Quotes

ON HERSELF

“I still have a lot to learn. I’m very cerebral. I should give more room to the instincts and the physical”

“I often play confident and powerful women. People think that I’m like that in real life too. Labeling people is habitual but I’m a closed-off and shy person. This is why during photo sessions, I try to be bolder and I choose eccentric and dramatic looks for my red carpet outings like Galliano and McQueen, which I love, and which have a certain level of ooomph! But I try to avoid this type of escapades in real life.”

“I am many things. I can be quite mad, and young, but I’m not the kind of person who goes out to nightclubs and goes crazy. I am more lying on my bed and listening to classical music to relax.”

 
 
ON HER SHYNESS, SELF CONFIDENCE AND SOCIAL ANXIETY

“I’ll feel like an actress at 80, maybe! We always have the impression that we’re stealing something. People say that I look very determined and it surprises me. I wouldn’t act anymore if I was sure of myself. It happened to me very often to not attend an audition because I lacked confidence. If I don’t have a minimum amount of time to prepare myself, I get paralyzed.” (on being sure about herself)

“I’m like a cavewoman. I wish I could hang out in a big social place and be very open but I’m not like that. Being shy was a real problem in school. I don’t feel very comfortable. I have to force myself to go out. At events, it’s part of the job. I see it as a game. Otherwise, I’m very invisible. I prefer to float around.” (on social anxiety)

“All the time….I fight myself continously!” (on does it ever happen to herself to fight evil spirits in everyday life)

“My lack of confidence is disastrous. I still don’t know what I’m missing. It’s an inner thing I can’t untie, and being successful doesn’t change anything to it. This job is a constant questioning. I can put on a strong face, but I don’t get used to it….On the other hand, I know that being an actress doesn’t solve everything. We live intensely, but it’s not enough. I don’t want to wake up at age 50 telling myself that I’ve done nothing but films.”

“When I was a teenager, they’d say, “When you are in your thirties you will be confident”.’ Maybe when I am 90, it will be OK.”

“I have stopped taking what others think about me close to heart. Which maybe isn’t quite the same. You see, because I am shy people tend to see me as distant and cold. It’s something that gave me a hard time growing up. Everyone who truly knows me, knows that I’m not. So now, I don’t care what people think because I learned to stop worrying about my image.”

 
 
ON DESCRIBING HERSELF

“I am not a goth. I am a big geek!”

“Actually, I am way too shy to be the personification of a strong woman. Not as morbidly shy as I was throughout my childhood. Back then, I could barely interact with others. Still, even today I can be a little awkward. And…I have to admit, I am not exactly optimistic either.”

 
 
ON WHY SHE BECAME AN ACTRESS

“If I only know! (laughs) It is quite a paradox really, but eventually I just started to fight my inner demons with everything that I had. It was quite a brutal process, to escape out of my shyness. My mother always said that there were two personalities inside me and I think she might be right. Only when I am in character, I feel completely alive. And I love to be someone else, it helps me too. In a sense, I learn something about myself with it. I don’t know myself very well and something I can’t do at all is to invent. I rather hide behind a character, a script, instead of shining with my own ideas. Which is why I believe I cannot work in any other profession. Besides that, I am far from feeling comfortable in my own skin. And they say that with time, things would become easier. Well, not for me.”

 
 
ON AUDITIONING

“I’m always blessed when I’m not auditioning. I hate auditions. I’m rubbish, actually, and I get so nervous. My heart is about to pop out. It’s a disaster.”

“I often expect the worst. Which is the reason why I hate castings so much. I always believe that I won’t get the role. Because of that, I tend to do less castings these days. Either they want me for a role or they don’t. Everything else are power games.”

