[February 12 2019] : Magazine
givenchy s/s 19
with isabelle huppert
interview by OLIVIER ZAHM
photography by SUFFO MONCLOA
style by SHEILA SINGLE
OLIVIER ZAHM — Is an actress also an intellectual?
ISABELLE HUPPERT — Yes, of course, she can be. But acting isn’t necessarily purely cerebral. Intuition is welcome. But you can be intellectual and intuitive — they are not mutually exclusive.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you use your emotions?
ISABELLE HUPPERT — Yes! But I am wary of emotion… That term is a bit of a cliché. There are a thousand ways emotion can emerge — some ways can be very cold. In The Pianist, I have a line that I like a lot. When the woman is teaching piano, which she values above everything else, she asks her young student: “What does coldness mean to you?” It’s the idea that emotion can emerge from a kind of coldness and not necessarily from sentimentality. Emotion is a dish best served cold.
OLIVIER ZAHM — What does intelligence consist of for an actress of your caliber?
ISABELLE HUPPERT — Intelligence is a lot of things. It can be knowing how to read a script or having a feeling for situations and the relationships between people… It’s also about relativizing — having a sense of the absurd and a sense of humor. In short, it’s a lot of work! But I’m no specialist in the matter.
OLIVIER ZAHM — How do you choose a screenplay? I’m sure you get offers left and right. You make a lot of movies.
ISABELLE HUPPERT — I do the things that deserve to be done. And there are never as many as you might think.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Many actresses complain that they don’t get to act. You act all the time.
ISABELLE HUPPERT — I’m not sure actresses complain so much about that. People project those kinds of thoughts onto them. They wouldn’t project the same ideas onto a man. Of course, we wait for the perfect role, the one that suits us best. But no one ever asks whether a man, too, waits for that role.
OLIVIER ZAHM — In 2018 alone, you made two or three films. In your career, you’ve made over a hundred films — it’s tremendous. You are very prolific.
ISABELLE HUPPERT — Yes, it just happened that...
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