A moment with… Isabelle Huppert
A moment with… Isabelle Huppert
Video, Paris

A moment with… Isabelle Huppert

Golden Globe-winner and Oscar-nominee, Isabelle Huppert is one of the most distinguished actors in French cinema history, with more than 100 films to her name, including her latest, Elle, for which she received an Oscar-nomination and a Golden Globe. Born in Paris, Huppert has spent most of her life there, and the City of Light still holds all the charm and magic that’s kept her there throughout the years. The French actor – and Fan of Mandarin Oriental – shares her all-time favourite Paris locations with Rooksana Hossenally, from her favourite museums to the best independent cinemas for arthouse films

Even if I spend a lot of time abroad for my work…

I’ve always lived in Paris. Walking around the city is one of my favourite pastimes (pictured above). Paris is a city where you always discover something new; a building you didn’t know, boutiques... It’s a city you really savour by strolling through it, sometimes without great purpose – but that is also what makes up the city’s poetic charm, that charm of the purposeless.

Elle’s feel was…

Very urban and was filmed in Paris and its suburbs; it was precisely this break away from the image of Paris that was key. When you shoot in areas such as the Latin Quarter or the Champs Elysées (pictured above), you become a foreigner in your own city, a tourist. These places suddenly belong to the world of film, places that belong to everyone. When you stumble upon areas you don’t know, such as Pantin on the outskirts of the city, you see that Paris’ centre is slowly moving outwards.

I like going…

To museums. They’re anonymous and soothing. I love Beaubourg (also known as the Centre Pompidou ) and the Museum of Modern Art (pictured above). And the Louvre, too. It’s magical. At the Beaubourg, I love the temporary and permanent exhibitions – it’s a bottomless well for art.

To me…

Old classic French films make up part of Paris’ unique depth, which exists nowhere else. My son and I own two old independent cinemas in Paris, the Christine 21 and Ecoles 21. These two cinemas have always shown arthouse films and now my son runs them – and I help by being a loyal member of the audience! There’s a real appetite for these films: people come to experience them in their original formats. I’ve been quite a lot recently, as there were several Japanese films showing that I like. Beyond films, for me cities are defined by their museums and theatre (pictured above). I love the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe and the Bouffes du Nord.

Even if…

They tend to be quite dusty and aren’t quite the ‘lungs’ of the city, which you find in London or New York – the parks remain pleasant. When we shot Things to Come we spent a day at the Buttes-Chaumont Park (pictured above) and I liked that a lot. It’s a huge green space. The Montsouris Park is great, too.

I like...

Mandarin Oriental, Paris, especially for Thierry Marx’s restaurant, Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx (pictured above); for his very elaborate molecular cuisine – you just want to taste everything. The hotel is also in an unusual setting, right in the thick of the action, in the heart of the fashion district. It has a calm and soothing feel to it. I also like that it’s one of the most recent luxury hotels in the city, so it has a more modern type of architecture.

I’m shooting…

Anne Fontaine’s film Blanche Comme Neige [As White as Snow], based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (pictured above). I’m playing the step-mother. It’ll be out in a year, and we’re shooting in Paris, but also in the suburbs, and the Vercors (southeastern France).

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