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"I wanted to do my own thing"

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Sophie Marceau

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- After 25 years as an actress, the French youg woman has decided to direct a film on her own. Speak to me of Love is the story of a couple

Sophie Marceau

After putting her beautiful face and talent at the service of other people’s films for so many years, Sophie Marceau decided it was high time she directed a film of her own. Like many directors, her first attempt was a short film, L’aube à l’invers (1995) and now the 36-year-old mother of two has made her directorial feature debut with Speak to me of Love starring Judith Godrèche and Niels Arestrump. The film was produced by Canal+, Ciné Valse and Les Films Alain Sarde.
When it was released domestically in October 2002, Speak to me of Love left critics and audiences puzzled. It is tp be released onto 25 Italian screens by Minerva PIctures on 16 April. “This is the story of a woman who’s been married for fifteen years who decides to take charge of her life and enrich her dreary life,” said Marceau during the Rome press conference.
What made you want to direct your first film?
“It was not a decision that I took lightly. I have been making films for the last 25 years and have played characters created and inspired by others, and I often enjoyed myself doing that. But there came a time when I just felt an overwhelming need to give my point of view. Getting started was not difficult, thanks to my long experience of cinema. But the privileges that one has enjoyed and exploited can sometimes turn against you: nobody thinks of you as a director, you are always an actress. In the long run that can be very frustrating.”

This story focuses on a woman’s inner life and appears to have been inspired by personal events...
“When you direct your first film, you always start by telling stories that you are familiar with. In a way, that makes it easier to control the material you are dealing with better. There is no doubt that this film is autobiographical, but at the same time it also tries to portray an ordinary couple in a language that everyone can understand. I would now like to do something completely different.”

Such as?
“I’m open to all suggestions. Genre aside, I’d like to make a film about people. Ask questions like “Who are we?” or “Why are we the way we are?” I find the subject of childhood fascinating. I explored this subject in Speak to me of love and I am curious about portraying the often painful transition into the adult world.”

What did you do after completing Speak to me of love and what is your next project?
“I made two films: Alex and Emma by Rob Reiner and co-starring Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson, and Je reste by Diane Kurys, with Vincent Perez. I would like to direct a new film. But I will talk about that the next time we meet.”

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