Matt Damon’s latest feature film is now in theaters. In Stillwater, Damon plays an Oklahoma roughneck that finds himself in France to visit his daughter, who is suspected of murder. The film is directed by Tom McCarthy and also stars Camille Cottin, Abigail Breslin, Deanna Dunagan, and Lilou Siauvaud.
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“Stillwater follows an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma who travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter, in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit,” reads the official synopsis. “Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, Bill builds a new life for himself in France as he makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter.”
ComingSoon’s Alyse Wax spoke to Stillwater star Camille Cottin about her role, the uniqueness of Marseille, and how the city had an impact on filming. Check out the video below or a transcript below.
Alyse Wax: So what drew you to this role in Stillwater?
Camille Cottin: I was really attracted to the character. I thought of her as an angel, as a modern angel, and it’s a very discreet angel because she’s a single mum … and I think this is a beautiful portrait of a woman standing on her feet. The fact that she does not discriminate Bill Baker for being who he is and where he comes from. She has no pre-judgment. So this is a personality that I was really sensitive to because I think she embodies a perspective of tolerance and openness. I like the relationship that she creates with the audience, she’s opening her door to Bill Baker and to the audience. It’s like she’s inviting everybody to sit at her table and this personality is something I really appreciate as a person.
It’s interesting that you say that she was very opening to Bill because a lot of the characters in Marseille are kind of racist. Was that an interesting dichotomy for you to play against?
I think we have both, I think Marseille is an incredible city because it has a lot of cultural mix, and at the same time, it has a lot of racism and I think it was important to have another counterpoint because we have Bill’s point of view and perspective of races. When he says, well, I work with the guy with the guy like that, that’s racist. I work with guys like this all the time and I don’t care. So I think that Tom really depicted all of those people living together and the different faces of this living together.
Did you enjoy filming in France as opposed to traveling or did you miss that part of it?
I’m from Paris, so living in Marseille was the travel for me. It’s a city by the sea and the light is amazing. I enjoy very much living where my character lives and when it’s not my place, because it really helps getting into the stories. But it was exotic for me to be in Marseille almost as much as for Tom, Matt, and all the others.
Did that help you kind of prepare for your role, living in Marseille?
Yes, definitely. Which is funny, I was just living like two blocks away from the flat where all the scenes are. I shot the flat that belongs to Virginie and yes, definitely. I mean, you get inspired by the places you live in.