Venice exhibition, Deneuve: “Retire? I don’t think about it, I love my job”

The great French actress: “Am I a sex symbol? I was blonde but I don’t think I’ve ever taken particularly sexy poses”

(from the correspondent Paolo Martini)

“I am an icon of femininity? I am not, for me this word cannot be used. A sex symbol? I was blonde but I do not seem to have ever taken particularly sexy poses. My successes in the past? I do not like to look back , I prefer the present and the future and especially today I love my job even more: acting “. Catherine Deneuve, 78, legendary diva of French cinema, chooses the stage of the Venice Film Festival, which honored her with her Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, to make a sort of balance between the existential and the professional.

During the press conference – where she presented herself proudly claiming the flag of Ukraine under the collar of an elegant dark purple dress – the actress, symbol of an unrepeatable era like the Nouvelle Vague, seemed to want to take aback those of her by now a crystallized image.

“I remember very well the first time I came to the Venice Film Festival. It was yesterday …” said Deneuve slyly, arousing the composed hilarity of the journalists, about the Golden Lion won with “Bella di Giorno” by Luis Buñuel in 1967. “Of course, Venice was a very important festival for me,” he added, recalling the Coppa Volpi as best actress for Nicole Garcia’s “Place Vendôme” in 1998.

But on the past ‘the great Catherine of France’ does not want to linger, even if she does not hesitate to add some sums: “when I look back in my life, I realize that there has been a mix of luck, right decisions and others , perhaps in lesser numbers, wrong “. And immediately afterwards she warns: “I don’t like looking back, in fact no time to do it. I’m not at all ready to retire to private life.”

Thus Catherine Deneuve, who in 2019 suffered a slight stroke during the filming of Emmanuelle Bercot’s film “Living”, tells about her work commitments. “I am very focused on the present and also on the near future. I have just finished shooting a film in Paris,” she says of Lea Domenach’s “La Tortue”, in which she plays Bernadette Chirac, the widow of former French president Jacques Chirac .

“Soon I will be shooting another film in English by a young American director set on a farm, among the hens – announces the actress who has had historical partnerships with Roger Vadim, Jacques Demy, Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut, Roman Polanski, Marco Ferreri, Marcello Mastroianni and Gérard Depardieu – I don’t have time to look back, I prefer to look ahead; for me it is important to continue acting and the first thing that strikes me when a subject is proposed to me is the plot. cinema, I live for the cinema “.

Caherine Deneuve, even if prompted by the questions, limits herself to underlining that “Italian cinema has always been very important in the world and therefore it is also very important for me”. Her Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, which she will receive this evening during the inauguration of the Venezia79 festival, makes her “very happy and proud”.

When journalists compare the definitions of “icon” and “sex symbol of the 60s”, the performer of films that have entered the collective imagination seems almost to be raised: “I do not feel like an icon, I believe that the word icon You can’t use it for me. I am a sex symbol? I don’t think I was that sexy in my youth, I was blonde but I never took sexy poses. This term doesn’t reflect my look. Being sexy was never the key thing for me and it certainly hasn’t been for several years. Today it’s easier to grow old as an actress. “

Catherine Deneuve takes the opportunity of the Venetian stage to send a message of hope: “The cinema changes constantly, the important thing is that people continue to go to the theater. I don’t like seeing a film at home, I prefer the atmosphere of a hall: if you see a film together with other people, it looks like an unprecedented discovery, it gives great emotions. I hope that cinema continues to be very popular “. And to those who ask him what advice he would give to young actresses, she replies: “Never give suggestions, I can only suggest that you remain true to yourself, to your ideas and values”.

Finally Catherine Deneuve, questioned by a Ukrainian journalist who asked for her support in favor of Ukrainian directors, replied: “I am very aware of what is happening in the world and for this I wanted to wear the flag of Ukraine. I wish in my heart that the war will end, that things will be resolved. But I do not have a precise statement to make about Ukraine: I would not want my words to be distorted “. At the beginning of the press conference it was Deneuve herself who asked the moderator Alessandra De Luca to point out to journalists that she wore the Ukrainian banner. A gesture she commented as follows: “I am proud of this flag, I am in solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.