The ''La Vie en Rose'' star explains what it took to transform into Edith Piaf

By Missy Schwartz
August 17, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

”Edith was 47 when she died, but she looked 80. And that was scary because you have to feel the time and turn [on] a whole life. Lip-synching is the hardest thing to do. It’s very technical and you have to rehearse forever not even to sing but to breathe like her. I asked for a vocal coach because I needed to understand her technique. I took all the songs and I calculated the length of the notes, of the silence and how she would take the breath, and then I rehearsed. And I did it again and again and again. I taped myself until it was okay — I wouldn’t stop. I shaved two centimeters of my hair to have a bigger [forehead] and I shaved my eyebrows. I had such a face during that time! But the role is so amazing that I would have shaved everything for this.”