“Roman saw me during all those YEARS frustrated as an actress. It’s HARD to depend on the DESIRE of others”
to talk about her new movie, Venus In Fur, which was directed by Polanski. But no – Seigner talks at length, and in warm, personal detail, about the man with whom she is still clearly besotted. Of his working methods, she coos, “Roman is always having happy sets. He’s not a director who needs to torture everybody.” Of his look, at the age of 80, she sighs, “He’s a very good-looking man for his age. Really good-looking.”
The French-language Venus In Fur is the couple’s fourth film together and is based on a play by David Ives. It stars only two actors – Seigner and Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly) – and is set
entirely in a theater. He plays a puffed-up director, she an actress who is desperate to land the part. It’s a brilliant, fast-talking comedic psychodrama, a two-hander in which the power quickly but subtly shifts from man to woman.
“It makes fun of this idea of the director as the great auteur who can do anything with his actresses,” says Seigner, as she orders a fruit-laden detox drink. “And it’s also a movie about vanity. The way she’s controlling him with his vanity – saying he’s the best.”
It seems to be a very personal project, not least because Amalric seems to resemble Polanski, from the shaggy hair onwards. Is it a playful study of her relationship with her husband, the great filmmaker 33 years her senior? Or, perhaps, of observers’ perceptions of their relationship?
“Yeah, I think it’s more people’s perceptions. I think Roman saw me during all those years kind of frustrated as an actress. Because it’s very hard to depend on the desire of other people, and it’s very passive. I don’t like being