‘I told Steven that if he wanted to cast me as a dinosaur I’d be happy to play one,’ French screen icon Juliette Binoche disclosed to me last night. Sadly, I wasn’t enjoying an intimate tête-a-tête with the actress and her admission was shared with a rapt audience at London’s BFI Southbank. The revelation that she turned down a role in Spielberg’s Hollywood blockbuster Jurassic Park in favour of appearing in Krzyzstof Kieslowski’s Euro arthouse classic Three Colours: Blue prompted the biggest cheer of the evening, a Guardian Interview accompanying a two-month retrospective of Binoche’s 25-year film career, Jubilations.
The film season showcases Binoche’s impressive range as an actress, but her versatility doesn’t stop there. She also paints, dances and writes poetry. The BFI Southbank atrium is showcasing an exhibition of her paintings – portraits of the directors she has worked with and of herself in character – and a book of her poems and paintings has just been published. As if this wasn’t enough activity for one person, she is also starring in and co-directing a dance spectacle, In-I, at the National Theatre, in collaboration with choreographer Akram Khan and artist Anish Kapoor. The whole project then goes on tour to Sydney, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi and Paris.
So Steven, if you’re thinking of calling Juliette anytime in the next year, the answer will undoubtedly be, ‘Non.’