The biographies of these two women couldn’t be any more different: The Grande Dame of art house-cinema, JULIETTE BINOCHE, attended a catholic boarding school, fled to Paris with 15 and acted, with the help of Jean-Luc Godard, from The Lovers of Pont-Neuf up to her Oscar (for The English Patient ). The other one, KRISTEN STEWART, was home schooled, shot her first movie at the age of 9 and is since TWILIGHT the go-to princess in Hollywood. For Clouds of Sils Maria both of them left their comfort-zone and found (as well as invented) themselves on the top the Alps in a new way.
Actually it looked like this story wouldn’t come into being; Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche; a meeting in Paris, but then Stewart missed her flight from LA to Paris and the photo shoot, which was supposed to go down Monday evening, was cancelled. Thursday morning no one knew what was gonna happen, and then suddenly the news broke: Kristen is coming; she’s on her way right now and has 24 hours. In the evening everyone met in the photographer’s studio. Kristen surprised with a new haircut, “short a la Binoche” as she stated herself. The next morning conversation between the two actresses happened. Therefore a table in the hotel Bristol was reserved.
As Kristen Stewart is coming in, jeans, white t-shirt, wet hair, both women hug each other and you can feel that these two are very familiar with each other since shooting The Clouds of Sils Maria . In the movie Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche plays an aging diva Marie Enders, Kristen Stewart displays her young assistant and Chloe Grace Moretz the blockbuster – princess of the hour, which is to be seen as an amusing homage to Kristen Stewart herself. When the movie premiered at the Cannes film festival, the critics where truly thrilled by Stewarts performance.
JULIETTE BINOCHE: Wow, you really cut your [beautiful] hair!
KRISTEN STEWART: short, a la Binoche
BINOCHE: it really suits you! Thought that already yesterday but it all had to go quick….
STEWART: … ‘cause I missed my flight, I´m sorry.
BINCOHE: You don’t have to apologise! You’re the one having 24 hours of stress because of that!
STEWART: And now we’re gonna interview each other?
BINOCHE: I really don’t know who would wanna read that…
STEWART: We’re just gonna pretend we’re in Sils Maria again…
BINOCHE: green meadows, the sun shining, clouds flatter the tops, we’re reading Nietzsche…
STEWART: ….and get lost.
BINOCHE: We did not get lost!
STEWART: No, and we never went for a walk.
BINCOHE : No, we were just pretending! Because we’re both so profound talented
STEWART: … and yet we got lost. You were jumping ahead like a mountain goat – and I was t
rudged behind and whined sullenly. But I have to admit it was fun. At least retrospectively.
BINOCHE: I enjoyed it as well. Except for the drinking and smoking…
STEWART: Oh yeah. You really were smoking and drinking the whole time!
BINOCHE: please add that this was NOT my idea. The director is to blame for this! He thought I
should be drinking or smoking constantly. ‘cause he thought that’s what older actresses do.
STEWART: Some seem to be just like that.
BINOCHE: But not me! You know exactly that this is so not me.
STEWART: yet still you did it the entire time.
BINOCHE: That’s mean. It was part of the character. And it benefited to role. OH NO, what did I j
ust say …. (laughs)
STEWART: That’s what I´m asking myself right now (smirks)
BINOCHE: No, at first I was curious because I thought the whole drinking and smoking is such an
old cliché, so Bogart, artist who need their sins and cultivate them…
STEWART: … the vices they need to go on.
BINOCHE: You said vice? I don’t even know this word (laughs)
STEWART: You can read this two ways now (smiles)! Seriously: I think that’s the thrilling thing in
our characters. Both allow certain baldness in their life; both do without a lot of things and it f
ascinates them although they both know they’re gonna pay the price. Therefore the drinking –
which surely does not only show the emptiness in the life of your character, but actually is a
welcomed distraction for many actual colleagues.
STEWART: I´m not drinking, I promise.
BINOCHE: Just kidding. (laughs) And you’re right: My character goes through hell, she’s not well.
And the alcohol helps her …
STEWART: … to numb herself.
BINOCHE: because she doesn’t want to accept the things going on inside of her and outside.
STEWART: It is a difficult situation. Maria [Enders] became famous to due displaying Sigrid – and
now she has to play the foil, the aging actress.
BINOCHE: I can’t help asking: Would you, Kristen, play my part 10 years from now?
STEWART: Oh, I don’t know…
BINOCHE: What? You wouldn’t want my part?
STEWART: If you look at me like this I can’t refuse. But it would feel strange. Maybe we could
change bodies right now and it would be done.
BINOCHE: THAT would be strange, indeed.
STEWART: Did I say something completely stupid again? I didn’t mean to offend you.
BINOCHE: You didn’t.
STEWART: How could I think someone like you…
BINOCHE: You didn’t offend me, it’s alright!
