Beautiful Marion Cotillard covers The Hollywood Reporter and inside she dishes on motherhood, The Dark Knight Rises, but also on her childhood and growing up in the suburb of Alfortville. “I was living in an HLM,” she says. “I come from ‘la cite.’ That’s who I am. As they’d say here, ‘I’m still this girl from the Bronx.’ ” As on her angry youth, the actress confesses that, “I really didn’t know how I would spend my life. I didn’t like anything about myself – my looks, my personality. I was very, very angry.”

Cotillard’s father started as a mime and then became a director, while her mother was an actress. “I have very vivid memories of going with her to rehearsals,” Cotillard says. “I was fascinated. I always wanted to be an actress.”

It was in 2007 when Marion got the role that made her famous in ‘La Vie en Rose’, a film that tells the story of Edith Piaf’s difficult life. Speaking about her part and not sleeping during the shoot, Cotillard told The Hollywood Reporter that, “A very good friend told me, ‘Well, Edith Piaf wouldn’t sleep at night, and maybe that’s why you’re not sleeping.’ Maybe. But I would sleep during the makeup sessions and I was kind of happy when they lasted five hours!”

Well, even though she is now renowned, Marion is not used to the paparazzi. “I was 4-1/2 months pregnant and I went to this store in Paris. I was in the dressing room and looked at my belly, and they took a picture! It was horrible. It really made me sick physically,” the actress recalls.

Marion Cotillard for The Hollywood Reporter Marion Cotillard for The Hollywood Reporter

Marion admits that when she heard that director Christopher Nolan wanted her for a role in his next movie she was absolutely thrilled. “I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, his next movie is supposed to be Batman!’ And I’ve always been obsessed with Batman,” the French actress says in her interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

As The Dark Knight Rises started shooting in May 2011, exactly when her first child, Marcel, with actor-director Guillaume Canet, was due, the actress says that, “I called Chris and said, ‘My God, I can’t do that!'” Still, Nolan was ready to wait. The actress started filming Knight in June 2011. Cotillard confirms she plays Miranda Tate, “an ecologically minded businesswoman who “is fascinated by Wayne Enterprises.”

As on playing a young whale trainer in Jacques Audiard’s ‘Rust and Bone’, Cotillard says that, “It was a very weird experience because I came back from the United States and was totally jetlagged. I arrived directly in Antibes where their Marineland water park is. I’ve always had a repulsion going in a place where animals are in captivity. I had to work through my rejection of this world, which I still feel. But I had a job. And even though the orcas are as big as trucks, they’re animals, and you have a connection with them.”

She next adds that, “Training in the Mediterranean was hard because I couldn’t use my legs and there were strong currents, and it was freezing in October.”

A few years ago, Marion thought about giving up acting and become an environmental activist. Still, she didn’t abandon her first love yet she decided to work with Greenpeace, and in 2010 she went to Congo. “The first days, I was totally depressed,” she says. “I thought, There’s nothing we can do to save this forest. But now I think we can change things if we really want to.”

Read Marion Cotillard’s full interview in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

Marion Cotillard for The Hollywood Reporter Marion Cotillard for The Hollywood Reporter

Marion Cotillard for The Hollywood Reporter Marion Cotillard

Photos courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter