cin­ema? VH

It’s some­thing I’ll al­ways re­gret. I didn’t leave it for the IA cin­ema, but be­cause of the cin­ema, at the in­sis­tence of François Truf­faut, who forced me to choose, and who caused me some sleep­less nights. I didn’t know that he was in love with me, or

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