Marion Cotillard Admits She Was 'Very Surprised' to Star in 'Two Days, One Night' (Video)

The actress was "more than perfect" in the drama, co-director Jean-Pierre Dardenne tells THR at Cannes.

Marion Cotillard has long been a fan of two-time Cannes Palme d'Or winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. But she never expected to star in one of the Belgian directors' films. 

Cotillard -- who won the Best Actress Oscar for playing Edith Piaf in 2007's Le Vie en Rose -- stars in the directors' Two Days, One Night, which premiered in competition at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. She plays Sandra, a struggling wife and mother who is at risk of losing her job.

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"Cannes is very special, and Cannes is very special for the Dardennes' movies, where their cinema was revealed to the world," Cotillard told The Hollywood Reporter. "So to share this with them is very, very moving." 

The Dardenne brothers won the coveted Palme d'Or in 1999 for Rosetta, and they won the big prize again in 2005 for L'Enfant. This is their first film with Cotillard, who won the Chopard Trophy at Cannes in 2004. 

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"I'm a big fan of their movies -- I've seen them all, and I love them all -- but I never thought they would think of me one day," she gushed. "So when they asked me if I wanted to work with them, I was very, very surprised, and very, very happy." 

The respect is mutual. "She is perfect," Jean-Pierre said of Cotillard's performance. "More than perfect."