Cotillard takes a sip of fresh orange juice and reflects on the singer who inspired this life-changing performance. "My desire was not to try to imitate her technically," she says of Piaf, who died of cancer in 1963 at age 47. "I wanted to understand what was inside that woman, what was inside her heart and soul." To do so, Cotillard front-loaded her brain with all things Piaf until she was brimming with her ineffable essence. She also befriended the singer's old friend Ginou Richer, who revealed that Piaf wasn't such a tragic figure after all. "She loved life, she loved to be happy, and she was funny," Cotillard says.
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