On Wednesday, February 8, Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert was honored with the Montecito Award for her work in Paul Verhoeven’s acclaimed film “Elle” at the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival held at the Arlington Theatre.
The French actress has received international praise for her role in the psycho-thriller, earning a Critics Choice, César, European Film Award and Indie Spirit Award nominations and winning the New York and National Film Critics Best Actress Award, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama.
IndieWire’s Editor at Large Anne Thompson had the pleasure of introducing and speaking with Huppert during the film festival, where they revisited many of her films, discussed her early life and career, as well as her relationship with the directors she’s worked with.
Talking about her early career she explained how her parents always encouraged her to become an actress.
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“I always believe that children might fulfill parents’ secret desires, so maybe I did,” she said in the clip below. “For many actors around the world, when you find yourself in front of a camera, you don’t think it’s awkward. You just think it’s natural and normal.”
Discussing her other critically acclaimed 2016 film, “Things to Come” directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, Huppert dissected her role of the philosophy teacher who overcomes the death of her mother, getting fired from her job and dealing with an unfaithful husband.
“There is also something that happens to her, without her predicting it, and that’s the realization of…at one point she says ‘my mother has died, my own husband left me, my children left home. I’ve never been so free.’ She doesn’t say ‘I’ve never been so happy.’ She says, ‘I’ve never been so free’ with a certain sense of humor because there’s a lot of humor in the film,” Huppert explains. “This woman, all of a sudden, she enjoys, she realizes it’s nice that no one depends on her anymore.”
Check out more clips from Huppert and Thompson’s conversation below:
Huppert’s next films include “Happy End” by Michael Haneke, “The Sleeping Shepherd,” “Marvin” and “Eva,” among others.