 
 
ON ACTING, HER CAREER CHOICES AND HOLLYWOOD

“It’s a tough business. As an actor you have to keep your vulnerability for your roles, and at the same time, you have to build an armour around yourself because there are so many…I have to find a polite word….. arseholes. You have to have faith in yourself and remain strong. And, if you find that you’ve lost your passion one day, I think you should move on to something else.” (on surviving Hollywood)

“I think as an actor, you, if you have the choice, it’s great to do kind of big studio films and then do like independent features. But if you can combine the two and you know, do movies, small movies, that has, that you know, have a soul, with lots of depth, that are brave….. Uh and then go back to the big machines, you know, to make you ‘bankable’ or ‘hot’ as they say -I hate that word. Then it’s, it’s part of the game but it’s good to combine the two.” (on her career choice of switching between blockbusters and indie films)

“I don’t want to be a Hollywood star. I just want to do my job and enjoy it. My aim is to find my true identity and to remain true to myself.”

“I’d say it’s 70% of talent and 30% of luck. It’s nonsense but that’s how things work. A bit of luck always help.” (on the most important thing on an actress’ career)

“A film can be big or small, I have to just fall in love with it. To connect with the character, the script and the director. Sometimes they say to you ‘You should do that for your career, it’s a big thing, people will go and see it’ but I wouldn’t be able to because my heart wouldn’t be in it. I would drive people quite mad.” (on what attracts her to small independent films)

“My career resembles a rollercoaster. It won’t be relaxing, but that’s what’s beautiful.”

“I think all actors actors are very, how do you say it, ‘narciss-sistic’, and all want recognition. We all want that, of course, but, at the same time I want to disappear, you know. To hide…”

“You have to be strong if you want to be an actor, at the end of this season I might not have a job anymore, it all depends on the audience’s wishes. It’s an on-going challenge because you must be vulnerable in front of the camera and, at the same time, you must have a thick skin in order to protect yourself from the spite that you can feel around you. I repeat to myself every day: ‘Don’t give up, don’t give up!'” (2015)

“I’m always afraid of disappointing. The coincidence of premieres made me very exposed last year, but this attendance means nothing. There will always be someone to tell that a nice little film that nobody saw is good for nothing.”

“Acting is way more than a job for me. When I act, I feel alive.”

 
 
ON THE CHARACTERS SHE PLAYS

“I think of that. Sometimes I say to myself: ‘Oh my god! What exactly is a ‘femme fatale’? Why me? I bet it’s a girl without many sides, always evil.’ Luckily, I will remind myself that I’ve done many other characters that were far more complex. More than a ‘femme fatale’. I’d say that they think of me to play strong women. That sounds a lot better.” (on being cast as a Femme Fatale)

“You know what I’ll say to you? I wish I was a femme fatale. If I enjoy it so much, playing charismatic and strong women who kick men’s asses… It’s because I’m not at all like that. I’m more like the opposite.” (on playing women who have total seduction control)

“I don’t want to play the beautiful girl in the background. I want complex roles with many dimensions and colours.”

 
 
ON WHY SHE CHOOSES TO PLAY STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN

“I don’t want to be the woman in the script where it goes, ‘There’s a beautiful, mysterious woman …’ Just, OK, forget it. I think I would feel unhappy… Some people play it very well but I want to be as equal as a man, you know what I mean?”

“I played a femme fatale 100 per cent in [2014’s] Sin City: A Dame To Die For, there are not many dimensions, she’s like a psychopath. In the other roles I’ve played – some of the roles anyway – they’re strong women, but there is more behind the strong facade. There are cracks in the armour and they’re quite complex.”

“I’ve never played a character that is just beautiful, but sometimes you can read scripts that sound so shallow, like women are objects. I’ve never done something like that, though.”

“I like characters who are complex. That’s why people sometimes say it’s dark. I don’t know what that means. It’s complex. Life is not rosy.”

“Fantasy is what inspires my roles. Besides, who wouldn’t enjoy kicking butts? It’s freeing. And which girl doesn’t dream of being the mean bitch? Even if only for a short moment? I tend to see all of these roles a little lighter and with a whole lot more humor.”

