A seasoned, Oscar-winning actor like Marion Cotillard has to throw out the rule book when it comes to acting for the brilliant Belgian filmmaking duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. In this clip from a new interview with Cotillard available on our release of last year’s Two Days, One Night, Cotillard recalls the Dardennes’ unique process.
When we started this rehearsal process that is very specific to the Dardenne brothers’ work, we didn’t really talk about the character right away. They knew that I was searching. This rehearsal process was more about finding the choreography of the camera and the actors, so it was not focused on acting. But it’s part of the same—because, of course, to find the energy of a scene you have to find the energy of your character. But they knew that I was working on what was inside, and that it would affect the rhythm of how they would shoot the scenes. But they never really asked me something specific at the beginning of the rehearsals. They let me start the process within myself, and then when they thought something was not exactly what they wanted, they would tell me, and actually, they were always right. The only thing that they asked me, and that was one of the first things that they asked, was to lose my French accent, Parisian accent. I need to replace my French or Parisian accent by something, which wouldn’t be a Belgium accent. It’s slightly different when they ask to lose something.