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Binoche had bizarre request on Arctic film

AAP logoAAP 13/09/2016 By Danielle McGrane

Juliette Binoche asked for a butcher's truck on the set of her movie Endless Night to help her replicate the Arctic conditions of Greenland.

Playing explorer Jospehine Peary as she follows her husband, North Pole explorer Robert Peary, on his last expedition in the Arctic meant many scenes of snow, frozen limbs and icy landscapes.

However, all this hardship was actually created in a hot studio in Bulgaria.

"Mostly it was actually boiling," Binoche told AAP.

"Shooting in a studio with heavy lights and having many kilos of furs and layers every day was the difficulty. At a certain time I asked to have a butcher truck to keep cold at the studio, but I used it only once, because I was on set all the time going from one scene to the next one," she said.

"Finally we had to let go of the truck and as actors we had to find the cold by ourselves."

The film also stars Gabriel Byrne as explorer Bram Trevor, but the person Binoche shares most of her scenes with is actress Rinko Kikuchi who plays an Inuit woman called Allaka

In the film, they realise they are both waiting for Robert Peary who has had an affair with Allaka, and end up becoming close in their efforts to survive in this difficult climate.

"Josephine starts very strong and finishes very weak, but finds a missing link at the end, which is the experience of love," Binoche said.

Josephine is forced to abandon her pride in order to survive and finds that love, confronting Allaka's difference.

"It feels to me that this film has some kind of reminiscence of what we're going through in our world, if we don't descend from our pride and greedy mentality and actions, if we don't find another way of behaving and living, we will not survive," Binoche said.

The film enters the French actress' canon of work, a lot of which has centred around female relationships. Over the past two years, there has been Clouds of Sils Maria with Kristen Stewart, The Wait with Lou de Laage and now Endless Night with Kikuchi.

As far as she's concerned, it's become a necessity to share the female experience on screen.

"As a woman, of course I think it is important to witness what we're going through, we are at least half the world," she said.

"And the feminine side of ourselves, of all of us, men and women, is urgently necessary. We live in a masculine world, that has been developed over the years, missing totally the other side: compassion."

Within her own industry, Binoche believes that there has been positive movements towards gender equity and cites Kiwi director Jane Campion (Top Of The Lake, The Piano) as someone at the forefront of that movement.

"See what Jane Campion has done in the world, and now it is really growing," she said.

"I can tell you that there are many new women directors in France, it is really changing."

Binoche has had a long career which is showing no sign of letting up but the secret to this longevity lies with her attitude.

"I have the feeling that I have nothing to lose, that life is all about giving and learning," she said.

"Choosing who you want to share it with, is the real gift."

* Endless Night is in select cinemas across the country.

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