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Berenice Bejo's 'The Past' character sometimes unlikeable

Berenice Bejo's 'The Past' character is put in a situation that makes her sometimes blunt and sometimes unlikeable.
December 20, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
"The Past" is nominated for both a Critics' Choice and a Golden Globe award for best foreign language film.

The Iranian film is made in French and stars previous Oscar nominee Berenice Bejo. In this film, she's trying to move forward from "the past."

"You have to be hard sometimes to move things, to change things," said Bejo.

Bejo plays Marie, a pharmacist who finds herself trying to wrangle out of a tough situation. She's stuck between her past love, an Iranian husband who is reluctant to divorce her and her current boyfriend, who also has a past he can't let go of. He's married to a comatose woman.

The situation makes her character sometimes blunt, sometimes harsh and sometimes unlikeable.

"A lot of people told me that, you know, 'She's not very lovable. She's not nice.' But it's very hard for her," said Bejo. "She's really stuck in a situation where I don't want to be because her new lover has a wife who's in a coma. So they don't know if she's dead or alive, if they can go on with their life or not, and nobody wants to take a decision and she's there and she's willing to take a decision and those two men are totally...they're impossible."

American audiences' first introduction to Bejo came in 2011 with the film "The Artist." The film went on to win the best picture Oscar. Bejo was nominated for best supporting actress for the movie.

She followed that up with "The Past," and was awarded the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. Bejo is very blunt when asked about accepting accolades.

"I don't care. I don't think like that. I just go on with my work and I don't care. I just choose movies and directors, and I just try to do my best every time I work on a movie," she said.

Bejo is now working on the drama, "The Search," a film set in war-torn Chechnya. Like "The Artist," it is directed by her husband, Michel Hazanavicius. It tells the story of a relief worker who forms a bond with a Chechen boy. Annette Bening also stars in the film.


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