“It is important to me that the characters I portray aren’t one dimensional. These women are layered and I want the audience to meet and understand them bit by bit.”

 
 
ON ACTING AS A FORM OF THERAPY

“If I want therapy, then I will book an appointment with a psychiatrist. Maybe a psychiatrist would be able to explain to me why I tend to choose darker characters.”

 
 
ON ACTING IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH

“I’d love to shoot a French movie. I need a French project that really pleases me. Maybe to have more freedom, as French is my native language. I always liked English. I could have been an English teacher…. I don’t know…..but it’s really a second language for me.”

 
 
ON WHY MOST OF THE CHARACTERS THAT SHE PLAYS DIES

“For some odd reason, I die a lot in my movies. I have no idea why. I see it as an exercise for the inevitable.”

 
 
ON NUDITY AND SEX SCENES

“I’ve decided not to do a sex scene for a while, because it’s the only thing people remember. I feel very vulnerable.” (on deciding not to do a sex scene on her current and upcoming projects, 2014)

“It’s not so easy to shoot a nude scene, it’s very embarrassing. But in those moments, I’m beyond modesty or immodesty: I’m someone else, to put it simply. I divide myself into halves. People often think that I’m a seductress, but five minutes in my company dispel any ambiguity. I live like a nun. In my life, everything changes and nothing changes.”

“Sometimes it’s easier to play naked than clothed. I don’t understand why nudity in movies is so controversial.”

 
 
ON WHY SHE DOESN’T WATCH HER OWN FILMS

“(Yes.) That is something I cannot do at all. I wish it would be different but I simply can’t watch myself on screen. I don’t know if you’ll call it narcissism because it is something like that, only the opposite.”

 
 
ON BEING TYPECAST/PLAYING DARK CHARACTERS

“I often get asked if I get worried about being typecast as a femme fatale. But I have played so many other things! It makes me sad. Is that how people see me, as a dark kind of icy image? I hope not.”

“I think people say I always play dark characters or femme fatales, and I wanted to tell them, but I said, ‘Uh, femme fatales?’ ‘Sin City,” the woman’s a femme fatale. ‘300,’ she’s kind of, but I’m always — yeah, I mean, I don’t know if people haven’t seen all my movies, but I’m drawn to characters who are quite complicated, maybe, or dense. So, maybe they’re dark, but I think dark means complicated. Maybe I should do a romantic-comedy in L.A. or something. [Laughs]”

“I don’t think that all the characters I’ve played are as dark as others say. Tim Burton’s movies for example are always very poetic and have a whole lot of humor which is why I don’t see them as dark or scary. Something that is important to me are the complexities of characters, of stories, and maybe those are found in dark places but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t light between all of the darkness.”

“It is annoying that I am categorized. And I mean, it’s not like I only portrayed witches. It’s weird but I think it helps others to categorize.”

 
 
ON STAYING IN SHAPE

“As an actor, it’s not like a porn star. The role is not gratuitous and I kind of detach myself if I have to do a nude scene. For the sequel of 300, I did a lot of core training and that kind of work because my character was a warrior – [it needed] to be believable that I could kick some ass. Two or three months of training for five hours a day and I loved it. Your muscles are getting stronger. It’s like a drug almost, you feel addicted, but then on your own it’s so hard. You don’t have somebody kicking your ass every morning. I go for a run every day, I do elliptical, I do stretching. I run like 30 minutes -it’s for the head.” (on preparing for nude scenes and staying in shape)

“My diet is very LA; I eat mainly organic food. The amount of pesticides in our food is outrageous and so many people aren’t aware of what they’re eating. I drink lots of juices and eat kale, and have loads of energy as a result. I’m reading a great book by Dr Joel Fuhrman called Super Immunity about how you can cure all sorts of diseases with food.”

“I run outside to help with my nerves. It’s a good way to get rid of your demons. Gyms are a bit depressing. You feel like a hamster on a wheel.”

