Marion Cotillard Q&A: ‘Macbeth’

“I was very nervous,” admits Marion Cotillard when asked during our recent interview about taking on the role of Lady Macbeth in the latest screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play "Macbeth." Michael Fassbender plays the title character, a power-hungry Thane of Scotland who murders the king and assumes the throne with the help of his conniving wife (Cotillard). “I felt a lot of pressure taking on this role after amazing actresses who had given great interpretations of Lady Macbeth."

So how did she overcome the butterflies in her stomach? “I told myself, it’s a different project. We’re all together on the same boat with Michael and Justin Kurzel, the director. So then you just dive into the work, and you know that with such an amazing director, you will do something that will be your interpretation and find a new singularity to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.”

Critics have embraced her interpretation. Peter Ranier (Christian Science Monitor) calls her performance “a triumph. She seems transfixed by her own capacity for evil, and her mad scene is one of the most unhistrionic, and therefore spookiest, ever filmed.”

Christy Lemire ( says Cotillard “has an otherworldly quality that makes her menacing, a quiet intensity in those enormous eyes and a standoffishness that makes her seem unpredictable, even though we’re all too aware of the devious plot her Lady Macbeth has in store.”

And Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) proclaims, “If you haven’t seen Marion Cotillard play Lady Macbeth, you really haven’t seen the role inhabited with the glorious fire and ice it needs to haunt your dreams. The great French actress takes a torch to standard portrayals and rides them to glory.”

Cotillard won the Best Actress Oscar in 2007 for her role as singer Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose.” She was nominated again last year for the Dardenne brothers' drama “Two Days, One Night.” Check out our full interview below for more about the film, including learning Shakespeare’s complicated verse, and working opposite Fassbender.

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UPLOADED Dec 7, 2015 6:24 pm