Ten reasons why we love Catherine Deneuve

We give the European Film Award winning actress some love

Last week, veteran French actress Catherine Deneuve was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Film Awards. Movies.ie was on hand in a very snowy Berlin, and fell back in love with the cool Queen of European cinema as she seemed slightly bemused by all the fuss. We decided to take the opportunity to look back over the actress’s career, and remind you just why Deneuve is just so wonderful.

Catherine Deneuve has appeared in over 100 films. Not only is that seriously impressive, but she is focused on going forward that she rarely ever looks back on her past work.
… At the European Film Awards, Deneuve confessed “I have my films on DVD, but I never look at them because I never have time”.

Deneuve’s breakout role was in THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG in 1964.
… Not only was every line of dialogue in the film sung, but Deneuve quickly established herself as the epitome of French cinema royalty.

Deneuve is still a heavy smoker, in an era where smoking is not the romanticised pastime it once was.
… OK, let us explain this one, we don’t condone smoking, but we love that Catherine refuses to bow to pressure and does not make a secret of the fact that she likes a cigarette. In fact, during a press conference held in a Madrid hotel in March 2011 to promote POTICHE, she was told to put out her cigarette and refused by saying she would pay the fine instead, saying “I think it is all very excessive”.

When she was the face of Chanel No. 5 in the late 1970s, Deneuve caused sales of the perfume to soar.
… So much so, that she was nominated as the world’s most elegant woman by the American press.

Catherine got her part in DANCER IN THE DARK by writing a letter to director Lars Von Trier after she saw BREAKING THE WAVES.
… Getting that letter must have been a slightly surreal moment for the director.

From 1985 to 1989, Deneuve was used to represent Marianne, the national symbol of France.
… She then asked that the rights owed to her from this be given to Amnesty International.

While she is a formidable presence on screen, Catherine Deneuve suffers from stage fright.
… This means she has rarely performed on stage. We love that she does not make a secret of this either.

Despite being almost universally hailed as a great beauty, Deneuve appeared in an episode of NIP/TUCK in 2006.
… She played a woman who wanted her breasts augmented in a rather unusual manner.

In 1972, Deneuve signed the Manifesto of the 343, an admission by its signers to have practiced illegal abortions and therefore exposed themselves to judicial actions and prison sentences.
… This manifesto contributed to the adoption, in December 1974-January 1975, of the Veil Law, named for Health Minister Simone Veil, that repealed the penalty for voluntarily terminating a pregnancy during the first ten weeks (later extended to twelve weeks).

Although she was married in the past, Deneuve is unsurprisingly honest on her thoughts on marriage; “I don’t see any reason for marriage when there is divorce”.
… This may be slightly unromantic, but we love her pragmatism.

Words: Brogen Hayes