Wednesday 17 July 2019

Scott Thomas 'couldn't resist role'

Kristin Scott Thomas at the gala screening of Suite Francaise
Kristin Scott Thomas at the gala screening of Suite Francaise

Kristin Scott Thomas has said she could not resist taking the lead role in Suite Francaise, despite not enjoying making films much any more.

The Four Weddings and a Funeral star has said recently that she wants to spend less time making films because she doesn't like the process of waiting around in trailers, and slow shoots, preferring theatre work instead.

But the 54-year-old has said she would make exceptions for projects she couldn't resist, such as Suite Francaise, an adaptation of the Irene Nemirovsky novel that was discovered unfinished in the author's home after she died at Auschwitz.

Scott Thomas explained why she couldn't turn it down at the gala screening at London's May Fair Hotel: "I'd read the novel when it was first published and I just wanted to be part of the whole adventure."

The film tells the story of a French woman (Scott Thomas) and her daughter-in-law (Michelle Williams) who are forced to host a Nazi officer (Matthias Schoenaerts) while the woman's son is away at war - only to find the daughter-in-law and Nazi officer fall in love.

Scott Thomas said: "I liked working with Michelle Williams a lot, she's brilliant. The relationship between the characters is very complicated - the daughter-in-law is the only thing remaining of her son in the house and it all comes crumbling down when she discovers she is having a relationship with this Nazi."

Schoenaerts, 37, also on the red carpet, admitted it had taken a while for him to come to terms with playing a Nazi.

He said: "In the beginning I had moral issues with the character. But then I read the novel and thought if the writer loves the character so much, then I have to allow myself to love him as well."

On working with Scott Thomas, Williams and a cast that also includes Margot Robbie, he added: "It feels like a little kid who gets the chance to play for the Champions League. It's a great team.

"It raises the bar, makes you want to be better and go the extra mile and give it all you've got."

Scott Thomas's next role sees her take over from Dame Helen Mirren as the Queen in the play The Audience.

Asked what was the most daunting part of playing the monarch, she replied: "Everything. Playing someone who's alive is extraordinary. Of course this is a play, not a documentary or anything like that, but we are trying to recount history.

"Whether these things were actually said is another matter, but it's a very clever way of telling the story of the past 60 years."

The film's director Saul Dibb attended the gala screening too.

Suite Francaise is released in cinemas on March 13.

PA Media

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