Following her critically acclaimed performance in 2011’s The Artist, Bérénice Bejo is back in the hunt for Oscar.
The 36-year-old Argentine Oscar-nominated actress earned best actress honors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Bejo fought back emotion as she picked up her award on Sunday for her starring role in Asghar Farhadi‘s French-language film The Past.
Bejo, who rose to international acclaim with the Best Picture-winning silent film The Artist, plays a wife who asks her estranged husband to return from Iran to finalize their divorce.
After the awards ceremony, Bejo said she was touched by the honor but felt uncomfortable with the idea of taking credit for Oscar winner Farhadi’s Paris-set family drama.
“It is special to get a best performance prize; it is for me and I cannot imagine getting something just for me,” said Bejo. “I would be nothing if there weren’t other actors, the director, photography, and all the members of the crew.”
“It is as if the film is being reduced just to me and I can’t envision that,” she added, speaking in French.
Bejo — who was born in Argentina and speaks fluent Spanish as well as English — is married to Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, which swept the 2012 Oscars with five awards including Best Picture.
Speaking earlier in the festival, she said she received offers from Hollywood after the success of The Artist.
But she said the chance to keep working in Paris with “one of the world’s best directors” was more tempting.
She said the shifting perceptions in Farhadi’s films, where things are never quite what they seem, had drawn her to the character of Marie.
“For an actress it was quite an extraordinary experience — things appear true and then turn out to be completely different,” she said.