Interview with Michelle Pfeiffer

BATD ON Sep 08, 2009 AT 2:30 pm

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer

To celebrate the DVD release of Cheri we caught up with Michelle Pfeiffer to ask her what it was like playing a  courtesan in 19th Century France and the pressures of staying forever young in Hollywood.

Q: What about this character?
A: Well, it was challenging. What I loved about the character, and what Colette wrote and what I felt Christopher really captured from the novel, is that she’s not the stereotype of what you’d expect to find when you say ‘courtesan’. She was just so full of contradictions and so ahead of her time. The challenge was, within the constraints of it being a period film and the manners of that day, [was to show] the underlying emotion and how much to let out of the bag and how much not to let out of the bag. Ultimately, the decision was Stephen’s in the editing room, and he did different versions. So I think that was probably the biggest challenge – finding that balance.

Q: How is Chéri relevant to our period?
A: Well, I think the themes are actually very modern, universal and timeless, really. The issues of ageing, and our youth-obsessed culture, certainly in America and to varying degrees across the world. Also, the value put on youth and the taboos we put on age differences and certainly the woman being older than the man, the double standard, all of those things.

Michelle Pfeiffer in Cheri

Michelle Pfeiffer in Cheri

Q: What’s your attitude to beauty and age, which is a big concern particularly in Hollywood?
A: People say ‘particularly in Hollywood’ about everything! It’s only particularly in Hollywood because it’s reported by the media, and everyday people are not. We are not any more beauty-obsessed than the rest of the world. Honestly, I think there’s a tremendous pressure on women everywhere to compete with the covers of fashion magazines. And the truth is those women don’t look like that either! So it’s a little messed up.

Q: Does it get harder to get roles as you get older?
A: Well, I do think that the amount of roles might diminish, but I think they get more interesting. I’ve been really lucky that I’ve been able to play the roles I’ve played. I’ve also really enjoyed playing the roles I’ve played in the last few years, when I came back from my hiatus. It was kind of a self-induced vacation.

Click here to read part 2…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments are closed.