Saturday, December 20, 2014

'Clouds of Sils Maria' director Olivier Assayas talks about Kristen in a new interview

Standard: You cast Kristen Stewart a superstar as Binoche’s assistant. The mere mention of her name triggers excitement on Twitter. Is that the game with the ups and downs of the current celebrity culture?

Olivier: I'm not on Twitter, I have drawn a limit to how far I'll penetrate to electronic in my life! But it is part of her character to do so. There is this mirror system between the two female characters, which I admit, although I think the reins. But every character in this film is set to a certain degree of itself. You can see in her the film star of Twilight, which plays an assistant of an actress. This is in fact a kind of joke about the celebrity culture, because Kristen is really at the heart of this.

Standard: The relationship between the two women is very complex, there are moments of self-righteousness and ignorance, but also great intimacy. How do you create these dynamics?

Olivier: I enjoy mixing different elements when I work on my films. I was not so much interested in the conflict, but at the voltage to a kind of rivalry. It was then less than a mutual rivalry and challenging. For Kristen the film opened a new space in a phase of their career where she also needed the space. European cinema has more freedom for Kristen. An elderly actress, who is by passed through many stages of a career, is a key for them. She, Juliette is expected to teach her something. Of course that was exciting for Juliette. But she also felt challenged, because Kristen is not simply a young actress. She is a powerful woman: very controlled and extremely accurate, as far as her body control.

Translated from German by @GingerHenny