Kristin Scott Thomas interview

Oscar whispers have already begun for Kristin Scott Thomas in her latest endeavour

Kristin Scott Thomas
Kristin Scott Thomas

Oscar whispers have already begun for Kristin Scott Thomas in her latest endeavour

Already generating early Oscar buzz, Kristin Scott Thomas delivers a remarkable performance in this French-language drama I’ve Loved You So Long. She plays a mother released from prison after 15 years for killing her 6 year-old son.

What drew you to such difficult subject matter?

It’s one of those huge taboos that we push to the back of our heads. We don’t want to think about it. Recently, there has been a spate of infanticides and euthanasia in France. It’s unfathomable and incomprehensible to most people, thank god. One of the reasons I really enjoyed playing this part is that it’s a massive subject that’s universal and really quite important. And that’s more interesting to me than playing another jilted girlfriend or wife.

You look exhausted in the film. What did you do to achieve this?

It’s just natural. What we did in the film, because we were shooting in High Definition, you have to be really careful with the make-up because you can really see it sitting on you. You can see that you’ve got an extra layer on and we didn’t want that. We wanted something really naked, so we just didn’t put any make up on. And that’s what I look like with no make-up on!

How did you feel, being a mother of three and playing this role?

It’s challenging for any parent to have to act the things I have to act. That takes quite a lot. I just didn’t think about it. You just go in and do it, and you don’t think about it.

Do you like acting in French?

I really like acting in French. It’s actually quite different for me, from acting in English. It’s fun acting in a foreign language. You’re liberated or freed from preconceptions. The first film I made [1988’s A Handful of Dust] that was successful was playing an aristocratic English woman and that’s stuck like glue. It’s probably what I’m best at really. I don’t have that. I don’t have that baggage in France, so people have a freer canvas and can imagine me in different things.

You have another film, Easy Virtue, out soon. But it’s quite rare for you to have two movies out in close succession…

Yes, it is. I wouldn’t want you to see me all the time on the screen, because I get bored of it myself! I think people do work too much. I’ve never been able to understand the whole ‘make hay while the sun shines’ thing. Either I want to work or I don’t want to work. I’m very lazy!

I’ve Loved You So Long opens on 26 September.

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