Binoche at Cannes confronts questions of the aging actress

Fri May 23, 2014 1:11pm EDT
 
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By Michael Roddy

CANNES France (Reuters) - Juliette Binoche confronts an issue every actress eventually faces in Olivier Assayas's "Clouds of Sils Maria" - what happens when the casting call you get is for the older woman and no longer the starlet?

Men, as Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenneger and Sylvester Stallone proved by bringing the roadshow to promote their "The Expendables 3" over-the-hill mercenaries franchise to Cannes last weekend, can continue to play the same action heroes into their 60s or even 70s.

But a woman can't play a starlet after a certain age, nor should she want to, Binoche, who reached global stardom in such films as "The English Patient" and "Chocolat" said at a post-screening news conference.

The film was the last of the 18 in competition for the top Palme d'Or prize to be screened before the main awards are announced on Saturday.

"Imagine if for 40 years you played the part of 20-year-old, you'd get very bored," Binoche said. "Of course you can't play the same parts all the time."

In the film, Binoche plays Maria Enders, an actress whose career resembles her own and who now is in her 40s.

Enders's first big success was playing an aggressive young woman who is employed by a middle-aged woman executive who runs a company. She seduces the older woman and destroys her.

Assayas's film shows Binoche's character being asked 20 years later to play the older woman, while an aggressive, media-savvy young American actress (Chloe Grace Moretz of the "Kickass" films) will take the role of the younger one.   Continued...

 
Cast member Juliette Binoche attends a news conference for the film "Sils Maria" (Clouds of Sils Maria) in competition at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 23, 2014.   REUTERS/Eric Gaillard