“In Les Shrouds, the difficulty of the film was especially the nudity”

“In Les Shrouds, the difficulty of the film was especially the nudity”
“In Les Shrouds, the difficulty of the film was especially the nudity”

Diane Kruger during the presentation at the Cannes Film Festival of Shroudsby David Cronenberg (Cannes, May 21, 2024.)
Sarah Meyssonnier / REUTERS

The actress presented David Cronenberg’s new film, inspired by the death of his own wife, at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. A multiple role, in which his body is transformed.

The Shrouds, by David Cronenberg, presented at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, opens with the image of a corpse, that of Becca, played by Diane Kruger, above which hovers a luminous creature, a metaphysical firefly representing her soul. Playing in turn a deceased person, the latter’s twin sister and a ghost, the actress is perhaps precisely the soul of the Canadian’s film, inspired by the death of his own wife, Carolyn, in 2017. The hero of Shrouds, played by a Vincent Cassel in Cronenberg’s double, invents a system of connected tombs, which allows the living to remain “in contact” with them. A story which prolongs and enhances the director’s mourning, in which Diane Kruger immersed herself. Body and soul.

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Madame Figaro.- What attracted you to The Shrouds ?
Diane Kruger.- David Cronenberg. I was already a big fan before meeting him and never, in my life, could I have believed that he would call me to tour with him. When I received the script, I really liked it but I didn’t know that it was partly autobiographical. He was the one who taught me that on our first date. It came as a shock to me because I found myself in his private life, in a very painful part of his life. It’s a special film, very moving.

What do you like about David Cronenberg’s cinema?
His very unique universe. I’m not a big fan of gore films, but in David, there is always a tone that belongs to him, something absurd and at the same time very piercing, on a human level. I remember seeing Fly : it paralyzed me, I have very strong memories of it, it’s rare. Above all, when you are an actor, you want to abandon yourself, to invest yourself in the films of filmmakers who will take you elsewhere, of which cinema is an almost genre in itself. I was very proud to be able to share this with him.

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David Cronenberg also the filmmaker of transformed bodies. You yourself involved a lot of yours in the film: we see you naked, dead, mutilated, and you play two characters… What did you feel by putting yourself so much on the line?

For me, the difficulty in this film was mainly the nudity. I very rarely shoot naked: it’s not because I’m modest, but it’s just something I don’t usually do. In The Shrouds, I felt exposed because on the one hand, I was, but also because I play a character whose body is ravaged by illness. The intimate scenes were all the more disturbing as I found myself behind closed doors in a room with my director, someone very modest but to whom they must have reminded us of difficult times, and my partner, Vincent. Cassel, who looked just like him.

Your beautiful souvenir from the Cannes Film Festival?

Obviously, the last time I went there and received the interpretation prize for In The Fade, by Fatih Akin. With all the darkness surrounding this film, its preparation, the mentally and physically exhausting filming, this recognition was like someone had opened a lid. And I could breathe again.

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