When making it in Hollywood is ‘betrayal’

When making it in Hollywood is ‘betrayal’
French actress Juliette Binoche is in Singapore to accompany her film, Clouds Of Sils Maria. The 50-year-old actress in known for roles in the films The English Patient, Chocolat, and Godzilla.

Actors who break out of their home countries to make it in Hollywood face a hazard: Their fans back home often feel snubbed, feeling that the artist deemed their love and support insufficient.

French actress Juliette Binoche said that in her case, there is some truth to the theory.

"There's a feeling of admiration, but there is also a feeling of, 'You betrayed us'," she told The Sunday Times with a laugh at the Raffles Hotel.

Binoche, 50, is here for the Singapore premiere of her movie, Clouds Of Sils Maria, which opened last Friday night at the 4th Rendezvous With French Cinema, at a screening held in conjunction with the Singapore International Film Festival.

"Maybe it's just my natural paranoia. But like in a family, if you go away, the family members are going to give you a hard time if you want to come back," she said.

As a young actress, she yearned for greater challenges abroad, plunging into English lessons. She soon found international acclaim with roles in hits such as The Unbearable Lightness Of Being (1988), and won a supporting actress Oscar for The English Patient (1996).

"The world is made for movement, exchanges and a mix of influences," she said.

Binoche is now one of the most internationally recognised French actresses, with a strong command of English being one of her trademarks.

The mother of a 21-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter, she shuttles around Europe taking on a variety of projects, but still drops into Hollywood sometimes to do a big movie, such as this year's Godzilla.

"That was a wink to my son, who was crazy about Godzilla when he was a boy," she said.

In her new movie, the drama Clouds Of Sils Maria, she worked with American actresses Kristen Stewart, 24, and Chloe Moretz, 17.

Binoche plays an actress who has to grapple with a fractured ego, while Stewart plays her young assistant, and Moretz plays a young actress stealing the limelight from Binoche's character.

Binoche smiled when asked if her performances are affected by which language she has to speak.

She felt the issue was far more complex than just language; there was also the matter of character background and context of the movie.

"I did a film in Chile in which I spoke English with a Spanish accent. I was an American in a film by a Spanish director. The evolution of movies in Europe is going forward. English is an important language, but it's spoken with a lot of different influences," she said.

This article was first published on December 7, 2014.
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