As a young girl, Corsage star Vicky Krieps was a big fan of the 1950s Sissi series of films. When, at age 14, she read a biography about the real-life Empress Elisabeth, she was convinced somebody should make a movie that delved into her story.
“I saw these Romy Schneider movies when I was a little girl and because in my household it was all about Janis Joplin and I was not allowed to watch princess movies, it was very exciting when I could go to my neighbor’s and watch princess movies which was Sissi,” she told Deadline during a visit to our Cannes Studio.
When Krieps, who took Un Certain Regard’s Best Performance prize this weekend for her portrayal of Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) in Marie Kreutzer’s drama, read the biography, “it was enough to leave me with this enigma and puzzle about why was the woman like this. Why was she building the first fitness machines? What was her problem? Was she crazy?”
Years later, when she suggested to Kreutzer someone ought to make a film, the director was not interested, Krieps said. But three years later, “without a word, I get a finished script in my postbox with a postcard saying, ‘I did go to the archive and you are right’,” Krieps recalled.
There are parallels between Corsage and Krieps’ other Cannes entry, Emily Atef’s More Than Ever about a woman facing a fatal diagnosis who goes on a journey of self-discovery. Said Krieps, “Both have strong female stories, both are about emancipation and both women are suffocating. One because she has an actual disease and the other because of psychological reasons and society not letting her breathe.”
The character of Sissi “was about melancholia and suffering from society,” said Krieps. “I know this sounds very f***ed up and weird, but all she wanted was to feel something, to have a real problem, to be facing a real physical boundary, something you can hit your head on. When you’re a princess, everything is surreal, everything is not really there, everything is brought to you… So to me, More Than Ever was like a fantasy, a dream journey for Sissi almost, where she could live a real woman’s life and have a real physical problem.”
Aero is the official sponsor of the Deadline Studio at Cannes Film Festival, sponsors are Soia & Kyo and Jamones Iberico from Spain: Ambassadors of Europe in the World
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