STEWART: That’ what the movie is about: how you picture yourself and the parts you played and
how others project the things they know about you to you.
BINOCHE: Our daily bread.
STEWART: Do you remember our first meeting?
BINOCHE: Of course! You were on the balcony of the Soho house in Berlin with the producers
and some friends…
STEWART: and suddenly someone said: “Juliette Binoche is on her way”.
BINOCHE: I was anxious to meet you.
STEWART: I, especially, was very nervous. The moment you set foot on the balcony everyone j
umped up and I sat there alone… that’s why it all felt quite a bit formal. I think we started talking
about our characters right away.
BINOCHE: You were so tired…you wiggled your leg the entire time. Just like now!
STEWART: that’s a tic of mine. (laughs) Besides I had just landed in Berlin.
BINOCHE: Right. I already had a few days to think about the movie and all…
STEWART: I was almost dying from excitement. Did you google me before the meeting?
BINOCHE: Yes, I did.
STEWART: Seriously? Oh no…
BINOCHE: Yes, I had to know I was working with…
BINOCHE: I watched some of your interviews and immediately decided I liked you. And I watched
On The Road , but I spared Twilight
BINOCHE: I just remember – I just told you complete bullshit…
STEWART: You DID watch Twilight and loved EVERY single one?
BINOCHE: No, but I actually saw you the first time thanks to Twilight . You were
on a poster in my daughter’s room. And I have to admit – I was a bit shocked.
BINOCHE: I remember you hiding behind the door and scaring me to death at one of our first
meetings. After that the ice was broken.
STEWART: We talked quite a lot. After the meeting I went to my room and thought: GOSH! What
did I just tell this woman?
BINOCHE: We both talked a lot.
STEWART: You have something that challenges your ‘partner’ to tell you [Juliette] things. You j
ust want to open up to you. And then- when you’re [Juliette] gone you ask yourself: How does she
do it? You really have a very special gift. If we both weren’t so busy I probably would call you in t
he middle of the night to get your advice- maybe that’s why I´m so thrilled to work with you again
on our next project.
BINOCHE: I’m really looking forward to this as well. To us, to the movie- and to south Africa!
STEWART: Did you ever notice how different our biographies are?
BINOCHE: SURE! You, a child star, home schooled the first movie with nine, Hollywood-parents,
STEWART:… and you the Frenchwoman, catholic boarding school attendant, who decides to l
eave school for theatre with 15 and moves to Paris- only to star in a Godard-movie shortly
BINOCHE: In the end we both share something: this special passion. Passion for characters, for
people, for movies, but mostly for acting itself. It was this passion which convinced me of you.
We’re constantly searching for ourselves and it’s the passion which drives us forward. This
applies to both of us. I would not be sitting here if it weren’t for the passion. This is why our first
meeting was so important: because I was allowed to feel your soul.
STEWART: Two flames which grow when they’re united. Gosh. That’s so cheesy.
BINOCHE: But it isn’t cheesy! It’s not that easy to get it together every time.
STEWART: That’s right. And eventually this passion is vital for someone like us.
BINOCHE: I think it’s funny when people think that I can only find this in art house- movies. That’s
what I’m always asked. I can live really good just by doing art house movies, and when they’re
successful it was more like luck. But this is not possible in the world you grew up in. You had to l
earn how to juggle.
STEWART: It may seem to strangers like I would plan all this, but it’s not like that. Just like the
sentence: “one movie for you, one for the audience”. That’s just bullshit.
STEWART: Because both movies are for me. Blockbuster, art house, Whatever! Everything I do I
do for one person- for me! I own both kinds of movies!
STEWART: Even if I have to admit, that it may look like I could to anything after having such luck
with this amazing blockbuster franchise. And you know what? I can! That’s the great thing! I can
do whatever the fuck I want! That’s why I’m in this cheeky privileged position.
BINOCHE: Oh yeah, you are.
STEWART: I never beg for a role, can realise every project with just one flick and never had to f
ight really hard. On my mind’s eye I see this huge map and I just have to decide which street I
wanna walk down. I feel like every door is open for me right now. But at least I know how lucky I
am. And just to finish this: I love doing blockbusters. I like it when everyone sees what I’m doing,
when it touches people and is easy to watch. Your son surely liked it when you were in
BINOCHE: Sure thing! And I liked it as well. Although I never could understand what all those
people were doing on set. I oftentimes feel such pressure when I’m doing a big budget movie…
simply because they have such a big budget. But in the end – it’s about the same thing. The
camera, the director, your lines, the scene. But you’re right: I enjoy this happy excitement only
blockbusters can create. For the actors as well as for the audience. The expectations are so
STEWART: Expectations are an issue on their on. The people certainly expect you to give me
BINOCHE: What kind of advice?
STEWART: Ah you know – smart stuff. Don’t you have something prepared? Hopefully something
BINOCHE: Never let YOUR kids play with your Oscar- to gold goes off.