“Sun cream, protection, food — what we eat is the most important: lots of green vegetables, raw vegetables, organic. Everything has to be organic.”

 
 
ON PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION OF HER

“It’s funny the image of femme fatale that people have of me because my true self is very simple. I like to wear black leggings, jeans, funny t-shirts, black boots and Nike running shoes. I’m a tomboy.”

“At first I had panic attacks! But as outings on the spotlight became more frequent, I started to be more confident. You don’t need special skills for that. You just need to understand why you’re getting the attention and be proud of a job well-done. I concentrate by listening to classical music. During shoots, I often listen to Chopin.” (on how she feels when people watch and judge her closely)

 
 
ON HOW TO GET TO KNOW HER

“To really get to know me, you need patience. And, above all, never tell me that I’m beautiful.”

 
 
ON WEIRDNESS

“If enough people call you weird, you start to see yourself as weird. But in adult life, it can be a strength, too. And sometimes I do still feel like I belong to a different planet, where all the peculiars should go.”

 
 
ON AWARD RECOGNITIONS

“No! I don’t believe in awards. It’s very good for the ego, I suppose.”

 
 
ON THE RED CARPET

“There are worse things in life! My first red carpet was for an Armani event and I felt I didn’t deserve to be there. My dress was very boob-y. I almost couldn’t do it. But Armani was kind. He said, ‘Just go once up and down and you can go back to your hotel!’ It’s OK now, it’s part of the game.”

 
 
ON GENDER EQUALITY, SALARY AND OPPORTUNITY DISPARITY IN THE FILM INDUSTRY

“Definitely. We’re assigned certain boxes. Roles go a whole lot quicker than men. Which might be because men are still dominant in this business and they decide what happens. Which is why I admire fellow actresses like Emily Blunt, who – for example with ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ – reads the script and suggests: “Let’s make the male lead female but don’t change anything about the story then, I’m in.” Something like that should be done more often.”

“That is an important necessary discussion. It is obvious that there are disadvantages when it comes to good complex roles for women in comparison to men. Look at the age question alone. It is easier for men to have a career when they’re well into their 50s but for women? With 40, it starts to get harder and harder each year. The pressure is incredible – and looks aren’t the only reason for that.”

 
 
ON HER MOTHER MARLÈNE JOBERT

“My mother is very spontaneous and intuitive. I recently went to the Cinémathèque where they were showing ‘Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble’. It was incredible to see her on the big screen. She’s so talented. I feel like rubbish compared to her. She’s everything that I’d like to be. So instinctive. I have a tendency to overthink too much. She’s wonderful and totally charming.”

 
 
ON SEEKING HER MOTHER’S ADVICE WHEN CHOOSING ROLES

“Oh no, she always says: ‘Oh gosh, a crazy character again!’. That means if I ever asked her for her advice, I wouldn’t have had a single job in the last ten years. …..Well it doesn’t sound quite fair to say it like that but the first time she saw Penny Dreadful, she was quite shocked. But really, my mother is a great help no matter what. She only isn’t the best advisor when it comes to my roles. I rather listen to my heart even if the story is incredibly dark. So long as it interests me, I don’t care.”

 
 
ON HER RELATIONSHIP WITH HER TWIN SISTER JOY

“My sister lives in Italy so I don’t see her very often but we Skype. She has two beautiful children that I adore. She has a vineyard so she makes her own wine. Yeah, it’s very cool.”

“She thinks I’m a weirdo! And she is my twin! We are very, very different.”

