Paris people

Cécile de France goes Hollywood

Cecile de France is a girl at ease. Always smiling. Always fresh. Always pretending to be the girl from next door, not the star. Here in France she is a big one, though. And  that’s probably what the French like: elle ne se prend pas la tête, she’s not making a big deal of her success.

A lot of confidence and even more talent

When she arrived from her native Belgium at the Gare du Nord in Paris, she was just 17. She had no connections, no relations, no money. Just a lot of confidence and even more talent. Now, at the age of 35, Cecile de France has gleaned all the prizes French cinema has to offer: she won the Romy Schneider award, the Louis Lumière award and two César awards for Most Promising Actress in L’Auberge espagnole (2002) and one for Best Supporting Actress in Les Poupées Russes (2005).

You might not necessarily know Cécile, but this is probably about to change: She is starring in Clint Eastwood’s latest film which opens in French cinemas today. In “Hereafter” Cécile de France plays a French journalist named Marie who has had a near death experience when carried off by a tsunami.

A beer with Clint Eastwood

Cécile is a very physical actress, a brilliant swimmer and therefore proud that she did all of her own stunts: “It was very tough”, she said. “And at the end of the day, I was very happy to have a good beer with Clint Eastwood.”

Cécile really enjoyed the way Eastwood shoots. He only does one take. “It’s like a shot of adrenaline, it’s thrilling”, Cécile admits. It actually fits her, because Cécile is a girl from the theatre. On stage, like in real life, you never have a second take.

Although Cécile de France never lacked self-confidence, after starring in a Clint Eastwood film she radiates with confidence: “I felt strong and free as a bird.”Photos:
Clint Eastwood and Cécile de France
AFP, Valéry Hache