Humor

Isabelle Huppert on the dark humour, difficult women and political subtext of ‘Mrs. Harris goes to Paris’

When asked if she chooses her roles based on subversive expectations, Huppert said no. “What people expect of me as a performer is beyond my concerns,” she says. “That would mean you have some kind of strategy, and I don’t care. I’m just making a movie because I want to, and that’s it. I never think about changing people’s perception of me. She’s also quick to note – rightly so – that while her most internationally known performances lean towards darker fare, she’s never been afraid to tackle more cheerful and humorous roles, whether be his mischievous turn in François Ozon 8 women or his crazy performance in David O. Russell I Heart Huckabees.

“I never really drew or defined a line between comedy and drama,” she continues. “I think you can be very funny in dramas and very sad in comedies. Even in this film, my character has moments where he becomes more tragic than funny. And in the most serious films, you always have this double dimension between irony and drama. So I don’t say to myself: “I’m doing drama, I’m doing comedy”. I’m just making a movie, that’s all.

While Huppert has spoken in the past about being able to take a character and easily put it down afterwards, does playing a cocky fashion victim in a frothy, enjoyable movie always feel like respite? bolder (to say the least) roles she usually takes? “For me, there is no difficult role,” she says. “Sometimes – and in my case, I’m lucky to say never – what can happen is that a difficult director or a bad direction raises difficulties that make the whole journey difficult, but it doesn’t there is no difficult role in and of itself.

Huppert comes to life when I suggest that her comedic acting skills are often overlooked and her performance in She— Paul Verhoeven’s gloriously unhinged psychosexual thriller that tackled controversial topics like mass murder, rape, and sexually violent video games — was actually extremely funny. ” Of course it is ! Same The piano teacher is very funny!” says Huppert. (Widely considered one of the most disturbing films ever made, The piano teacher featured sadomasochism, self-harm, sexual assault, and even Huppert putting broken glass in the pocket of one of his piano students to destroy his career…but we’ll take Huppert at his word.)