In the World War II romantic thriller “Allied,” Marion Cotillard gets to do a few things she hasn’t done much onscreen before. She gets to shoot a gun. She gets to play a spy. But she brings her usual emotional intensity and humanity to a very tricky role. The Oscar-winning actress plays a French resistance fighter who meets and falls in love with a Canadian intelligence officer (Brad Pitt). They marry but, once confined to domestic life in London, Pitt’s character gets a disturbing brief: It’s discovered his wife may be leaking intelligence to the Nazis. But he refuses to believe the woman who bore his young daughter could be a double agent.
Cotillard, 41, talks to us about making an unusual war film, her fear of guns and staying positive after the American election.
How have you been holding up since we elected Donald Trump?
I’m a very, very positive person. I think we all have to learn from this and question ourselves deeply. We can’t just be devastated, especially not now. Everybody has to take responsibility, but also take action. We have the chance to analyze our consciences and question ourselves. This is an opportunity to go towards unity instead of the other way.
I’m with you, but I’m going to stew in sadness for a bit longer, then get back on the horse.
We should take everything as a gift. Even when the package smells like s—, pardon my French [laughs], we have to see what kinds of positive things can come out of it.
It’s uneasy watching a World War II movie like “Allied” right now, because one worry is that we’ll once again soon be a world at war.
Well, we’re already a world where there are wars, even if our society is pretty much safe. There isn’t a war in front of our eyes, though in France there is a lot of terrorism. This movie takes place in World War II, which was a terrifying and horrible war. But I still have hope that we can deal with these issues without having a world war today.