Juliette Binoche Turned Down Spielberg for ‘Schindler’s,’ ‘Jurassic,’ and ‘Indiana Jones 3’

Three times was not the charm, as Binoche repeatedly could not work with Spielberg due to scheduling conflicts. Besides, he's "more of a men's director" anyway.
Juliette Binoche attending the Avec Amour Et Acharnement Photocall as part of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) in Berlin, Germany on February 12, 2022. Photo by Aurore Marechal/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)
Juliette Binoche
Sipa USA via AP

It turns out that Oscar-winning icon Juliette Binoche had at least three chances to work with Steven Spielberg but ultimately had to turn down all of them.

As the “Both Sides of the Blade” star revealed to Variety, scheduling conflicts prohibited her from collaborating with Steven Spielberg on “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “Schindler’s List,” and “Jurassic Park.”

She said that he recently reminded her of this. “The first time was for ‘Indiana Jones 3,’ because I was doing ‘The Lovers on the Bridge’ with Leos Carax. The second time, for ‘Schindler’s List,’ I was pregnant, and then for the dinosaurs [‘Jurassic Park’], I had already committed to ‘Three Colors: Blue’ (Krzysztof Kieslowski’s film). It would have been amusing to do ‘Jurassic Park’ to see how [Spielberg] makes the film, but at the same time, Spielberg is more of a men’s director, like Scorsese actually.”

Binoche added that in spite of this, she would be open to working with someone like Spielberg or Scorsese. “Of course I would! Even if I find their approach to cinema to be very commercial, they have a fabulous technique which they own completely, and there’re storytellers. But their films lack women,” she said.

Indeed, Binoche spoke back in 2016 about how she confronted both Scorsese and Spielberg about the lack of female representation in their movies. “He has a very feminine side of himself,” Binoche said of Scorsese. “But for me, he doesn’t explore it [in his work].”

Juliette Binoche, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for “The English Patient,” most recently stars in Claire Denis’ “Both Sides of the Blade” as a woman unsettled by the reappearance of an old flame.

“During the shooting time, she’s leaving you absolutely free,” Binoche told IndieWire about Denis, whom she previously worked with on “Let the Sunshine In.” “And if you want to do another take, she’s happy to go with it. So the trust is bringing joy in me each time, because when the director tries to control the actor, I understand the fear in the director. But when the director trusts the actor, it just gives wings.”

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