 
 
ON HER CHILDHOOD

“I’ve always felt a little peculiar. Growing up in Paris I was always quiet. Very shy. I was scared of going to birthday parties, because I couldn’t play games and I didn’t like being in a group. I have a twin sister, and she had that bravery, she could join in with the group. But for me, it was painful. On my sixth birthday, another girl and I had a shared party, and I was so nervous I vomited. I know how crazy it is – from that terror of being the centre of attention, here I am as an actress. My parents made some home movies when I was three or four and I was already in my own bubble, looking away from the camera, thinking my own thoughts. Now I’ve tamed my demons but if I have to appear as myself in public, it’s hard. Deep down the child is still there. As a girl, I used to go to the cinema on my own. I hate it when people say the cinema is an escape, as if making small talk about the weather is more real. I loved the films of Ingmar Bergman and also A Room with a View. I saw it first when I was about eight, and I loved it immediately.”

“I was very, very shy as a child, so I felt a bit withdrawn and people always said I was strange. They still say that today. I’ve started thinking maybe I am. Because I am not confident to go to parties and do all that ‘lah-lah-lah, ha-ha-ha’, I have to be a bit violent with myself to do things like that.”

“This will sound strange, but I always felt like I was in a movie. When I was around five, I would imagine that I was an old woman telling my life story and that I was the flashback. It was like I was living in somebody’s dream. It was weird.”

“I was awfully shy. And because of that, I often felt excluded. In school, I never was part of any groups. I always only had one friend. Even at fifteen or sixteen, I never could have sat on a table like right now to talk about myself. I would have fainted or something like that.”

 
 
ON HER TEENAGE YEARS

“At 16, I studied for a year at the American School of Paris, and that was a revelation. The French school system is very judgemental. There, everything was about the pressure to get a certain grade in Maths. Who cares? I don’t remember a thing I did in Maths. But at the American School, the individual was celebrated. I’d never been into fashion, but I would dress up every day, wilder and wilder. I did art, drama, photography, even sports. It was an epiphany for me.”

“I was shy until I was 16 and started at the American School of Paris. It was a chance to be a new me. I had new black hair and would match my eyeshadow with my clothes so I’d wear purple or green. It was very theatrical.”

 
 
ON COLOURING HER HAIR DARK AS A TEEN

“My dark blonde was actually quite bland. A friend of my mum had very dark hair. She was from Yugoslavia and I wanted to look like her.”

“As a teenager, I was dark blonde. I was going through a shy phase, and I wanted to change something. My mum’s friend had black hair, and I decided to try it. I feel now that it’s more me.”

“I’ve dyed my hair black since I was 15. One of my mum’s friends had very dark hair and blue eyes and I just thought, ‘OK, I have to try it!’ I felt more like myself after I made the colour change. I love extreme shades – I’ve been dark blue, a dark brown and even red at one point. That was a challenging shade because it eventually went green!”

“I wanted to change something. You know, like when you go through your teenage years. I hated school. I was a good student, but I just wanted to breathe in something new. I was in awe of a friend of my mum, who had dark hair. She was quite weird, beautiful. I was like, ‘Oh wow, I’ll go to the hairdresser and try that.’ So I went there, I dyed my hair blue-black and came back home. It took me a while to get used to it, and then I actually really liked it. I felt more like myself. It’s weird.”

 
 
ON CHILDREN

“I’m in awe of children, they’re so natural, they live in the moment, they just don’t act, you know? I wish I could be a child again — stop thinking so much and just do.”

 
 
ON BEING FRENCH

“I don’t know what being French means. I’m aware that the world expects someone born in Paris to be the epitome of chic but I’m from everywhere.”

 
 
ON TRAVELING AND RELAXING

“I find peace when I’m walking in nature. I go to far away places. I went to Sri Lanka and South Africa last year. When I travel, it’s the moment when I think ‘Oh my god, I’m alive, I’m very lucky to be alive’. That’s what I like.” (on her post-work relaxation preference, 2015)

 
 
ON FEMINISM

“I believe that women can do anything. During the last decade we have attained fine results. We are ruling the world even if men haven’t woken up to the fact yet.” (on women’s purpose in life)

 
 
ON LIVING IN LONDON

“I love London. There are so many green areas and people are very polite. I have friends here. It feels like a new life but I’m still close to home.”

