Marion Cotillard: “I am not a feminist – it creates separation”

Posted by
Harriet Hall

Marion Cotillard has rejected the idea of feminism, saying she believes it creates “separation” between men and women.

The Oscar-winning French actor, 39, is promoting her latest film, Justin Kerzel’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in which she stars as Lady Macbeth alongside Michael Fassbender.

“For me, it doesn’t create equality, it creates separation," she tells Porter magazine.

“I mean, I don’t qualify myself as a feminist. We need to fight for women’s rights, but I don’t want to separate women from men.”

Cotillard's comments come at a time when talk of sexism in Hollywood has been omnipresent.

Most recently, Helen Mirren described it as “profound”, Sienna Miller turned down a play due to unequal pay, Anne Hathaway complained of losing roles to 24-year-olds and Rose McGowan was dropped by her agent for exposing a sexist casting call in which she was asked to show her cleavage.

Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard in Macbeth

Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard in Macbeth

Cotillard, who won an Academy Award of Best Actress Oscar for her role as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose in 2008, explained that she sees the differences between the sexes as a positive; something that should be celebrated, but that she believes feminism encourages a divide.

“We’re separated already but we’re not made the same and it’s the difference that creates this energy in creation and love. Sometimes in the word feminism there is too much separation,” she says.

At this year’s Cannes film festival, quotas were put in place to ensure that women within the film industry were being fairly represented, but Cotillard thinks this kind of positive discrimination is not appropriate.

“Film-making is not about gender. You cannot ask a president in a film festival like Cannes to have, like, five movies directed by women and five by men,” she tells Porter.

Marion Cotillard and Macbeth co-star, Michael Fassbender

Marion Cotillard and Macbeth co-star, Michael Fassbender

The Rust and Bone star went on to explain how intense she found the role of Lady Macbeth.

She revealed she usually becomes anxious before filming, but that this time she suffered from panic attacks for the first time in her life.

Speaking to HitFix, Cotillard described the film as “dramatic, dramatic, dramatic,” and called it a “tough experience.”

“I lost control of everything in this movie. I think I’m always a little affected by the character I play as she loses control of everything and she becomes crazy and kills herself,” she says.

The actor says that since having her son, Marcel, in 2011, she finds it difficult to remain in character, but that it can be “hard to turn off.”

“Before I was a mum it was easy. I would just open the door and then leave whenever I could when the movie was done. Today it’s a little more challenging because I cannot bring Lady Macbeth at home with my kid.”