Marion Cotillard did NOT say the US was behind 9/11 (updated)

A new bullshit storm is raining over the internet: this time, it’s a story that Marion Cotillard, this year’s Academy Award winner for Best Actress for La Vie en Rose, believes the US government was behind 9/11, or that 9/11 was "made up," based on comments from a year-old interview for the French TV program, Paris Premiere – Paris Derniere. Allow me set the record straight.

Here is the transcript, courtesy Marianne2‘s website, using previously quoted segments, completed with some assistance of Babel Fish (brushed up with my rudimentary understanding of French):

Ms. Cotillard, when asked what she thought about theories that French comedian, singer, and one-time presidential candidate Coluche’s 1986 death was not truly an accident: I tend rather often to take the side of the conspiracy theory.

Marianne2: A little paranoid?

Ms. Cotillard:  Not paranoid. No, it is not paranoid, because I think we’re lied to about a number of things: Coluche, September 11. You can see on the internet all the films of September 11 on the conspiracy theory. It’s fascinating, even addictive.

Marianne2: About September 11, for example, what disturbs you, specifically?

Ms. Cotillard: We see other towers of the same kind being hit by planes. Are they burned? There was a tower, I believe it was in Spain, which burned for 24 hours.

Marianne2: Before collapsing?

Ms. Cotillard: It never collapsed. None of these towers collapsed. And there [in New York], in a few minutes, the whole thing collapsed. 

The towers of September 11 were stuffed with gold.  It was a money-sucker because they were finished, it seems to me, by 1973, and to re-cable all that, to bring up-to-date all the technology and everything, it was a lot more expensive, that work, than destroying them…

Did a man really walk on the moon? I saw plenty of documentaries on it, and I really wondered. And in any case I don’t believe all they tell me, that’s for sure.

So yes, she seems to buy into some of the conspiracy theories, but some papers are taking it a bit far and saying that she says the US was behind 9/11 or that they were "orchestrated by the US government" (which, of course, some of the conspiracy theories do suggest). The beliefs that we aren’t being told everything and that the much more specific belief that the US murdered its own citizens on 9/11/01 (not that it hasn’t done it before) do not necessarily go hand-in-hand, and the inclusion of Coluche in her examples of how we are lied to indicate that her motives were hardly specifically "anti-American," as Daily Mail reporter Peter Allen — the apparent originator of this crap — characterizes them. The inclusion of Coluche also flies counter to Allen’s assertion that she "(singled) out the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center as an example of the US making up horror stories for political ends," yet other news sources are parroting it — and the Sunday Mirror even goes so far as to state that her comments were in response to a question about 9/11, not about Coluche.

My opinion (other than that supposed reporters need to learn how to fucking read)? People can talk about 9/11 conspiracy theories ’til their heads blow up, for all I care, but anybody who doubts the 1969 lunar landing is stupid, plain and simple. But so what if she believes that? Lots of actors are stupid. (EDIT: I should clarify that Ms. Cotillard does not explicitly deny that a man walked on the moon, and that I did not intend to imply this to be the case or to necessarily include her among the moon hoax adherents.)

Cotillard’s lawyer has told the French news agency AFP that the actress "never intended to contest nor question the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and regrets the way old remarks have been taken out of context."

Cotillard is currently working on Public Enemies for director Michael Mann (Heat).

UPDATE: Predictably, the news sources are starting to cover their asses. Since this post went up, Variety has already emended its article from saying that Cotillard claimed 9/11 was "orchestrated by the US government," to the… less inaccurate… statement that she "questions the U.S. government’s accounts of the attacks on the World Trade Center."

Related Posts: Two more for Dillinger’s gang in Public Enemies

Posted on March 3, 2008 at 00:45 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: News · Tagged with: 

7 Responses

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  1. Written by Silly Bob
    on 2008-03-03 at 01:37

    She didn’t say she didn’t believe we landed on the moon either, she said she saw documentaries and they made her think, they made me think too but I know we landed in ’69.

  2. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2008-03-03 at 01:44

    That would’ve been a REEEAAAALLY long headline.

    Anyway, thanks for the heads-up; I added a note to clarify that I didn’t mean to imply that Cotillard believed we had walked on the moon; as you can tell from the interview, she does not say this explicitly. But, certainly, the statement that she “really wondered” whether a man walked on the moon leaves that open for possibility. I don’t feel that characterizing that as “doubt” is inaccurate, but I was more talking about the conspiracy theorists who DO believe the moon hoax nonsense, not Cotillard (who may or may not).

  3. Written by Joe
    on 2008-03-03 at 10:17

    Local NYC news is taking this shit personally. One anchor told her to return the Oscar. But to be fair this anchor is traditionally stupid.

  4. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2008-03-03 at 10:24

    Of course they are.


  5. Written by YannDos
    on 2008-03-04 at 15:29

    Funny thing is, when you’re French, like me, Marion Coitllard saying dumb things is hardly surprising…
    Still, I know for sure that Coluche never landed on the moon.

  6. Written by nichnet
    on 2008-03-05 at 03:02


    Marion Cotillard’s Five-Step Plan for Destroying a Burgeoning Acting Career

    Seemingly on her way to stardom after winning the Best Actress Oscar a week ago, Marion Cotillard has stumbled upon what just may be the most surefire way imaginable to instantly erase all American goodwill and devastate her box-office potential:

    Step 1: Posit that 9/11 was a conspiracy designed to renovate the Twin Towers without having to pay for costly rewiring.

    Step 2: After denigrating America’s greatest tragedy, question the validity of America’s greatest accomplishment: landing a man on the moon.

    Step 3: Be French.

    Step 4: When confronted with your conspiracy theories, claim they were taken out of context, but don’t disown them.

    Step 5: In fact, remind America that it’s not the only one that makes movies and that you can simply film in other places.

    Done. That’s all it takes to complete the Marion Cotillard “Five-Step Plan for Destroying a Burgeoning Acting Career.” It’s that easy, friends. —Dan Amira

  7. Written by Chris
    on 2008-03-05 at 07:57


    When I published my first book, in ’98, and started giving interviews, I quickly noticed that what is being printed is always a lot more exciting than what I said during the actual interview.

    I feel bad for people whose lives are part of the circus… Lucky for me, I’m just a poet… ;)

    I’ll say this – if an actor’s good enough, he or she can get away with pretty much anything. Brando said some crazy stuff in his life, but when he acted, people paid attention.

    McAlpin – Good site. Fits in well with the comic.

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