 
 
ON WHAT SCARES HER

“Oh, God, lots of things in this world. I don’t know where to start. Greed, pollution. Greed mostly.”

 
 
ON SELFIES

“If I tell you that I discovered them three days ago, will you believe me? The first time a person asked me to take a selfie, I was almost terrified!” (April 2015)

 
 
ON HER AVERSION TO SOCIAL MEDIA

“I prefer having my own bubble and I would feel too vulnerable to have it exposed. I think I’ve always protected myself quite well but it’s always been tough since day one. That’s the big challenge, and at the same time to remain vulnerable as an actor. Sometimes I just want to say ‘fuck it, I’m going to in the mountains with my animals’ and not to have to deal with all that cruelty.”

“I feel like I’m old school. It’s kind of scary. I could get addicted as well and I don’t want to get there. I understand that sometimes those media are good for a cause, or political things, for your work, that I understand. But to say you picked your nose at 4:30, tha’’s alien to me. You don’t want to give too much away. Look at me!”

 
 
ON BRAZIL

“No but I would love to know your country. I love Brazilian music and I know Brazilian women are very pretty, always in shape and take good care of themselves.” (when asked if she’s ever been to Brazil, 2014)

 
 
ON SMOKING

“Not anymore. I used to be a smoker but I stopped 3 years ago.” (2016)

 
 
ON HER PLAN TO DO A COMEDY PROJECT

“I can’t complain. I love giving everything to a role — I feel very alive when I do things like that. But it’s important for me to choose not-too-dark things as well, because I don’t want to be put in the ‘weirdo’ box.”

 
 
ON (FORMERLY) COLLECTING TAXIDERMY AND BEING A VEGAN

“I was once in this shop in Paris and saw this auroch’s head — that’s the ancestor of a bull. It sounds childish, but I felt he wanted me to rescue him and take him home. I have been vegan for three years now though, so I don’t buy things like that any more.”

 
 
ON WHAT ANIMAL SHE’D LIKE TO TRANSFORM INTO

“A bird. I have always felt like I was floating. There is something about being a bird that is so free. But you would want to be a falcon, so no one can f*** with you!”

 
 
ON HER TRADEMARK SILVER SKULL RING

“It’s weird, it’s funny. It’s kind of a cheap ring that I bought in Paris. When I did The Dreamers I left it in a bathroom at a hotel. It’s a bit stupid when you’re superstitious and you lose your lucky stuff, but I panicked. I went all the way back and found it. All my jewelry has stories.”

 
 
ON SURVIVING HOLLYWOOD

“It’s a tough business. As an actor you have to keep your vulnerability for your roles, and at the same time, you have to build an armour around yourself because there are so many… I have to find a polite word… arseholes. You have to have faith in yourself and remain strong. And, if you find that you’ve lost your passion one day, I think you should move on to something else.”

 
 
ON THE FANTASY GENRE

“Oh wow. I don’t know. I love watching that kind of thing. It’s escape, it’s entertaining, but at the end of the day, I think that’s why you would like specific fantasy adventures. You can identify, understand the heart of the characters, still find something real and relate to them in a human way.”

 
 
ON THE EVOLUTION OF TELEVISION AND BEING INVOLVED IN PROJECTS ON STREAMING SERVICES

“For me, the most drastic thing is it sounds like television is really the future. I don’t know, it’s kind of a bit scary. I love television, but there is, you know, so quick, that change. So I just hope people will still go to the cinema. I don’t know. It’s a strange.”

“It is the future. But I think, as an actor, I know like, for example, I heard Ewan McGregor is doing Season 3 of ‘Fargo’, and if you do one season, that I’d be ready. It’s just giving many years on something, I think it’s healthy to explore different characters. If I can choose, I’d love to do that, but yeah, it is the future.”

 
 

Info collected and/or translated from several international articles and interviews.
Written by EvaGreenWeb.com, do not take or copy without our permission.