The XX Factor

A Primer on the Philosophies of Marion Cotillard—Just Because, for No Reason at All

Noted skeptic Marion Cotillard, here on May 19, 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival, doesn’t pick up everything the government’s putting down in re: 9/11 and the moon landing.

Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

Today’s a slow, boring news day. Yawn! Not much going on in the realm of celebrities, or relationships, or couples’ portmanteaux. So here’s a totally random, just-for-funsies primer on Marion Cotillard, who is a beautiful actress from France.

Cotillard is perhaps best known for her well-researched misgivings about two of the most important entries in the past century of American history: the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. moon landing. “I think we’re lied to about a number of things,” she informed a nation of sheeple in a 2007 interview on a French late-night TV show. “We see other towers of the same kind being hit by planes. Are they burned? [There] was a tower, I believe it was in Spain, which burned for 24 hours. It never collapsed. None of these towers collapsed. And there [in New York], in a few minutes, the whole thing collapsed.”

Suspicious! But if terrorist-driven planes didn’t cause the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, what did? Cotillard thinks it was probably frugal real-estate developers. “[The World Trade Center] was a money-sucker because they were finished, it seems to me, by 1973,” she declared. “To re-cable all that, to bring up-to-date all the technology and everything, it was a lot more expensive, that work, than destroying them.”

In the same interview, Cotillard poked holes in the Apollo 11 narrative spoonfed to us by the lamestream media of 1969. “Did a man really walk on the moon? I saw plenty of documentaries on it, and I really wondered,” said the ever-prudent Cotillard. “And in any case I don’t believe all they tell me, that’s for sure.”

The actress has said those conspiracy-theory remarks were “taken completely out of context.” She’s also denied having any “Anglo-Saxon ambition”; she’d rather “choose roles which suit” her. One can only imagine the serious thought she must have given to the dramatic implications of her role in Funny or Die’s 2013 commercial for a pair of 3-D breasts that stick on a woman’s forehead to encourage men to look at her face rather than her chest.

A longtime Greenpeace activist, Cotillard loves the earth. It’s weird, because some people think she’s not really from here. In a conversation for Interview magazine, Nicole Kidman told Cotillard that “everyone on the set” of Nine said the same thing about her: “that you’re otherworldly, that it seems like you come from another planet.” Cotillard just laughed and deconstructed the very notion of Earth itself. “I think the earth and everything around it is connected—the sky and the planets and the stars and everything else we see as a mystery,” she told Kidman. “I think we connect when we accept that the mystery is also taking place here on the ground. We live on Earth and have jobs and interact in society, but we still exist because there is a moon rotating around us, and a sun we rotate around.” Mind blown! Seems like smoking weed is an activity Cotillard might like.

Here is another thing she’s said: “I’m a really normal person. Well, I’m an actress, I’m not that normal! But I tend to be really normal.”

One of the first movies Cotillard remembers seeing is E.T., a film that touched her profoundly and indelibly. “I went totally mad in the theater. I was almost pulling my hair out when they took E.T. away,” she told W magazine in 2012. “That’s a deep memory of anger, despair, and pain. They had to get me out of the theater. I was screaming.” Cotillard has harnessed that capacity for untold depths of emotion in films like Allied, which comes out in November and co-stars Brad Pitt.

When it comes to gender politics, Cotillard does not like the concept of feminism because “it doesn’t create equality; it creates separation.” She thinks people should fight for women’s rights, but not separately from men. Her philosophy on gender is this: “We’re separated already because we’re not made the same and it’s the difference that creates this energy in creation and love.” Speaking of creation and love—rumors of a Cotillard pregnancy have sprung up in the French press in recent days! Here’s to the energy in creation and love Cotillard shares with actor Guillaume Canet, her French boyfriend of nine years, with whom she shares a young son.

Read more in Slate about #Brangelexit (just because).