Interview with Sandrine Bonnaire - Aviva - Berlin Online Magazin und Informationsportal für Frauen Interviews im Juli 2024 - Beitrag vom 13.01.2010

Interview with Sandrine Bonnaire
Claudia Amsler

Sandrine Bonnaire, the French actress, has appeared in more than 40 films, is again on the silver screen in Caroline Bottaro´s movie "Die Schachspielerin", which has been...

... showing since January 7th. Sandrine´s career started at the age of fifteen and she is still full of energy and enthusiasm. However, she isn´t "just" a famous actress, Sandrine Bonnaire is also the mother of two children. AVIVA-Berlin talked with her about her early career, her new star role in "Die Schachspielerin" and her work as a film producer.

AVIVA-Berlin: You played Hélène in the film "Die Schachspielerin" very convincingly. Are there any similarities between you and the protagonist Hélène?
Sandrine Bonnaire: Yes, I think it is the way of decision, if we make a decision we do it until the end. "If you choose something you will do it.". Hélène decided to play chess and change her life, changed her fate. I think in this part I´m very similar to Hélène. Though concerning to her family or how to deal with her husband or daughter, in this things I´m not the same as Hélène. Otherwise I noticed when I saw the film, that in my face are many faces of a lot of characters I played already. There is something in Hélène in my first movie "A nos amours", some of "Chabrol´s" movie that´s very interesting.

AVIVA-Berlin: But are you sure that you didn´t recognize you - as a person - in all these characters?
Sandrine Bonnaire: I don´t think so. I think this is just the character because in life I´m not like that. But so it was more surprising that I found these other characters in Hélène. Yes, in a way it´s very funny.

AVIVA-Berlin: Do you think Hélène is at the beginning of the film a prototyp for girls or women who can´t live their own lives?
Sandrine Bonnaire: Yes, of course. She sacrifices her life for her husband and her daughter and gives dancing up. But at the beginning of the film she doesn´t know it, it is all unconscious. After the scene of the balcony, when the Americans play chess, she begins to realise that she wants the desire of her husband back. And so she also realises that she put her own desires beside and that she lives in a sort of devotion. And of course, many women are like that.

AVIVA-Berlin:I would say this scene of "the American couple playing chess" is one of the most important sequences in the movie. After this scene she dreams of her own husband, who plays chess with the American girl. How would you interpret these two scenes?
Sandrine Bonnaire: The chess at the beginning is about desire. She sees this beautiful girl with this wonderful negligee with her husband, Hélène doesn´t want to be like this girl but she wants to have this passion back, the passion between her and her husband. But her husband doesn´t remark her even she wears such a wonderful negligee and so this dream is a metaphor for her desire, to have her feminine sensuality back.

AVIVA-Berlin: Do you think the film discusses mainly female themes?
Sandrine Bonnaire: No, it is also available for man because the film says when you take risk you can lose but when you don´t take risk you ever lose. So even they are tiny things as chess you have to kick your out.

AVIVA-Berlin: You are an actress but also a director. Why do you combine these two genres?
Sandrine Bonnaire: I made the film about my autistic sister because of political things. I made it just to show the unfairness, I didn´t judge anything. I just showed it. I didn´t make it to produce something. BUT NOW! I really want to make a fiction movie!

AVIVA-Berlin: But what´s the reason for it? Any key moments?
Sandrine Bonnaire: It´s also a personal reason, but in another way. It is about a man, that I knew when I was a kid and he was very close to my mum. In fact he was a lover to her, but she didn´t marry him. During my life she introduces him to us and we liked him very much. And when I was twenty I met this man for the last time and he was a homeless, he has lost everything. This guy was so in love with my mother that he couldn´t live life without her. And because of this last "Rendez-vous", I told to myself, that I just want to do something about this man one day. And now I´m writing this story.

AVIVA-Berlin: You bring your film about your sister up, this documentation takes records of your autistic sister. Do you think that cinema has the role to wake people up and show them the reality?
Sandrine Bonnaire: I think the cinema has to do this, but in a good way and not in a bad way. That´s the reason why we have to be careful what we are showing. I noticed with my movie that it moves some people. The audience in France but also in foreign countries, but I do not charge anybody. I just showed that this system killed my sister. And so the picture tells its own tale. And I had also a lot of meetings with very important people in France and they try to change something. It is not enough, but it moved something.

© Concorde, Patrick Glaize

AVIVA-Berlin: You never went to drama school and your career started at the age of fifteen. Are drama schools essential?
Sandrine Bonnaire: I mean for me it was an accident, it wasn´t a bad one, of course. (laughs) So I can say that I don´t need it and I didn´t need it, never. I mean I don´t know why, but I think you can learn the technical things but not the deeper things, that what comes out of your heart. If you are not too stupid and a little bit sensitive you can do it and I think there are people who have talent and other can take lessons and learn how to move in a place, how to speak loud, but got not the talent. In my own right I just learned the technical things on set.

AVIVA-Berlin: In 1984 you were awarded the César for the Most Promising Actress. Your success nr stops. Don´t you get tired of it?
Sandrine Bonnaire: No! Tired of what? (laughs). I mean you have to be a masochist to be tired of success. When there is success it is just wonderful. It´s great. It´s Santa Claus.

AVIVA-Berlin: Thank you very much for this interview and all the best!

Read also our review to:

Die Schachspielerin - Ein Film von Caroline Bottaro mit Sandrine Bonnaire

Read also:

Interview mit der Regisseurin Caroline Bottaro

Sandrine Bonnaire als Hauptdarstellerin in "Der Hals der Giraffe"

Sandrine Bonnaire als Hauptdarstellerin in "Intime Fremde"

Sandrine Bonnaires Film über ihre autistische Schwester "Ihr Name ist Sabine"

Sandrine Bonnaire in "Die Frau des Leuchtturmwächters"


Beitrag vom 13.01.2010