Catherine Deneuve; timid wife to tigress in "Potiche"

Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:21pm EDT
 
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Catherine Deneuve may be 67 years-old, which is past retirement age for many people. But the legendary French actress shows no sign of slowing down after making well over 100 films, including "Potiche," which debuts in major U.S. cities on Friday.

Set in the 1970s in a provincial French town, 'Potiche' is a frothy sex comedy that reunites Deneuve with Gerard Depardieu and her "8 Women" director Francois Ozon ("Swimming Pool").

Deneuve plays Suzanne Pujol, the submissive, timid wife of a wealthy and tyrannical businessman who finds her inner tigress when her husband's workers go on strike at his umbrella factory and take him hostage. Here, Deneuve talks about the true meaning of 'Potiche,' marriage and lesbian love scenes.

Q: 'Potiche' refers to your character, and it's being translated as 'trophy wife.' But she's not exactly a trophy.

A: "No, 'Potiche' actually translates more like a 'useless decorative object,' while a trophy wife is more like this very young woman, with a much older man, who's very showy. The difference is, everyone can be a potiche once in a while."

Q: I'm sure you've never been one.

A: "Yes, of course I've been one! For example, you go to an event and you're bored and nothing happens and you're there with someone -- so you're a potiche for a few hours. Even men can be a potiche! It's a good word, no?"

Q: How much of you is there in your character, Suzanne?   Continued...

 
<p>French actress Catherine Deneuve attends the German TV game show "Wetten Dass...?" (Bet it...?) in Augsburg, southern Germany, on March 19, 2011. REUTERS/Christof Stache/Pool</p>