Elle star Isabelle Huppert on working with master provocateur Paul Verhoeven
Isabelle Huppert dazzled and disturbed audiences with her role in Elle, from director Paul Verhoeven. But, while the actress is a major contender this awards season, she commended the filmmaker behind the lens for delving into “dangerous territories.”
“Verhoeven is known for being very provocative and being fearless and being independent and playing with dangerous territories,” she told EW in an interview. “Undoubtedly he’s stayed on that line. Either you do it or you don’t do it, and if you do it, you have to embrace completely this disturbance. This is at some points, sometimes it’s a disturbing film and that’s what makes you think, or so, because it is disturbing sometimes and you don’t exactly know what to think.”
Elle, based on the French novel Oh… by Philippe Djian, stars Huppert as Michèle, a successful businesswoman behind a video game brand, who becomes embroiled in a cat-and-mouse game with the masked man who raped her.
“She reacts in a very unexpected way,” Huppert explains, “in the sense that she doesn’t want to be a victim, nor does she want to be the classical avenger. I call her almost a post-feminist character.”
Huppert has already received awards for her performance from Los Angeles and New York film critics circles, and she’s a nominee for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama at the Golden Globes. “People might be scared to go see the film, and then I think once they see it, they understand it,” she said.
Watch the full interview in the video above.