‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Isabelle Huppert (‘Elle’)
February 17, 2017
The “Meryl Streep of France,” finally an Oscar nominee at the age of 63, discusses her close collaborations with Claude Chabrol and Michael Haneke, her attraction to “perverse, manipulative, icy” characters and the controversial new film for which she’s received the best notices of her career.
“On the one hand they are extremely close to me, and on the other hand they have nothing to do with me,” the actress Isabelle Huppert says of the many characters that she’s played, as we sit down at the San Ysidro Ranch near Santa Barbara to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. The Frenchwoman — an Oscar nominee for the first time, at the age of 63, for her portrayal of a rape survivor in Paul Verhoeven‘s 2016 French-language drama Elle — continues, “I have nothing to do with this woman from Elle who runs a video game company — I don’t even know myself how to work my computer — so I’m completely far from the character. I’m not a philosophy teacher [as in Things to Come, her other 2016 film], I never killed my father or my mother [as in 1978’s Violette], so I have nothing to do with my characters. But yet, I’m completely my characters, emotionally.”
Often described as ‘the French Meryl Streep,’ Huppert has appeared in more films that were part of the Cannes Film Festival’s lineup than any other performer in history, and twice has won the fest’s best actress award. She has received 16 nominations for France’s Cesar Award, more than any other actress in its history, and won once. And this year, en route to the Oscars, she was awarded — for her performance in Elle and, in several cases, also her performance in Things to Come — the best actress Gotham, New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Golden Globe awards and nominated for best actress Critics’ Choice, European Film and Cesar awards. That’s quite a year.