Charlotte Gainsbourg: I’m a masochist

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg “abuses” herself.

The actress likes to take on controversial projects, her latest being Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, which tells the story of a woman who opens up about her sexual past.

It contains scenes of violence and sadomasochism, but the 42-year-old is no stranger to themes of abuse.

“I like it,” she said of the more violent scenes in the latest edition of British Marie Claire.

“I’m probably a bit of a masochist. Then again, let’s be honest, I’m faking pain. I know we’re playing a game. I abuse myself very easily in real life. I like criticism. Anything that’s hard or negative is enjoyable to me, up to a point.”

Charlotte generally prefers to stay out of the limelight, which has often been mistaken as shyness.

She’s not a fan of the term and insists it doesn’t apply to her.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been shy,” she said.

“For a long time I found it convenient to let people believe I was, as a kind of protection. I think that the word shy is a little corny. I feel discomfort, rather than shyness.”

The actress admitted that she aims to provoke people with her controversial career choices and that she’d be bored if she wasn’t “pushed to her limit”.

She never worries about alienating her fan base.

“If that becomes a fear then I can’t do anything anymore,” she laughed.

“I don’t want to please people. Obviously it must be a shock to see well-behaved little Charlotte from [1985 film] L’effrontée do Nymphomaniac.”

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