BINOCHE: Can’t help you with that. Besides you don’t need any advice.
STEWART: And- the nonverbal advices are the best ones. I always notice how I copy some t
hings you do. And I don’t say that to please you.
BINOCHE: It doesn’t make sense give any advice to kids anyways. You do what you always do
and they just copy something that makes sense for them.
STEWART: I notice that always when I’m acting.
STEWART: That you animate me to do even more, to be better. I did not feel it everyday but I
often stood there and thought: wow, she really pushes me to my best.
STEWART: And it’s great. I love for that!
BINOCHE: acting together is simply like painting something together.
STEWART: You worded that really nice.
BINOCHE: I just wanted to speak in pictures.
STEWART: notice the symbolism!
BINOCHE: the metaphoric…
BINOCHE:…you do every scene together. It’s like roller coaster. One time you loose your hold, t
he next time you have to jump. That’s how you recognize a good director: he gives his actors
some space to act, to find themselves. That’s why I was thrilled to play Maria. She’s an aging star,
who’s falling. The dynamics which just develop was what I loved so much about this part. You’re t
he star-and I’m falling.
BINOCHE: I’m just kidding. I’ m allowed to do this. (laughs)
STEWART: I’m so happy we found each other. And that we like each other. It would have been
BINOCHE: I already acted with people I didn’t like.
BINOCHE: it works as well. You create your walls. The worst is when people disappoint you. Or if t
hey make you insane that you just wanna cry in your room. After that it’s hard to just let go. But i
STEWART: There are colleagues who want you to feel like they are a completely different person. I
don’t believe in this. If we didn’t like each other it would have been a different movie. It’s hard for
me to say that you just play a different part of yourself in every role, but in some way I believe in t
his. You may have a wild fantasy – but in the end everything you play is a part of yourself.
Otherwise it would be complete bullshit.
BINOCHE: That’s correct.
STEWART: You would just lie to the audience. If two people feel emotion off camera it isn’t acted
on camera- it’s real emotion. And people react to this kind other than to two actors who just say t
heir lines. Don’t you think it’s strange to watch the movie? There are scenes which are 100% i
dentical witch my memory of this time. That’s why it’s not difficult to watch it for me.
BINOCHE: Because the characters are a part of us.
STEWART: I noticed something after all these articles, all these opinions about me – in some
ways all things are true. Of course a lot hurts or does not fit at all – but yet every thing they say
about me has some sense. You never totally know who you are. How on earth are others
supposed to know? I’m often asked what I think about the public opinion of me….
BINOCHE:… and what do you answer?
STEWART: I ask: which opinion, which one of the thousands about me out there? But back to our
movie. Is it easy for you to see us on big screen or not?
BINOCHE: It’s easy. Although it’s almost as difficult as looking in the mirror every morning
(laughs). No- we did shoot a beautiful movie. Beautiful and strong.
STEWART: Do you think it’s a girl-movie [chick flick]?
BINOCHE: at least women play the main characters.
STEWART: I don’t like the term chick flick, it weakens the movie. And ‘ girl-power movie’ is even
BINOCHE: Than we agree it’s a special film. For me it is.
STEWART: I like that.
it’s 11.45am – stewarts flight starts at 1.15pm- she has to go
STEWART: oh – I have to pack my things.
BINOCHE: If you miss your flight we will see us to tonight (laughs)
STEWART: That would be nice. But I would really appreciate it if I would catch that one. (both laugh)
I’m afraid I have to leave. See you in South Africa
INTERVIEW MAGAZINE 2014
translated by rkuntilthesungoesblack – all mistakes are
There wasn’t enough driving in the world that could calm her down from this, Julie decided. The longer Donnie and Gordon went without texting her, calling her, giving her something, the worse the scenarios in her head got. It was like waiting for inevitable bad news from a doctor, and she hated feeling so powerless to do anything.
Was Mal hurt again? Would they tell her if he was? No one had gotten ahold of her when they found him (and she was still seething over that, even if a part of her understood), it was Mal who had left her a voicemail and her panic that had Donnie finally telling her what everyone else already knew. The longer she spent alone with her thoughts, the more pissed off at them all she became. And the more pissed she was the more she just wanted to go over there, see him for herself. What did she even need their permission for? Mal had called her! Screw them, she wasn’t a child that needed protection, definitely not from her best friend.
[Text: Gordon] I’m coming over.
She only sent the warning as a courtesy, in case his parents were around. No need for them to catch her sneaking in through a window, might as well just use the front door as she should be able to by now. The short drive over didn’t calm her much, but it let her pull it all inward, close it off. She wanted to see Mal, she needed to be calm. If he was as bad as Donnie said… She needed to be calm. Taking in a deep breath, she pocketed her keys and made her way inside the familiar house.