Compiled by: Jack Foley
Warning - plot spoilers ahead!
Q. How did François Ozon pitch Swimming Pool to you?
A. Much the same way he pitched Under the Sand. We had a meeting
and discussed the idea before François started work on
the screenplay. He asked me what I thought, we talked it over,
then he went off to write, remaining in close touch. The process
went on for four months. Then we shot the movie!
Q. How close to you is Sarah Morton?
A. The character is utterly unlike me. English lady thriller
writers live in a very specific world. I read a great deal of
background and also some of the writing, some Agatha Christie,
who is the most famous, and also some Patricia Highsmith and Ruth
Rendell. These women really are very peculiar people.
They seem slightly disdainful, often bad-tempered. They are fiercely
solitary and they like a drink. They seem to lock themselves up
in a highly uncomfortable world, a world of complete silence.
Q. Sarah Morton seems rather unpleasant at the start of the
film. Was this a problem?
A. No, it wasnt a problem What I like about the character
is the way it develops, its journey. Just because a character
functions in a certain way at the beginning of a film, doesnt
mean it will stay that way all the way through. Sarah Mortons
journey enables her to develop in many ways.
Q. What did you contribute to the character?
A. François and I built Sarah Morton together. We work
well together. So we are on the same wavelength, were complementary.
And wed started working on Sarah long before we went into
production. When the shoot began, I knew her as well as François
did. We worked together like two halves of the same individual.
Q. What was it like meeting your young French partner, Ludivine
A. Ludivine is a very graceful actress, shes open and
generous. We got on beautifully. Unlike many actresses, Ludivine
does not create unnecessary problems for herself. She takes a
very direct approach. She overcomes her fears and takes risks.
Q. Was this your first time working with Charles Dance, a
A. Charles Dance is a fine actor. We did not know each other
personally. François met a large number of English actors
before casting this part, some of whom I knew. When he told me
he wanted Charles Dance, I felt he was right for the part.
Q. What do you make of the way François Ozon sees England
and English people?
A. François is intrigued by English people, which is
something I can understand, having connections in both countries.
I see how open and frank English people seem, while hiding a great
deal. François attitude to England is very healthy:
he wanted to make a film there, with an English actress, filming
in London and using both languages. He also wanted to use the
Luberon, which English people adore.
Q. Do you know what Sarah wrote while she was in France?
A. I decided I must know what Sarah is writing, even if the
audience doesnt. Every actor needs to feed his or her imagination
in order to develop a character and make it come to life. My need
was to know what Sarah writes while she is in France.
Q. In what ways does Sarah Morton resemble François
A. Directors choose characters in order to find out about
them. They do this through their actors work and by the
decisions they make as directors. By the time a film is finished,
the characters have enabled the director to express a part of
himself. I think thats what happened with Sarah Morton.
Q. Finally, do you regret that you did not participate in
A. No, because I was delighted to be 1 Woman in Under The