Béatrice Dalle

Trouble Every Day

Interviewed by Tom Dawson

Popular French actress Béatrice Dalle became an international star in 1986 playing the title role in "Betty Blue". She has since appeared in over 20 French films and now returns to our screens in "Trouble Every Day"...

How did you become involved with "Trouble Every Day"?

I didn't so much choose the film as director Claire Denis chose me. We'd worked together once before on "J'ai pas sommeil". I knew her work very well and I knew that if she offered me a role in her movie, it wouldn't be something stupid. So I agreed to do the film before I read the script.

Were you not concerned at playing a character with cannibalistic yearnings?

I didn't see my character, Coré, as a cannibal but as somebody who is extremely passionate and who doesn't have any conscience. She takes her passion to its complete extreme. I never really thought in terms of the character, though. I give all my confidence and trust to the director, and I'll do whatever she asks. I don't act in the way other actresses act, in terms of building or creating a character. I don't transform myself into the role, I invest myself in the role.

The scene where you literally devour the young man is gruesome to watch. How was it to act?

It was a very intense experience. It was very difficult for the crew and especially for me and my young co-star, Nicolas Duvauchelle, who's an inexperienced actor. We had no rehearsals for this extreme love scene. We didn't know where we were going and it was frightening.

During the shoot I'd become friends with Nicolas and seeing the fear in his eyes was unnerving. The state we were in by the end of the scene was astonishing - we were in bits. But I'm very proud of the fact that we both surrendered to the moment and didn't stop and break the intensity.

Did the darkness of the story, which explores the violence of desire, lead to a particular type of atmosphere on set?

There was a strange atmosphere on the set because we were filming in this large house, which was used for troubled children. You'd go in and find walls had been burnt down. The building was charged with this history and it stayed with us throughout the filming. There was no need to say "quiet" on set - you felt silenced by the atmosphere.