CANNES, France (Reuters) - Academy Award winning actress Marion Cotillard says the inspiration for her portrayal of the heroine, Gabrielle, in "Mal de Pierres" was the wildness and "fire" of director, Nicole Garcia.
The film - also billed as "From the Land of the Moon" - premieres at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday and is one of 21 movies in competition for the Palme d'Or prize.
Cotillard, who won an Oscar in 2008 for playing Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose", says of Garcia: "I was very inspired by Nicole, she carries in her this fire, this passion, this wildness that Gabrielle carries. That was my first source of inspiration."
"She manages not to be what people would want her to be," the 40-year-old told Reuters in an interview on Sunday.
Cotillard stars as a young woman in post World War Two France, driven by her desire to find love but married off by her parents to Spanish farmer Jose, played by Alex Brendemuehl.
She sees her chance to escape the confines of her life with Jose when she meets Indochinese war veteran, Andre, played by Louis Garrel.
Adapted from Milena Agus's 2006 novel "Mal di Pietre", Cotillard and Garcia had discussed making the book into a film several years ago, but had to wait while Cotillard fulfilled other work commitments. She starred in five films last year and will feature at least in four in 2016.
"Marion was just the right person for the role," Garcia told a news conference.
"I don't know who else could have portrayed this character, it's only Marion who conveys this sensuality, my feeling is that her body is so expressive."
Garcia last presented a film - "Charlie Says" - at Cannes in 2006 and her only previous entry was "The Adversary" in 2002.
Editing by Louise Ireland