December 15th, 2011
03:15 PM ET
At the end of “The Artist,” rising star Peppy Miller finally receives the fame and recognition she deserves. And now the same can be said for the actress who plays her, Bérénice Bejo.
On Thursday, Bejo earned the Golden Globe nomination for best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picture for her portrayal in “The Artist.” She also nabbed a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for the same movie and category the day before.
“The Artist” follows a silent film actor, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), from the peak of his success in 1927 to his sudden fall to oblivion with the arrival of the talkies and the rise of his young co-star and eventual love interest, Miller.
The movie, which is a silent black-and-white film, has received lots of praise, and has become a favorite among critics this awards season.
Bejo said that she was quite surprised and proud about the nomination. The Argentine-born French actress said that, like her character, she has been on a similar journey in the film industry, which helped in approaching the role.
“I can definitely relate to Peppy because I actually started as an extra in movies,” she told CNN.
Critics have lauded the film for not only its warmth but for also being a brilliant homage to silent films. Bejo said that she performed the role as she would have in any movie, and that the silence is more obvious to viewers.
“The difference and the challenge is more for the audience, for us it was quite easy,” she said. “The body language comes out more, you definitely look more at the actors. Because you can’t hear them, you watch them more.”
In fact, Bejo said that had “The Artist” been a talking movie, she doesn’t think that her character would have been any different because of how expressive Miller is as a person.
She also said that she enjoyed working with John Goodman - who, she said, “has a beautiful face” - and that she considers Dujardin her brother.
And since her husband, Michel Hazanavicius, wrote and directed the movie, Bejo added that she was able to understand his vision and play out her part better.
“It made it so much easier,” Bejo said. “I just wanted to please him and he made me feel really good and confident. This movie is all about love and making something special. It’s really a love letter to Hollywood and to the American people.”
The actress said she is currently wrapping up filming for the French movie, “Populaire.”
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