“If you look at my old photos, I never appear in sexy poses. Possibly (this opinion prevailed) because of my appearance, the fact that I am blonde. But I’ve never been a sex symbol. It was a challenge to maintain this style, sexiness is not the fundamental thing in my life, especially at my age.” declares Catherine Deneuve, talking to her Valério Capelli Corriere della Sera.
On October 22, the legendary French actress will be 79 years old. During her lifetime “she followed her own script, embodying an idea of style and playing a woman who gets married, who has children with Roger Vadim and Marcello Mastroianni out of wedlock, who works, who prefers solitude when things in love don’t go well, “knowing that raising children alone is not a good idea” writes the Italian journalist. During her life, Catherine Deneuve also managed to experience and manage her beauty and her talent wisely and measuredly.
Most recently she has been able to recover from the minor stroke she suffered in November 2019, although she has a slight difficulty in speaking at times. On her return to Cannes in 2021 after her health adventure she was particularly touched by the love of the world.
Last Wednesday, during the opening ceremony of the 79th edition of the famous film festival held every year in Galinotati, the Venice Film Festival honored Catherine Deneuve with a special Golden Lion for her entire career.
“She wants to come down from her throne, gliding with her charm into her past, talking bluntly about how she is today, at 78. Sometimes she is hasty and a little aloof, but otherwise she wouldn’t be this Grand Dame of French cinema.” Capelli notes, summarizing their discussion.
“There is nothing special about this decision, I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to express myself, my words can be misinterpreted. But I am aware of what is happening in the world, every day I hope that a solution can be found for the situation there.” the French actress almost rejected the interlocutor when he asked her to comment on the significance of the Ukrainian flag on the blue shirt she was wearing during their meeting.
Returning to the cinema, Catherine Deneuve first emphasized that it is a great honor to receive her award in Venice, where she first went in 1967 with Luis Buñuel’s “Beauty of the Day” which eventually won the Golden Lion.
Asked to look back, the actress who made her film debut in 1957, when she was not even 14 years old, noted that “It’s hard to stop at some point in your life and think that everything has already been decided. This never happens. It takes a good dose of luck, sometimes wrong decisions are made and we realize this with time. I don’t have time to look back, I just finished a film about Bernadette Chirac and her husband Jacques Chirac, the French ex-president, I will soon shoot another one (“Funny Birds”) in Belgium on a farm. I’ll be among the hens.” revealed.
Regarding her relationship with time, she also noted that it is better for a woman to grow up in Europe than in the US. “You see, in the 1950s in America, a woman of 35 was considered mature. The situation has changed but, I repeat, it is better for an actress to grow old in Europe.” reported about it.
Addressing aspiring actresses, Catherine Deneuve urges them “to be true to themselves, to their preferences, to their ideas. Actors are only a part of the film and the result is sometimes not what is expected. It’s like when you walk for a long time in the mountains, there are difficult climbs, moments of discouragement, peaks […] Often the talent of directors is noticed later, when everything is finished, during the first collaboration everything is more complicated. Sometimes they come out of nowhere and become famous. It’s impossible to imagine the outcome based on the script alone,” explained.
“You may not have been a sex symbol but you are an idol,” noted Valerio Capelli, shortly before saying goodbye to Catherine Deneuve. “Oh-la-la, no, I’m not an idol. You can use that term, you are free to do so, but I am not an idol,” she countered.
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