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‘Authority is boring for me’ - Juliette Binoche


One of the world’s most sought-after actresses, the Oscar-winning French star of Chocolat and The English Patient – Juliette Binoche – made her name as an actress who seeks to portray complex characters.

She spoke to RT in an exclusive interview.

Binoche said good acting “requires a lot of yourself. All the layers have to be involved in acting: the sensations, the heart, the guts, the thoughts, the imagination. I think it’s the incarnation of thoughts, of ideas, feelings. It’s the most interesting work on earth.”

Asked whether she prefers to work with dogmatic directors or those who allow more room for improvisation, Juliette Binoche said: “Authority doesn’t mean anything. I love people being intense in their work, when they are convinced by what they like and don’t like. Authority is boring for me. But when you’re so convinced, it gives an authority, and that authority I’m ready to embrace and accept. But within that, it’s like tango.”

“It’s wonderful to know where you’re going but still you have to have freedom inside you have to have a circle where it’s possible to create. And as an actor you have to have your total sort of freedom so you can give the best of what’s inside you. It’s not a mental decision. The mind is involved but it’s the chemistry, an alchemy between the body, the mind and heart. It has to be all the three together.”

This sort of “chemistry” proved to be a winning combination in “The English Patient” which brought Binoche an Oscar.

“Well, it’s always wonderful to have success because it’s such a difficult work that you’re happy that it works. Nevertheless, if success changes the choices you’re making, then it becomes a little problem,” she said.

The 46-year-old actress has had the chance to work with several American directors, playing opposite Al Pacino and Richard Gere. However, it seems that she has never been truly tempted by the bright lights of Hollywood.

“Oh, that’s a very old question for me. If I was 25, you know I would try to answer it but I’ve already done 26 years of career where I chose to have specific films. I’ve done some Hollywood films very rarely but I still tried and it was not my choice and, not my realm, not my fantasy, not my need. It was finding the director I could get in touch with inside, that would give something special to the world and special also to me.”

In 2010 she won the Best Actress award at Cannes for her turn in Certified Copy. Has working with the acclaimed Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami, affected Binoche in any way?

“In every way. That’s what I’m looking for – to have a change in me through film, through an encounter, through an experience.”


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