Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard is taking her latest role–as John Dillinger’s girlfriend Billie Frechette in PUBLIC ENEMIES–to heart; Cotillard recently visited the Menominee Indian Reservation, where Billie Frechette grew up, to gain insight into her character by discussing Billie’s life with tribal elders. “She was born and raised here,” explains David Grignon, director of the Menominee tribal historic preservation office. “A lot of elders still know stories of Billie and Dillinger. They still talk about it.” After meeting in a Chicago dance hall in 1933, Billie Frechette and John Dillinger traveled together for six months, until Frechette’s arrest in 1934. She spent two years in prison and later wrote about their life on the run. To see a larger version of our photo of Marion Cotillard greeting Johnny Depp on the PUBLIC ENEMIES set, click here.
Rebecca Alegria, researcher/planner for the tribe’s historic preservation office, told Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter Mike Hoecht that Cotillard “wanted to know more about her character, what the reservation looked like and what it was like to grow up there.” Ron Corn Jr., who teaches the Menominee language at the tribal high school and whose maternal grandmother is a Frechette, told Hoecht that Cotillard asked about the French names: “She seemed genuinely interested in learning her character.” PUBLIC ENEMIES’ publicist David Fulton told Hoecht that Cotillard’s visit was part of her research: “This is an example of giving actors as much information as possible to get inside their characters.” To see a photo of Marion Cotillard during her visit to the Menominee Indian Reservation, click here, and to read Mike Hoecht’s article in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, click here.
The Zone thanks Emma for the Marion Cotillard story; you can read more about it on the Porch. –Part-Time Poet