Marion Cotillard Explains Why 'Allied' Isn't 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith'

And the one thing that still confuses her about "Inception."
"Allied" isn't "Mr. & Mrs. Smith 2."
"Allied" isn't "Mr. & Mrs. Smith 2."
VALERIE MACON via Getty Images

Brad Pitt likes two things in his movies: spies falling in love and killin’ Nazis.

The actor does both of those alongside Marion Cotillard in the upcoming “Allied.” In the film, the two play spy-assassins who fall for each other while on a mission. But can they really trust each other?

Trailers have inspired early comparisons of “Allied” to another spy movie, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” and, with all the Nazi deaths, it seems to have tones of “Inglourious Basterds,” too. However, Cotillard told The Huffington Post those comparisons don’t necessarily work because both of those movies have a “sense of comedy” and “Allied,” not so much.

“‘Allied’ has a sense of an entertaining movie, but at the same time there’s a depth of feelings, and Brad Pitt’s character goes deep into emotions and what he delivers. It’s really strong emotionally, and I think he’s really amazing in all those very powerful emotional scenes, and that was not an aspect of the two movies you mentioned,” said Cotillard.

The actress also called the film an “amazing love story.”

“When I read the script for the first time four years ago, I wanted to see this movie. Even if I wasn’t part of it, I would want to watch the movie and, of course, the fact that it’s a very powerful character,” she said. “I was drawn to play a powerful character and powerful woman who takes responsibility. I just totally fell in love with the story and the character.”

Over the phone, the actress opened up about “Allied” and her other films, telling us that the spinning top in “Inception” was a total surprise and that gamers will lose their minds over “Assassin’s Creed.”

Your name is Marion. Your character’s name in “Allied” is Marianne. Was that confusing at all?

[The actors] had pretty good accents, all of them, so they never mixed my name and her name, which is a good thing because sometimes it can get really weird. What was interesting also is to be an actor playing someone who’s acting. [It’s] a very interesting depth that went even deeper because of this aspect of the movie.

There’s an open lesbian relationship in this movie, which is very sweet and surprising since this takes place during World War II. What did you think of that portrayal?

We had discussion about this because it’s a very open relationship in the movie when at that time maybe people would’ve hid it a little more, but the fact that they’re so bold and so strong about it really creates a very essential freedom about the movie. I thought it was a very good idea to show this kind of freedom, and it really gives strength to this family and this group of friends.

Director Robert Zemeckis also directed “Back to the Future.” If you could go anywhere in time, where would you go?

I would go to Greece, and I would attend one of Socrates’ talks.

Cotillard is still confused over "Inception," just like the rest of us.
Cotillard is still confused over "Inception," just like the rest of us.
Warner Bros

Has anyone ever approached you at a train station and said your “Inception” line, “You’re waiting for a train ...”?

[Laughs] I think I had that one, actually. I was not at a train station, but people tell me that line several times.

A lot of people think that whole movie is actually a dream. What do you think?

Maybe. I don’t know. I was very confused when I watched the movie for the first time because one thing [that] was not written in the script is the spinning top not falling at the end. And then this last image. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” And then everything I had thought about the movie ... It’s just the script from a project I was part of that I read the most. I think I read it like 15 or 20 times taking notes. It’s one thing to watch the movie, because visually you know where you are, but reading the script without all the images it was really, really hard to keep track of where you were. So I studied the script like no other, and then at the end, arriving at the spinning top not falling, I was totally confused.

What was it like stabbing Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises”?

I was very impressed that day because it was the first time I saw Batman in his costume. I had shot scenes with Christian Bale before, but then I was struck. I didn’t dare to go and say hello to him. But that was before Tom Hardy came on set and they started to joke, and then Batman became human for me again, and then I could just be part of the movie and not just a little French actress or fan in the corner watching this costume [come] alive. It was a very weird day for me.

I’m a fan of the “Assassin’s Creed” games. What was filming that movie like?

That was amazing to have the opportunity to work with Justin Kurzel and Michael Fassbender again on a very different project, and I think Justin Kurzel is an amazing artist, and it’s his third movie. He’s going to deliver a work that’s more and more amazing each time. I’m sure of that. He’s one of the best directors for actors I’ve ever worked with and I watched the movie with a fan of the game.

Oh, no way! What’d they think?

I have to say I never played the game, but the script was so good that people who don’t know the game will enjoy the movie, and people who know the game — because it’s not based on one specific episode of the game — it’s going to be something that is totally new with the world they already know. One of my friends who knows the game very well really loved the movie. He actually went totally crazy.

“Allied” leaves one big question unanswered. (We’re not revealing the question here to avoid spoilers.) Do you know the answer to that question?

Yes, I do. I had to. I had to know.

What!? Will you ever reveal it?

No. No need.

We may be waiting longer for that answer than we are for the train.

“Allied” hits theaters Nov. 23. Catch a trailer below:

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