Mystery in Venice: the American dream of Camille Cottin

Mystery in Venice: the American dream of Camille Cottin

Her presence and the place she occupies in the chorale Mystery in Venice by Kenneth Branagh confirms that the Anglo-Saxons are keen on the French actress.

It all started discreetly in 2016, during a short stint in allies where Robert Zemeckis featured Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt as a couple of spies in the heart of the second war. The French career of Camille Cottin had just gotten carried away with the double success on the small screen of the series Ten percent and on the great of Bitch, Princess of Hearts, extending the mini-series which was the heyday of the Grand Journal. This same Bitch, Princess of Hearts – as she told recently on RTL – which was one of the films that Marion Cotillard recommended to Brad Pitt to learn French and which earned him a frank compliment from the American actor the next day: “You have balls” !

It all started there, and seven years later, we find Camille Cottin at the heart of the prestigious casting of the Mystery in Venice of Kenneth Branaghbetween Branagh himself, Tina Fey, Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh and even Kelly Reilly, this time with a real score to defend and an essential role in the plot. That of Olga Seminoff, the housekeeper of Rowena Drake, a retired opera singer, whose sumptuous Venetian home seems haunted by her daughter, who died a year earlier in mysterious circumstances. She therefore finds herself at the heart of this new Hercule Poirot investigation.

“She is very devoted to this mother and her daughter,” explains the French actress. “As she does not have children, she is very moved by the closeness between Rowena and Alicia and she is very attached to Alicia. »

“Olga is an interesting character because she is full of contradictions,” continues Camille Cottin. “She speaks in Latin because she had a very religious upbringing. She was a good sister and lived in a convent, but she gave up her vocation when she fell in love with a guy who came to repair the roof, a certain Mr. Seminoff. But God always occupies a special place in his heart.”

Camille Cottin set foot in Hollywood, but without sacrificing anything from her increasingly exciting French career (Room 212 by Christophe Honoré, The Dazzled by Sarah Suco, my legionary by Rachel Lang, Toni with family by Nathan Ambrosioni in theaters since Wednesday and The Empire, the next Bruno Dumont), she has just as remarkably taken her boat outside our borders. Of Stillwater by Thomas McCarthy where she plays a single mother from Marseille who becomes friends with an American (Matt Damon) whose daughter is accused of murder, in House of Gucci by Ridley Scott, where she plays Paola Franchi, the woman for whom Maurizio Gucci left Patrizia Reggiani, through the series by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve.

So what is the actress’s secret for achieving this rise in power that is as quiet as it is irresistible? Probably not having a career plan, as she explained to First at the time of the release of Stillwater : “ I find it difficult to be in calculation “. And if the international success of Ten percent inevitably helped her, each role is the fruit of a unique adventure. Stéphane Foenkinos who recommends it for Stillwater to Tom McCarthy, for whom he had been the casting director on The Visitor. A festival of British casting directors, Kilkenny, in which, as she confides her love of the series Killing Eve, we organize a sort of 15-minute speed dating for him with the producer of the series. The casting director of House of Gucci who contacted her directly to audition for the Ridley Scott biopic.

But all these adventures nevertheless have one thing in common: this international success, she owes more to the English – a country where she spent 5 years as a teenager, attending the French Lycée Charles-de-Gaulle in London – than to the Americans. . As symbolized by his presence in front of Kenneth Branagh’s camera from Wednesday. A filmmaker she loved working with: “When it comes to directing an actor, Ken asks you a lot and what matters to him is what you tell him and your view of the character. He keeps asking you questions on set before every scene.”

I find it super amusing and quite brilliant to tell myself that at a certain age – I’m not making my debut – there is an opening. A second wind “, also rejoices Camille Cottin. In turn, she is also experimenting with another way of preparing for her roles. “ I work with a coach, it’s fascinating. An accent coach. I’m not so much trying to have a perfect accent to sound English – I don’t think that will ever happen. On the other hand, making people forget the accent seems possible to me. My job is to stop thinking about it on set, so that nothing catches the eye, unless I decide to. The subtext needs to breathe. It’s a game support. » Mystery in Venice shows that this method is successful. The Anglo-Saxons have not finished vying for Camille Cottin.

Mystery in Venice, by Kenneth Branagh, in cinemas September 13

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