The musical Annette is out now on Amazon Prime Video. Directed by Leos Carax and co-written by Ron & Russell Mael of the band Sparks, the film stars Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, and Simon Helberg.
RELATED: Annette Interview: Simon Helberg on Showing His Dramatic Side & Acting With a Puppet
“Los Angeles, today. Henry (Adam Driver) is a stand-up comedian with a fierce sense of humor who falls in love with Ann (Marion Cotillard), a world-renowned opera singer,” explains the official synopsis. “Under the spotlight, they form a passionate and glamorous couple. With the birth of their first child, Annette, a mysterious little girl with an exceptional destiny, their lives are turned upside down.”
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Annette star Marion Cotillard about performing the songs live during the film, the challenges that brought, and getting to work with Sparks.
Tyler Treese: I was really curious as a musician yourself, how exciting was it to work alongside Sparks?
Marion Cotillard: Sparks, I have to say I didn’t really know their music, but when I was a kid they had this song with a very famous French brand that I loved. I listened to this song, which is called “Singing in the Shower Tonight,” over and over and over again. So I was very excited to like meet with them.
I loved everything about the origin of the project, the story, they wanted to work with Leos Carax and they had a story before this one that Leos didn’t respond to and when they came up with Annette, the connection was there. Leos really felt that he could actually tell this story and put all himself in this movie. So I was so excited to work with such amazing deep, intense artists as Sparks and Leos Carax.
I saw that rather than being prerecorded, the music was done live. How challenging was it to act as you normally would while also singing these songs?
Very challenging, but at the same time very exciting. In a classical musical, you will record the songs in the studio and then you will lip-sync on set on your own voice. Here everything was live. So it’s a different preparation because usually when you sing, your whole body is involved only in the singing. You don’t do [any] action. You don’t swim, you don’t smoke a cigarette, you don’t run, you don’t spin. All of this we did while singing.
What was interesting is the authenticity and the closeness that it brings to the audience. Because sometimes we would be out of breath, which cannot happen when you sing. When you’re supposed to sing, you cannot be out of breath, but there it was very interesting. All those accidents, all those moments where you’re not in a position where you can sing in the sound can be optimized, but then it creates something that is very interesting. That’s what Leos Carax was looking for this. The balance between the singing and emotion and all the action and the life it brings to the scenes.