Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

“ELLE”

Golden Globe wins:

  • Best Foreign Language Film (Paul Verhoeven, director)
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Isabelle Huppert)

Here is what these Golden Globe winners said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What scares you the most in life or in movies?

Huppert: What am I scared of in life or in movies? Well, in movies normally things scare me. Actually, I think the most apparently scary things are the most rewarding. I think it all depends about with whom you do it and obviously going it with [“Elle” director ] Paul Verhoeven didn’t scare me. I don’t think truth never scared me. In life, life it’s a different story.

What made you and Paul Verhoven understand each other to surpass the craziness of this plot and create something that responded to people?

Verhoeven: well and the book was sent to me and I like the book. And then it was clear at a certain moment that Isabelle Huppert was go to do this and had to do this because there is really nobody else in the world that could have done it. That’s what I feel. I mean, that’s all.

Talking in retrospect because when you start an adventure like that you don’t know exactly where you will go where it’s going. You’re not so clear about things, but after finishing the movie and looking at the result I feel that what Isabelle did was so audacious and so authentic that basically, it saves the movie.

Huppert: I think most of the time moviemaking is all about confidence and trust. There is nothing else, actually. And if you if you trust someone if you should feel like you know you’re being watched and loved and understood, it’s all very easy and actually obviously that’s what happened in that film.

I think that both Paul Verhoeven and myself this is what we expect from doing movies. Being adventurous in certain subject matters but being scared of exploring anything, even if it is disturbing if it is, even if it is sometimes difficult to listen or to understand but exploring the human psyche. That’s what makes seen most of the time valuable and worthwhile.

You didn’t win the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Did you expect to win at the Golden Globes?

Verhoeven: In reality, yes. Yeah because there was of course, especially in the United States some controversy about a movie. I didn’t realize that the Hollywood Foreign Press was also open-minded to accept this in all its strangeness otherness and—as Isabelle has called it—disturbance. Yes, I was amazed but on the other hand it was so clear to me that Isabelle was fantastic that I was really from the beginning believing that it would be very strange if she wouldn’t get a prize.

What moved you the most playing this character and what was it like to be in this category with so many amazing fellow actresses?

Huppert: What moved me the most by playing this character? So many things, actually. She’s such a memorable character I love the cat too. I’m joking. I think what I really liked is that also the fact that she’s such a central character around which the whole theme evolves and so it makes it so pleasurable and so easy to be able to little touch by little touch to build up a character and to complete and not to be obliged to choose whether she should be more ironical or more dramatic.

Paul Verhoeven has an incomparable talent to really combine this ability to go from drama to sometimes comedy to thriller through the project of a woman. I just had to you know to follow these as a day everyday experiment and that was amazing for me to create that role in this circumstance.