Special Interview: Audrey Tautou
A special interview with Audrey Tautou about turning 40, big dreams and the strength to fulfil them.
Audrey Tautou, the French actress that became world known for her role in Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain and the best Seller the DaVinci Code, turned 40. She is now the iconic face of the classic perfume Chanel nº 5 and her filming career just took her on a challenging trip across oceans to portrait the life of Jacques Cousteau.
You didn’t know Simone Cousteau before you got the offer to play her. Why did you say yes to this film (L'Odyssée)?
I said yes, because I wanted the adventure. I wanted to be on the boat for months, go to Croatia, South Africa, Antarctica, Bahamas... see sharks and icebergs. Maybe that was the best way to meet Simone, because that’s exactly what she wanted in the beginning. She gave so much to help Cousteau with his Calypso dream.
What was the biggest adventure during the shoot?
Antarctica. We were on the boat in the middle of Antarctica. A huge storm, which was not forecasted, happened and the captain had to navigate between rollers and icebergs for almost 24 hours without sleeping. We had some wind of 80 knots. It was like a hurricane.
You could have died...
Yes, we could have. No boat could have come to help us. The captain told us the day after that he was thinking while he was driving the boat, if he managed to go through that storm, he would marry his fiancé and have a baby. I was not scared, because I was not really aware of the situation, just amazed by this unbelievable show that we had.
But you must have noticed the heavy sea and the shaking boat?
Yes. Some people were scared, others were sick. But me – I was not scared, because I trusted the boat. I would rather die in the middle of a storm in Antarctica than from cancer on a hospital bed. It was funny that Cousteau with his team went through the same kind of storm in the same place when they went to Antarctica. So this was great.
You have a sailboat, haven’t you?
A small one.
Didn’t you want to go around the world?
I can’t with this boat. It’s too small. It was one of my dreams to sail all over the world, but it’s an old dream.
You could still fulfill that dream?
I could, but I don’t know if it will happen.
Are you a good sailor?
Yeah. The only problem I have is – and Simone had the same: She wanted to be a man, because when you are a woman at some point you don’t have the physical strength. You can do whatever you want but at some point, if you have a problem you need a minimum strength. You may be able to find some technical solution, but for me it had always been my weakness.
So you can understand Cousteau’s passion for the ocean?
I perfectly understand Simone’s passion for the ocean and her boat. The ocean gives me freedom and peace.
Do you spend a lot of time at the ocean?
Not a lot of time. I wish I could spend more, but when I am on a boat, I feel at home. My boat is too small so I can’t live on it, but I perfectly understand Simone and her passion for her boat because that’s the best place to be on this earth.
What is the most exciting trip you have ever undertaken – besides this film?
There are so many. Maybe one of the countries that I love most is Iceland. Because nature and elements are so strong. I love the contact with nature. feel the season, the wind, the cold, the rain, the waterfall. And I really mean this.
You don’t seem to be working too much. Would you want to spend a life outside show business?
I don’t have any rules. When I am not working I have a very enriching life. I am curious about many things. So I am never bored. I like to travel, to discover things, and I like to take pictures, I like to write and I like to draw. I like to be with my family and friends. It is important for me to stay connected with real life, not ordinary life.
In a recent interview you mentioned that you could imagine having children. Would you have to sacrifice some of your career for that?
I have a very free relationship with my job as an actress. And I like life so nothing is a sacrifice, I have the same desire for freedom like Simone in another way. Even if I am very passionate with my work and I devote myself to it fully – like being on a boat or traveling can me emotions as big and high as when I am acting in a movie or when I am working with a team.
So your private life can give you the same kind of fulfillment?
Yes, exactly. Yeah. For me being an actress and my private life, there is no opposition between them. I am not living only through being an actress. The entertainment business is not the only nourishment that I need and that I eat, so to speak. I can travel alone and with friends. It depends on where I am going.
You recently turned 40. Do you have specific plans for the future?
I would like to fulfill some artistic projects that I have been developing for a few years. I like 40, I like the number.
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