Presenting two films at the Rotterdam Film Festival this year, his sixth as a director “Hold Me Tight” and the musical comedy “Tralala” by his frequent collaborators. are Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, Mathieu Amalric admits he found it difficult to give up his role as a singer-songwriter in search of the Virgin Mary.
“Perhaps this is the first time I don’t want to leave my character. I haven’t cut my hair for a long time, I have a beard. I’m like [a cross between] Jesus and Jim Morrison. I have never felt so gorgeous before! “, he said in an online chat with festival director Vanja Kaludjercic.
But the film also marked a turning point in his life, when he decided to take a longer break from acting after filming.
“After ‘Tralala’, I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Everything is dark. There’s this extraordinary project with Noémie Lvovsky, who I love, there’s another project with Pietro Marcello and I said yes to all of them, obviously. And then I couldn’t do it.”
A three-time César Award winner, including Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Amalric has gained international recognition for playing the James Bond villain in “Quantum of Solace” and starring in ” The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The French Sent.”
“The life of an actor can be unbelievable. When you work with people like Wes or the Larrieu brothers, why would you say no? You want to be loved, to be loved by people you admire and to have fun with. But I had to stop. It’s been almost two years now,” he said.
It led the Italians Nanni Moretti to lure him back. The duo will soon embark on “Il sol dell’avvenire,” said Amalric, praising the “The Son Room” director.
“Moretti made me love movies. When I was a teenager, he made me feel that I was not alone in this world. I’m currently learning Italian and I’m excited to get back into acting again.”
The French filmmaker also treated the festival audience with a clip from his upcoming directorial work “John Zorn III”. The third installment in his series dedicated to the talented musician – 12 years in the profession – will be shown at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie in March, this time focusing on Zorn’s collaboration with the Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan.
“John will always put musicians in jeopardy. If there is no danger, nothing will happen. You will see how they are trying to tame this monster,” he said. Previously, Amalric had filmed Hannigan – his longtime collaborator – in “Music Is Music” or “C’est presque au bout du monde.”
“There was a musical rigor that I wanted to bring to the set,” he said, when discussing his latest directing effort “Hold Me Tight,” which stars Vicky Krieps and draws inspiration. Inspired by a play by Claudine Galea. It brought him to tears when he first read it, he said.
“In Claudine’s text, there is a piano that a mother uses to connect with her daughter. I also played the piano when I was young. I live in Moscow with my parents, and my mother enrolled me in a music school: I am the only foreigner. I played pretty well but when I got back to France, I became lazy. It’s fun to imagine what could have happened if I continued.”
Acknowledging that he always tries to put himself in the shoes of a theater spectator when developing a film, not a playwright (“it’s a French disease”), Amalric emphasizes the the need to connect with people, be it the actor or his viewers – something he noticed in the work of another collaborator, director Arnaud Desplechin.
“He believes in connection – just watch his last movie [Léa Seydoux starrer ‘Deception’]. These characters make love with words, with questions. ”
“[When it comes to ‘Hold Me Tight’] Vicky came to visit me in his head. I watched ‘The Phantom Thread’ and the first time you see her, she’s a waitress from the kitchen. You know this ‘haven’t we met?’ feel. That’s what it was. When I saw her face, I said: ‘I know her.’ Sometimes things work out this way.”
https://variety.com/2022/film/global/mathieu-amalric-nanni-moretti-1235167134/ Mathieu Amalric returns to acting, talks about Nanni Moretti