The actress Juliette Binoche has had several opportunities to shine in American cinema, under the direction of a great director. It was a waste of time for him, who offered her three films, all of which she refused…
Juliette Binoche, world star
After a first appearance at the cinema in 1983 in liberty beautiful by Pascal Kané, it didn’t take long for Juliette Binoche to become one of the greatest actresses of her generation. She shoots for Godard in I salute you mariein Family life by Jacques Doillon and Appointment by André Téchiné in 1985, then for Leos Carax in Bad blood. In 1988, she shot in a first American film: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Phillip Kaufman. Faced with Daniel Day-Lewis, she then offers herself a great international exposure. A brilliant career start that inevitably hits the eye of great filmmakersincluding Steven Spielberg.
The American director is not yet the immense filmmaker that he will become in the following decades, but he has already made some monuments like Jaws, Dating of the Third Kind, The Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET, the extra-terrestrial. And this is for the third installment of the Indiana Jones saga, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that he wants to see Juliette Binoche join the adventure. But like she told it in 2017 at the microphone of Europe 1it was a first “no”.
A faithful actress who keeps her word
If Juliette Binoche refused to play in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, is that on the one hand his schedule did not allow him. And that on the other hand, then romantically engaged with the director Leos Carax, she was not going to let him down while they were preparing together The Lovers on the Bridge… But her refusal is heard by Steven Spielberg and the actress harvests elsewhere her third César nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Carax’s film.
Steven admired the director-actress couple that we played in the movies with Leos, so he didn’t hold it against me.
Steven Spielberg is not resentful, and he makes him another proposal a few years later. The role in question? That of Ellie Satler in Jurassic Park, eventually obtained by Laura Dern. It’s again “Nope” for Juliette Binoche, who this time is already engaged on Three Colors: Blue by Krzysztof Kieślowski.
I had already said yes to Blue and when I give my word I don’t question it.
The actress develops her point by explaining that she also found her character in Blue more interesting than that of the scientist of Jurassic Park. A refusal that she cannot really regret, since her performance in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s film earned her the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival in 1993 as well as the César for Best Actress In 1994.
Never two without three…
In the aftermath, Steven Spielberg does not let himself be defeated and tries again, this time to Schindler’s Listwhich was shot between March and May 1993 and released a few months later Jurassic Park. This time it’s for a more personal reason that Juliette Binoche refuses. Indeed, she is at this time pregnant with her first child, Raphaël, whom she has with her companion at the time, the professional diver André Hallé.
It was a small role where I had to be raped, beaten up, and killed at the end. I preferred to protect my child.
It may seem improbable, but Juliette Binoche has therefore said “no” three times to the man who can legitimately be considered one of the greatest filmmakers of his time. However, it should be kept in mind that Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List made Steven Spielberg change dimension, both commercially and critically. Would she refuse today? We can hope that the question will be put to him again one day, and that this time his answer will be positive…