Kristin Scott Thomas carries sensuality into films

Fri Oct 1, 2010 1:43pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Just after turning 50, Kristin Scott Thomas sometimes feels ignored, even though on screen she has managed to avoid the pitfalls of an aging actress unable to nab complex roles.

The British actress largely credits French cinema and society as embracing women as they age, as seen in her new French film, "Leaving," which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, in which she portrays a repressed married woman who embarks on an all-consuming affair.

It's the kind of role that embraces the idea that as women age they are complicated yet sensuous and desirable, the Paris-based actress said in a recent interview in New York.

"I have become an invisible 50-year-old," the Paris-based actress said glancing around a hotel in a recent interview in New York. "But I don't think that French cinema has got a problem with age at all ... they like seeing and telling and watching stories about women my age."

In "Leaving," Scott Thomas said she had forgotten that numerous sex scenes were required, but was persuaded into doing them by director Catherine Corsini. Now she is relieved to be promoting a character neither bland nor forgotten.

"I am really pleased to be talking about women of my age who, yes, they have desire. They have life inside of them. They are not just regretfully looking at their children and thinking 'Ah yes, I was beautiful too once,'" she said.

"Leaving" also touches on other issues, including abusive relationships -- "domestic violence in middle class, 'nice' families is something I have always been horrified by."

And the film shows that women can grow in sexual confidence, which also appealed to the actress. She called it, "the idea that mature women can completely have a sort of sexual confidence that you don't have as a young woman, or that I didn't have as a young woman."   Continued...