Isabelle Huppert Isn’t Interested In Your Ideas Of The “French Woman”

Photo by Getty Images/Pascal Le Segretain

“People tend to insist… most of the characters I play are edgy or twisted”

Isabelle Huppert is a screen legend. In her four-decade-plus career, she’s worked with an enviable lineup of auteurs and has brought a keen intelligence to all her roles. Mrs. Hyde, her latest film, now playing at New York’s Metrograph theater (with a wider release to follow later in the season), is no exception. The film features Huppert as a timid teacher, Mrs. Géquil, who takes on a powerful alternate persona after being struck by lightning, in a loose reworking of the classic Jekyll and Hyde story. I spoke to the actress back during the New York Film Festival (a “wonderful” festival filled with an audience of “real cinephiles,” she says), and Huppert was unsurprisingly chic and self-possessed as she shared her insights on this quirky and compelling role.

You’ve worked with Mrs. Hyde’s director, Serge Bozon, before. Were you involved at all in creating the character, or was it written with you in mind?
I wasn’t involved in the creation, but maybe I was involved in the sense that he wanted to work with me after we did Tip Top [2013] together. He wanted me to be very different from other things he had done. The character I was playing was the opposite of the character in Tip Top. From the beginning, he said, “I want her to be very shy, very shadowy, she hardly dares to enter a room.”

Where do you see the part fitting in with your other roles? When the film opens with your character being insulted by her students, I was surprised to be seeing you in this sort of role. Your characters are typically more strong-willed. Is it a challenge playing against type?
No, it’s not a challenge at all. It was fun. You don’t want to be typecast. It was an opportunity for me to be a completely different person. It was very interesting.

Were there any specific preparations you made to play a dual role?
It was a very particular type of work. For instance, we had to think a lot about the costumes. The movie is obviously not realistic, and from the very beginning, I saw her as like she was coming from a different planet—there was a kind of Mary Poppins aspect to her. We thought she had come from a different world. We had to work a lot on that. On the other side, there’s a lot of freedom to it. She can be dressed any way. From the very beginning, I thought her hair should be a bit old-fashioned.

The use of color is interesting. There are a lot of soft blues, and then there’s an occasional pop of red. 
We did a lot of research with the costume designer, and Serge was also on top of it in the end. He likes things to be quite colorful. There’s an aesthetic to his movies. His movies are a bit like tales, but not exactly fairy tales. The colors are all part of that invented world. It has to be cinematic, but like when you’re having a dream and the colors pop out.

Was there any improvisation at all?
Not really. It was all written, but acting by definition is a type of improvisation. I like Serge’s creativity. He gives a lot of freedom to the actors. Nothing surprises me in a film. You might be surprised as a spectator—quite rightly, of course—but as an actor, you are never really surprised.

You’ve had such a long and varied career. Are there any specific types of roles that you haven’t played yet but hope to in the future?
I don’t really have these kinds of dreams and obsessions. It’s all about who you work with.

So are there directors you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Yeah, a lot. All the good ones!

Like who?
Oh, I think it’s a bit vain to name them.

You’ve done a lot of stage acting. Do you feel there’s a different approach in acting onstage versus in a film?
I never thought there was a big difference. It might just be my input or personality, but I think onstage I behave exactly the same way I do in films. It’s very natural.

How did you relate to the role of science in the film?
That all came from Serge, since he’s from the scientific world. He used to be a teacher. He was a real mathematician and has some leftovers from that. He wanted to do a movie about the education system—what it means to speak, learn, and understand. And then it all leads to philosophy. They’re all bound together.  

Do you have any favorite actors or favorite films?
No, I can’t say I have favorite actor or favorite film. I mean, I love too much cinema, and I think cinema is such a versatile media.

You work with a lot of teenagers in this film. Were they professional actors?
I didn’t even think about it. It didn’t occur to me to think of it in terms of, “Here I am, a professional actress.” The setting of the film was strong enough to make everybody forget where they came from and who they were. The reality and strength of the situation, the power of the characters, that’s what drew us.

Do you feel like as a French actress you’re viewed differently from American actresses? There’s so much in the media now about this cliché idea of “French women.”
Certainly, but I don’t know how much. The only thing people tend to insist is that most of the characters I play are edgy or twisted. People might see my input there as French, but I don’t know if it’s true or not. A good film is a good film.

Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video)


This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.


Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

This cameo has the Beyhive buzzing

I went to see Men In Black: International alone. Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the shock I received when I saw two specific characters on the screen. Unable to keep it to myself, I shared a curious look with the stranger next to me, who was obviously thinking the same thing as me. "Is that them...?" I whispered first. "I think… so," she replied. Then the two men in question started to dance, and we were both sure: "Yep, that's them."

It was Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois, better known as Les Twins. Fans of Beyoncé will recognize the duo as the talented brothers who often accompany her on tour and in music videos. In Men In Black: International, the two of them play shapeshifting entities—they're more like energy forces than aliens—who pursue Tessa Thompson's and Chris Hemsworth's characters throughout the duration of the film. The twins' ability to manipulate their bodies in ways that are graceful and otherworldly really helps sell them as extraterrestrials and is fun to watch.

So if Thompson in a suit or Hemsworth shirtless weren't enough motivation, here's another reason to go see it. If you look close, you can see them in the trailer below.


Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

"I am honored to share this bonding experience with my own daughter"

In a heart-warming Instagram photo, Serena Williams shares the history of hair braiding and the importance of the tradition. The tennis player shared a photo of herself braiding her daughter Olympia Ohanian's hair and spoke about how "honored" she was to be able to "add another generation" to the tradition of the practice.

The photo shows Williams attentively braiding her daughter's hair while Olympia smiles, obviously loving the experience. Williams noted that hair braiding was created by the Himba people in Namibia, Africa, and that "we have been braiding our hair for centuries." "In many African tribes braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe," she continued.

Williams pointed out that braiding is a bonding experience. "People would often take the time to socialize," she wrote. "It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. The tradition of bonding was carried on for generations, and quickly made its way across the world."

Williams closed her post with a sweet message about her daughter, saying that she's "honored to share this bonding experience" with her.

See the post, below.