Audrey Tautou, the irresistible jolie môme of French cinema, has told Benjamin Secher of The Telegraph (Audrey Tautou: 'I didn’t want this power’, August 7) that she will soon give up her acting career altogether.
Suddenly it is clear. To listen to Tautou talk about her career, in a turbulent mixture of French and English, is to hear an actress whose attitude towards her own fame and success is increasingly ambivalent. In fact, if she belongs alongside another French actress, perhaps it is Brigitte Bardot (although physically they could hardly be more incongruous). At the height of her fame and with audiences still going gaga for her, Bardot dramatically severed her ties to cinema, never to return to the screen – a coup that Tautou appears increasingly ready to emulate.I can understand her embarrassment about being in The Da Vinci Code, but she could just decide not to make any more bad movies, instead of quitting altogether.
Following The Da Vinci Code, Tautou says she took the decision “to calm everything down”, turning her back on the kind of international fame that most actresses would kill for. Why? “Because it didn’t suit me,” she says. “It is not the way I want to live my life. I confess, my father doesn’t understand. If I tell him I’m not planning to take a job for a year, he frowns, he worries. I understand that nobody understands me, but I can’t be someone I’m not.” That may sound like a riddle of the kind that Eric Cantona would once have relished, but her gist is transparent enough: if you want to see Tautou on screen again, you shouldn’t hang about.