“I tend to worry about my children”

She’s made a name for herself in Hollywood but hasn’t lost any of her restraint. Neither does his talent for deconstructing traditional patterns with challenging roles. We find her as a museum curator helping Jewish children brave hearts.

In the cozy atmosphere of the Pavillon de la Reine in Paris, Camille Cottin appears like a tornado early in the morning and apologizes for being late – five minutes on the clock! She hates this. Out of breath but ready to go, she settles into the back of the restaurant and finds her natural reserve. Slim silhouette, mesmerizing green eyes – her trademark – but shy smile, she starts the conversation, almost whispering, often hesitant. A personality far removed from the cheeky characters of the pastille reveals itself female dog or series Ten percent who made him famous: “I find it difficult to put things into words, but since you read me like an open book, you immediately know what I’m thinking.”

Instead of being outraged in public, the discreet prefers to act aggressively in her artistic decisions: important and strong roles. The newest? That of Rose, a museum curator who hides Jewish children in Chambord Castle in the middle of the war. The film is called brave hearts and is signed Mona Achache. “I read somewhere that resistance wasn’t a choice, it was a responsibility,” notes the actress. I liked that sentence, and that’s exactly what the director says in her film: the character of the rose isn’t a hero character at first, but the context and the circumstances push her to sacrifice herself. It is her destiny and she accepts it because there is nothing she can do about it. It is very beautiful what it says about courage and resistance.

In the Valiant Hearts video, the trailer

A subject Camille Cottin knows well, being the granddaughter of a resistance fighter in the army and a grandfather who volunteered to do sanitation duties in a camp only to dig a tunnel and escape. The family heritage impresses as much as it challenges the transmission of boldness. “I think there were a lot of times when I lacked courage and I see that strength as more of an instinct than a drive in a certain context.”

Among the contemporary fighters she touches, she names Nasrin Sotoudeh (lawyer for human rights and political prisoners in Iran) and Adèle Haenel, as she left the Césars room shocked by the prize awarded to Roman Polanski or even his friend Camille Chamoux, who vehemently opposed statements made by Alain Finkielkraut on the set of the TV show We’re not in bed. “Adèle and Camille in those moments are totally in tune with their feelings, ignoring the context, the codes and even the consequences,” observes Camille Cottin. It’s cathartic to see them in action.”

Dedicated artist

For her part, the actress was able to dust off the image of women in her own way, playing a gay talent agent Ten percenta powerful businesswoman in kill Eveor an uninhibited nympho in To fly – Customization of flea bag the famous Phoebe Waller Bridge. A list that seems to touch the committed actress. As a supporter of the 50/50 collective, which campaigns for gender equality and sexual and gender diversity in cinema, she founded a feminist production company called Malmö with her friend Shirley Kohn. The two producers recently shone with the Sista collective and their video “And if we asked women and men the same questions? », in which great French bosses are interviewed as women.

Camille Cotton, the cover story

This image of a free character that Camille Cottin sends back is, in her opinion, due to her debut on stage: “When I started with the theatre, I was a bit locked in my body, I didn’t know how to move, the Energy didn’t circulate and my voice didn’t come out. Then I joined the troupe of the Théâtre du Voyageur in Asnières-sur-Seine, with whom I worked on the masks. This exercise opened doors for me. Becoming diverse, harnessing my energy, raw sensitivity and freeing myself from seduction has completely freed me. The imperative to seduce somewhat hinders the development of women,” she says.

A freedom that pleased the Anglo-Saxons. Camille Cottin is one of the few French women to have made a name for herself in Hollywood. She met Brad Pitt (twice), Adam Driver, Lady Gaga or Matt Damon. She modestly prefers to speak of the “American experience” rather than a career, but agrees that the United States was “a dream to begin with.” Nurtured by her mother and stepfather with the films of Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn or Clark Gable, she remains fascinated by the relationship with the very physical acting of American actors, their cross-dressing, their accent work, the body…

very free education

A fun exercise, safe, exciting, but difficult nonetheless, even for this perfectly bilingual actress who lived in London as a teenager and taught English to earn a living. Among the difficulties, she recalls not understanding what Ridley Scott was saying behind his mask on set house of gucci, and that Adam Driver, a good comrade, had played translator. The French also embraced her stage fright: “When I realized I was going to be shooting alongside Matt Damon for thirty days still water, A lot of the face-to-face scenes scared me tremendously, but once you’re on board you have to have the courage to take on the role. That’s what you expect from an actor.”

Like an athlete, she finds the courage to tame her fears by focusing on “first impulse” without anticipating what comes next. The success across the Atlantic from Ten percent Camille Cottin is appreciated abroad. Guest on Jimmy Fallon’s cult talk show last March, the Frenchman passed the exam with flying colors and convinced the audience by telling a very friendly story at the beginning of the shooting House GucciLady Gaga, very focused on her character – Camille Cottin’s rival – had said to her, “You’re a beautiful woman, a great actress, but we won’t be friends until the end of the film.”

You are a beautiful woman, a great actress, but we will not be friends until the end of the film.

Lady Gaga

After these American and English experiences, she recently performed in an opera in London The story of the maid (The Scarlet Maiden) – the actress slows down, takes the time to watch others at work and cares deeply for her children Léon, 12, and Anna, 7. “Sometimes I tend to worry too much about them, and sometimes I can let go completely. I adapt to the signals they send me. It is a strength to establish a dialogue and I am a strong believer in the power of words in children. »

She says she has trouble with authority because, like her partner – architect Benjamin Gauthier – she received a very free education. These young parents have to force each other to frame the house. “The rigor, the consistency, that’s growing up,” sums up the Quadra, who believes he has kept a lot from his childhood: “joy in general, the joy of the collective and the taste for new experiences.” With a brave heart, nothing is impossible .

Valiant Hearts, by Mona Achache, starring Camille Cottin, Swann Arlaud… Released May 11th.

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