What Loren gave Cotillard

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

True to their common cause (protecting the environment), Sen. Loren Legarda gave French actress Marion Cotillard a native tote bag as a send-off gift.

“The bag was made of abel from Bontoc, Mountain Province, and abaca from Lake Sebu,” Loren told Funfare. “Cotillard loved it.”

During Cotillard’s two-day visit with Pres. Francois Hollande of France, she and Loren became instant soulmates when they met in two of the official events before the French delegation flew to the Yolanda--devastated Guiuan, Eastern Samar, to which the French government gave financial support.

At the launch of the Manila Call to Action on Climate Change in Malacañang, Loren (who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, Environment & Natural Resources) and Cotillard, who acts as spokesperson for Greenpeace, read the Philippines-France joint statement.

“I read the first five pages in English,” said Loren, “and Cotillard read the last five pages in French.”

Without make-up, Cotillard looks even more beautiful, photographed Friday afternoon at a French school in Parañaque City visited by French Pres. Francois Hollande’s entourage STAR/Joven Cagande

The document is a joint appeal of the two nations urging the international community towards climate action and cooperation, and to ensure a successful global climate agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) which will be hosted by France in December this year.

At the forum Towards COP 21: The Civil Society Mobilized for the Climate organized by the French Embassy, Loren stressed the urgent need for nations to undertake collective action against climate change and its impacts…“to ensure that the future generations will have the benefits of a balanced and healthful ecology…” 

Movie fans (especially of foreign films) know Cotillard mostly for her award-winning performances, among them La Vie en Rose, in which she plays French singer Edith Piaf, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar in 2008, the same year she won the same award at France’s Cesars (its version of the Oscars); and Two Days, One Night, which earned her a Best Actress nomination at the recent Oscars.

What the fans perhaps don’t know is Cotillard’s environmental activism. She has joined campaigns for environmental protection, particularly Greenpeace with which she traveled to Congo to visit tropical rainforests threatened by logging companies. She has also designed her own doll for UNICEF France campaign Les Frimousses Font Leur Cinema, sold to raise funds for the vaccination of thousands of children in Darfur. She is also the patron of Maud Fontenoy Foundation, a non-government organization dedicated to teaching children about preserving the oceans.

That’s the advocacy that brought the two environmentalists closer even if their meeting was much too brief.

“As a developing nation that contributes a mere .03 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases,” Loren added in her speech at Malacañang, “we have done our share in the world’s mitigation efforts and we implore the world’s largest economies to deliver their concrete commitments on greenhouse gas emission reductions. This is not the time for restraint or for wagging the finger of indictment. This is the moment for collective action.

“If we start today, there is no promise that we will be lucky enough to see the undoing of the damage within our lifetime, but at least, we leave our world with the gift of hope for a better, kinder future.”

Besides the environment, the two ladies did talk about other, lighter topics. In an interview with GMA’s 24 Oras reporter JP Soriano, Cotillard said she would love to taste Filipino food and asked JP for suggestion. “Try adobo,” said JP.

“Cotillard told me that she was familiar with adobo because the yaya of her three-year-old child, whose name is Elma, is a Filipina who sometimes cooks Filipino dishes,” Loren told Funfare. “So I told Cotillard, ‘You should try sinigang.’ She asked what sinigang was and I described it to her. She treats the yaya like a member of the family.”

Asked what province in the Philippines the yaya Elma hailed from, Cotillard thought for a while and smiled, telling Loren that she didn’t know. “It’s 40 kilometers from Manila,” Cotillard said.

When Cotillard said she’d love to come back maybe for a longer visit, Loren reiterated her invitation.

“I told her that she and her companions can stay in my place and I will let her taste more Filipino food. She’s so humble, walang ka-ere-ere. She’s an actress, very professional, so she was punctual, arriving 30 minutes before an appointment.”

Loren became so fascinated with Cotillard that, I guess, she will soon start watching more of Cotillard’s films. Here are some of them (besides the two titles mentioned earlier): A Very Long Engagement (2004), Nine (2009, with Antonio Banderas), Inception (2010, with Leonardo DiCaprio), Rust and Bone (2012), The Immigrant (2013) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012, with Christian Bale).

Also, Loren will be thrilled to know that, last year, Cotillard was named “The Most Bankable French Actress of the 21st Century,” with over 37 million in ticket sales in France alone (2001 to 2014).

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected].)

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