Actress Juliette Binoche talks for BBC's Five Minutes With... about preparing roles, the disadvantages of being a film star, the similarities between painting and acting and whether she considers herself to be an intellectual.
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.
The activity is suitable for intermediate 2 students.
1 Certified Copy has already brought Juliette some award.
2 Actors' families resent the fact that the actor is travelling so much.
3 Juliette thinks directors should have the power on the set.
4 Juliette is confident that one day she will become director.
5 Throughout her career, the roles she has played have chosen her most of the times.
6 There isn't a specific way to prepare for a role.
7 Juliette's fondness for painting comes from her father.
8 Juliette relaxes by painting.
9 Juliette wasn't the intellectual member of her family.
10 Juliette is not always easy to get on with on the set.
Juliette, how are you?
New film in a sense. New film to us, because you’ve already won the best actress at Cannes for it.
Right. But I’m happy to present it here.
Will it be possible to count down in French for us, please.
Cinq, quatre, trois, deux, un, zero.
Is it good fun being a film star?
It can be.
Are there any downsides?
Could be, yeah.
You’re not going to tell me?
I’d say when you feel you didn’t go as far as you wanted to because the director doesn’t want to do another take and all that at the end of the day you feel like you haven’t done exactly where you wanted to go, but otherwise I felt maybe guilty as a mother because you travel, you go back and forth, so you wonder whether it’s okay, but at the same time you can take your children with you, so it’s a…, but I’d say it’s a privilege to be an actor.
When you are on a set, who has the power, you or the director.
When there’s no feeling of power, that’s the best.
Would you be tempted to direct yourself?
I don’t see it as a bad thing. Tempted feels like you know a sort of a guilty thing, I think that it feels almost natural for an actor to direct.
So you might direct.
Do you feel you have chosen your parts in your career or have they chosen you?
Both, I think it comes together. It’s like somehow the wave and the sand, you know, it, it, there was no sand, there’ll be no wave, there’s no wave maybe no sand.
Do you have a favourite part that you’ve ever played?
That I have never played?
That you have ever played. The best part that you have ever played. Or is that impossible?
It’s impossible to answer, there’s several ones and I don’t put one against the other, they are all me and they went through me, yeah.
Do you prefer to play parts where you really identify with the character that you’re playing?
I think I always identify with them. It’s part of the compassion as an actor. For a part you have to have this bit, this pace of compassion in order to give yourself, give your heart.
How do you prepare, we’ve got plenty of time, how do you prepare for a role?
I would say it prepares me as much as I prepare them, the roles, but how do I prepare? Depends, each role is different, I have a different preparation each time because I’ve been working with people with directors, improvising, you know and not wanting to have a dialogue and all that, but sometimes I’ve been very precise technically because there’s a, a specific accent or things like that.
Your mother was a drama teacher and she trained you a bit, is that right?
Yes, she’s a source of inspiration, but she’s an actress as well, you know.
What do you think you would have done if you had not become an actress?
Paint, I think I could’ve done anything.
Your father is a sculptor and you paint, it’s one of your big passions.
Yeah, but somehow it didn’t come very much from my father because sculpting came later in his life…
Is that how you relax, how you switch off?
No, no, it’s the same as acting, it’s just a different medium, but it’s all the same plunge, the same jump into the unknown somehow and you, and you as you’re going inside you find , as it finds you as well, so it’s, it’s very much like acting for me.
Do you see yourself as an intellectual? You think a lot about things, and not just the parts that you play.
In my family my sister was the intellectual, so when some people think I’m an intellectual, it makes me laugh.
Politics. Would you say you’re very political?
When I can be, I am, but I would rather think more human than political.
Would you have a go into politics?
No, I wouldn’t.
So tell me, what’s the key to your success as an actress?
Do you work very hard?
Are you quite easy to get on with on the set?
Depends what I need to play.
It’s like a riddle some of these answers, but tell me, your team work. Do you enjoy the team work, acting with other people?
I love it. I do love it. That’s why I chose to be an actress and not to be a painter.
What will your legacy be? Five seconds!
Go for it, love. You are just waiting for the five last seconds, that’s all those questions are just for thpse last five questions. It’s good, I enjoyed it.
Did you enjoy it?
Yeah, yeah. I loved the five, the last five seconds. That’s the truth of it all.
That’s where the real pressure hits.
Exactly, that’s why where you were like looking at… I was wondering why does he need to check so much. Now I understand, it’s like you die just before the last seconds. What do I need to say to you, whoever?
1T 2T 3F 4F 5F 6F 7F 8F 9T 10T