Entertainment

“If Kim Kardashian is an icon, I am the Queen of England”

She is eagerly awaited at Cannes, in Masquerade, a comedy by Nicolas Bedos. It is then found in Peter von Kant, by François Ozon, who imagined this exclusive photo shoot. In the skin of Marilyn, Dietrich and Garbo, the actress is troubling. So many correspondences between these absolute stars…

She gives us an appointment close to the Comédie-Française, in Paris, a district that suits her well. There she is, in advance, lost on the first floor of a café where all eyes converge on her uncovered face, Adjani’s face, without dark glasses or hat, simply beautiful. She is sweet, funny, her intelligence on permanent alert, her speech clear with her opinions sliced, without shortcuts, and her vocabulary of laser precision.

She’s an icon, and she doesn’t care about her first contract. Yet that is what two directors make her play, who put her back at the center of the cinema chessboard: she is an actress in Peter von Kant, by François Ozon, with Denis Ménochet, but also in Masquerade, comedy of manners by Nicolas Bedos, presented out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival, with Pierre Niney (of whom she is a fan), Marine Vacth, Emmanuelle Devos and François Cluzet.

For Ozon, Isabelle Adjani slipped into the revisited universe of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The temptation was then great for the director to review some iconic figures he loves during a special photo session: Marlene Dietrich, the German, Greta Garbo, the Swede, and Marilyn Monroe, the Hollywoodian, whose we celebrates this year the 60th anniversary of his death. Adjani, a unique actress with multiple identities, played the game of metamorphosis with relish.

“Marilyn is like a friend that I know by heart”

“A woman in a sumptuous black dress is already on the set when the spectators enter, we discover her against the light. She is in the center of a metal installation which resembles a tower of Babel on which twenty-four cinema projectors are arranged. The room is dark, layers of sound and music are heard while flashes of intense light interspersed with black sculpt the space… We hear her voice on the telephone, who is she? Myself ? Marilyn Monroe? The two ? None ? What is it ? Theater, a pagan ceremony, a prose poem?

In The Vertigo Marilyn, text by Olivier Steiner, which I started to play in France and soon abroad, I say that she is like a sister, small or big, depending on the moment. It is the matrix star, according to Edgar Morin. Olivier Steiner had this idea of ​​making me a co-author by drawing on some of my written interviews, which have become moments of confession, continuing on stage in an improbable dialogue with Marilyn.

On video, The mystery of Marilyn Monroethe teaser

It’s also a creation made in partnership with the house of Dior, which made me an identical black velvet dress, with a bare back, that Marilyn wore during what we called the last session with the photographer Bert Stern, in July 1962. The dress is identical, the confessions, hers and mine are authentic, the enigmatic echo remains of one in the other, of me in her, and sometimes of her in me, the crossing of the Styx which separates us, from death to life, from life to death…”

François Ozon projects the shadow of Greta Garbo on my character»

“Just before the start of filming, François Ozon asked me to pose as Garbo to illustrate my character in peter von kant, his new film, a tribute to Fassbinder’s cinema. Garbo is the disturbing strangeness of a woman who transcends the feminine – without transgendering it – she is the perfect transvestite, an object of fascination for men and women. Roland Barthes wrote that she was like a blank page, that she had a face on which you could write whatever you wanted.

Marlene Dietrich on the side of fierce freedom»

“Do you know his version of Do not leave me in German ? She’s heartbreaking, it’s heartbreaking Brel, it’s as powerful as Nina Simone. “Bitte, geh’nicht strong!“Please don’t go!” “Bitte, geh’nicht strong! Laß’ mich nicht allein. Wenn du mich verläßt, stürzt der Himmel ein.” “Please don’t go! Do not leave me alone. When you leave me, the sky crumbles.” It is a wonder. In Peter von Kant, I sing in German, and on the cover of a record, I appear transformed into Marlene. She’s a huge performer when she sings, when she plays, she mineralizes, but she’s a volcanic stone that would be as sharp as the edge of a flint. Beyond her filmography, I like the faces of Marlene: the warm and free woman in her private life, the courageous woman in her commitments against Nazism, and this magnetic woman discovered through the photos of the gallery owner Pierre passbon.”

