Berenice Bejo, best known for her Oscar-nominated role in The Artist, stars in The Past, this year’s Iranian entry in the Academy Awards. The Past tells the story of an Iranian man who leaves his French wife (Bejo) and child to return to his home country. This leads to complications when his wife begins a new relationship and requests a divorce. Bejo believes her character will be easily relatable for viewers. “She is just lost and she is begging to be understood and loved by her new boyfriend,” Bejo told Uinterview exclusively. “I guess today everybody connects so easily. Nobody really takes the time to sit down and talk and understand the other. Everything goes so easily, that’s how you can connect with Marie.”

The Past takes an in depth look at a broken, multicultural family following a separation. “I think it is very universal. We have those kinds of family everywhere around the world,” said Bejo. “Everyone is divorced getting a new partner. I have two children and two stepdaughters and I’m not the only one. That’s something that is very common in the world today.”

Interview by Erik Meers

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Q: How did the fact that the movie has an open ending reflect in your creative process for portraying the character? - RitaDelPilarZafra
Q: How did the fact that the movie has an open ending reflect in your creative process for portraying the character? - RitaDelPilarZafra
Q: What's the key to understanding your character in the film? - Erik Meers

It's a woman who wants to be loved in a good way - she is not being really understood by any men around her. So she is just lost and she is begging to be understood and loved by her new boyfriend. She is having trouble with her daughter, she is having trouble with her ex-boyfriend, and she is in a very complicated situation. I think everyone can relate to her, I guess today everybody connects so easily, nobody really takes the time to sit down and talk and understand the other, everything goes so easily, that'€™s how you can connect with Marie.

Q: Do you think the film's portrayal of a broken family is a comment on French society today? - Erik Meers

I don'€™t think so, I think it is very universal, I don'€™t think it'€™s the French way. We have those kinds of family everywhere around the world. Everyone is divorced getting a new partner. I have two children and two stepdaughters and I'm not the only one. That'™s something that is very common in the world today.

Q: How does it feel to act in a film that is the Iranian entry to the Academy Awards? - Erik Meers

It feels great, and I'€™m very proud to be in this movie with this director. After The Artist, I couldn’t ask for better than that.

Q: What was the most challenging scene for you to perform? - Erik Meers

I think the scene when I get very, very mad with my daughter. This scene was very intense. We took two days to shoot this scene and Pauline [Burlet], the actress who plays my daughter, is amazing in that scene. Yeah, it was a big challenge for me.