Drawing: Isabelle Huppert in The Maids

Autographed drawing of Isabelle Huppert in The Maids at the New York City Centre in August 2014

Despite a nearly five decade film and theatre career, Isabelle Huppert really only appeared on the Hollywood radar two years ago with her Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination for her role as Michelle Leblanc in Paul Verhoeven’s neo-noir rape-revenge psychological thriller ELLE.

Recognised as one of France’s most acclaimed and decorated actors… in fact, France’s MOST decorated according to ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Isabelle Huppert’, written by the HuffPost’s Matthew Jacobs after Isabelle’s Oscar nod. “Isabelle Huppert is a certified legend. Phrased differently, Huppert is France’s Meryl Streep,” he said.

In 2013 Isabelle returned to the stage with Cate Blanchett in Jean Genet’s THE MAIDS for the Sydney Theatre Company, playing sisters, Solange and Claire in the new English translation by director Benedict Andrews and Andrew Upton. The original 1947 play was based on the notorious murder case in which two homicidal sisters killed their mistress and her daughter. The production transferred to New York for the summer’s theatrical centrepiece at the Lincoln Centre Festival in August 2014.

Isabelle signed my sketch after her reading of the MARQUIS DE SADE at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s Southbank Centre a couple of weeks ago.

Drawing: Isabelle Huppert

isabelle-huppert

It’s early days in the Oscar race, but Isabelle Huppert’s performance in the psychological thriller ELLE has her in nomination contention. Many pundits believe that the veteran French actress pulls off one of the year’s most challenging characters -a rape victim who refuses to let her abuse define her. In Dutch director Paul Verhoeven’s first feature for a decade, Isabelle plays Michele who stalks her attacker. After a strong showing in competition at Cannes, the film has been selected as France’s official entry in the Foreign Language category at next year’s Academy Awards.

Isabelle has appeared in over 100 films and TV productions since 1971, winning a BAFTA and a record 15 nominations for France’s highest film award, the Cesar, winning in 1995 for LA CEREMONIE. She was in London last week with Paul attending the ELLE in-competition screening at this year’s BFI London Film Festival where she signed my drawing.