PARIS — Marion Cotillard has appreciated the punk aesthetic since high school, thanks to her brothers who sported nose piercings and mohawks, but now, acting as a jewelry designer, she prefers to offer earrings that clip on.
The French actress is proposing a punk-flavored high-jewelry collection for Chopard with snap-on ear cuffs — no piercing involved.
Cotillard and Caroline Scheufele of Chopard took to the Ritz to present the new Ice Cube capsule collection, after months of postponement. It was designed with director Eliott Bliss, who is in charge of styling for the cinema star.
Her relationship with the brand dates back to 2004, when Cotillard won the Trophée Chopard, a young actor award. But the new collection brought back memories of previous collaborations by the pair, which kicked off in 2013 and focused on responsibly sourced stones.
At the time, there were limited choices of such stones, noted Cotillard, speaking to WWD in a joint interview with Scheufele.
“Marion wore the very first piece at Cannes, on the red carpet,” recalled Scheufele. She turned to the actress: “I remember, you got to the top and a Korean actress said, ‘I want this one,’” she said, stabbing a finger in the air. “And she bought it right away.”
For their latest venture, the idea was to start with a set, explained Cotillard, who said she enjoys designs that are deconstructed.
The collection’s centerpiece is an earring with princess-cut diamonds arranged, cascade-like, in a haphazard manner. A series of ear cuffs complete the look — which can be stacked together.
“I love things that are pure and simple but also radical,” noted Cotillard.
Growing up, her brothers introduced her to the world of punk, Sid Vicious and homegrown French heroes, like Ludwig von 88.
“They had Mohawk hairstyles, piercings in their ears and noses — it’s a universe I always appreciated, the spirit, the music,” she said, noting that she herself gravitated more toward reggae.
Nowadays, she’s associated with red-carpet glamour.
The actress stars in a film by Leos Carax that was supposed to be shown at Cannes this year but its release was postponed, along with the festival, until next year, and is meant to begin working on another project in January or February, but uncertainty continues to loom.
Does she miss red-carpet events?
“It’s above all the event that comes with the red carpet that I miss, I missed Cannes this year, a festival that for around nine years has supported all of my films,” she said. “It’s a festival I never grow tired of, it’s tremendously important, as much for the romance as for its raison d’être, which is to enable the discovery of cinema from all over the world,” added Cotillard.
“I have discovered producers who have opened my eyes, my spirit, my heart on subjects I didn’t necessarily know about, countries that were completely foreign to me,” she continued. “The red carpet itself, well it’s pretty fun preparing for an event, but it’s the whole dimension of sharing that I miss, more than the red carpet itself.”
“All these young artists — the cinema industry is lacking support,” Scheufele chimed it, wondering when there will be a return of films showing people embracing.
Cotillard said she felt lucky not to have been filming when the coronavirus lockdowns came into effect, noting it is hard to adjust when a film project is suddenly halted.
“I have friends in the industry who had to stop working. It’s quite complex to manage because creativity comes as an impulse, with a certain energy — whether we’re talking about a comedy, a horror film or a psychological drama — and it’s extremely hard to stop in the middle of it,” she said. It is especially hard for a close friend of hers, for example, she added, who was in the middle of a very complicated film — “you immerse yourself entirely in the character,” she said.
Reflecting on the coronavirus crisis and shifting attitudes toward the environment, Scheufele was emphatic.
“I hope one good thing remains, that the entire world will have understood something. Perhaps someone up there has said, ‘Stop! Not this way,’” she said.
She observed that Switzerland, where she lives, has had an advance over many other countries when it comes to certain environmental subjects — like recycling. She remembered when a former boyfriend in Paris asked her why she was bothering to separate garbage and showed her that everything ended up in the same container bin.
“We are perhaps educated differently on this subject in Switzerland, it starts when we’re young,” she said. “We’ve all reflected a bit — I hope — and understand we all need to pay more attention to the planet. Because we need it — but it doesn’t need us.”
“And to realize the extent to which we are one entity, and everything is interdependent. The entire world came to a halt,” said Cotillard. “When you upset the balance of the world — which is vast, but also just a grain of sand in the universe, you realize we’re all impacted. And unfortunately people who are in more precarious positions are much more impacted than those who are privileged.”
So how does she prepare her children for the future?
“My kids are young. I try to teach them respect, respect of themselves and of others, and of their environment,” said Cotillard. “Confidence is important, I think. My parents always had confidence in me — this is something that has helped form me, even if today there are many areas in which I don’t have confidence in myself. Deep down, I know there are people who always had confidence in me — when you have that confidence, hope rises from this source.”
“I am a positive person by nature, even in moments that are difficult I always see the glass half full — even if it’s less than half full,” noted Scheufele, whose globe-trotting lifestyle stopped from one day to the next due to the crisis.
Thumbing through her passport during the lockdowns, Scheufele noted she had traveled all over the world the previous year. She rattled off a list of places: the U.S., Russia, Kazakhstan, the Middle East and six times to China.
“Suddenly I found loads of things to do — and I haven’t finished my to-do list,” she added.
Scheufele set about cooking, which earned her a new nickname: “uber food.” She turned her house upside-down, redid her garden, got to know her dogs better — she currently has six — and came up with an idea for the next year’s red-carpet collection, she said.
“Luckily diamonds are eternal — even if they’ve been sitting in the safe,” added Scheufele.