Cinephilia? A way of being»

“When I hear the word cinephilia, I think of André Bazin’s book, What is Cinema? I am thinking above all of Truffaut, I am thinking of Deleuze, I am thinking of a way of life. We can live in cinema, think cinema, eat cinema, sleep cinema. It’s not an activity or a particular taste, cinephilia is not even a love, it’s a way of being. I envy those who knew and were able to live like this. My existence has looked far too much like a Douglas Sirk melodrama. (Laughs.) There is this very moving sentence from Duras: “Because of writing, I have been very absent in my life.” I could say that because of the cinema, of this profession of actress which is also an art, I missed a lot of parts of existence. But one could also say that because of life, my life, I could not go to meetings at the cinema. Cinema, for me, is what gives so much but also takes. An epitaph that would suit me? With her, cinema and life competed.

When I hear the word cinephilia, I think of André Bazin’s book, What is cinema?I think especially of Truffaut, I think of Deleuze, I think of lifestyle

If Kim Kardashian is an icon, I’m the Queen of England»

“If Kim Kardashian is an icon, I would like to be a finer sociologist and semiologist to probe these phenomena of influencers and influencers and the whole narcissistic economy of social networks, networks perpetually concerned with the number of followers. More seriously, if Kim Kardashian is an icon, money has truly become god…”

I love when strangers make us lose our superb»

“What amazes me in the acting of an actor or actress is when he or she slips away from you, loses you in his character, when you forget his name and everything you know about him or her. him: he, she, got you! This power is increased tenfold when it comes to an or an unknown. I felt that recently with this young actress, Selene Assaf, a newcomer in a TV episode of marleau, and with one of the protagonists of the Euphoria series, Hunter Schafer. I watched the episode in which we see her chatting with her shrink, and she killed me! I love it when strangers make us lose our luster, put us back in our place as actors among other actors. It’s like the fascination for a star, it’s falling in love with someone you don’t know yet. It’s crazy what the fictions of the actor can create in us realities.

I observed some samples of the mythology of the crazy Hollywood star»

“I remember a “crossing the screen” evening given in Hollywood by Gregory and Véronique Peck in their sublime house, where Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Sidney Poitier, Michael Douglas, etc. were gathered. There was also Marlon Brando, such a confusing, almost disturbing character. I remember that he had some samples of the crazy Hollywood star at home: a collection of small Manneken-Pis-style automatons, with which he liked to play like a big child. Most of the biographies, which paint portraits of stars who have rocked, are portraits of fallen children, like the film by Jerry Schatzberg, worn by Faye Dunaway (Portrait of a fallen child, editor’s note). Hollywood, great Babylon, is still there. The actor’s ghost exists through the tragic trajectories of a sublime River Phoenix to a sublime Philip Seymour Hoffman. They express throughout their life, then they expire, that’s all.

Masquerade also paints two figures of the eternal feminine: the predator, which I had fun composing, and the sexy creature, which no man can resist, interpreted by Marine Vacth. And Bedos recreated the woman! »

A farandole of hateful people that we love to hate»

Masquerade, by Nicolas Bedos, presented at Cannes, depicts the story of people guilty of everything, irrecoverable, whose lives collide as in a comedy, but collide until the drama. Nicolas Bedos skilfully films the farandole of these detestable people that we love to hate. It’s dark and it’s full of sunshine. My character, Martha, is an actress whose career is combined with the past, which makes her odious and cruel, without preventing her from having tender and mischievous accents, which perhaps saves her. Masquerade also paints two figures of the eternal feminine: the predator, with sharp fangs and kiss red lips, which I had fun composing, and the sexy, solar, diabolically seductive creature, which no man can resist, interpreted by Marine Vacth, brilliant. And Bedos recreated the woman!”

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According to the years, an actress can be made, or defeated by Cannes»

“Cannes is violence and passion. On the verge of agoraphobia, how to keep your breathing intact? The event is spectacular, a French glory, it is also a parade of appearances which we cannot escape, whether we know how to play this game or not, whether we are ready or not. It happened to me to be there with the sovereign assurance of the presidency of the Festival, a mission entrusted to me in 1997, it also happened to me to go there without being ready, either physically or morally, which give a hell of a blow of bamboo! Depending on the year, an actress can be made by Cannes, or defeated by Cannes. When I think that Marilyn has never set foot there… You know, Cannes, it’s like the sun, it’s better to have a good sunscreen… Long live the cinema!”

peter von kantby François Ozon, released on July 6. Masqueradeby Nicolas Bedos, released on 1er november. Diana of Poitiersa France 2 miniseries, broadcast in October.

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