Isabelle Huppert says she wasn't blonde enough to work with Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock's masterworks are famous for exploring dark depths of human psyche and his preference for blonde muses, and veteran French actor Isabelle Huppert joked about the director's enduring yet disturbing obsession with his light-toned heroines.

Huppert, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), has worked with almost all the acclaimed filmmakers in global cinema, but according to her, she never got an opportunity to collaborate with Hitchcock as she wasn't "blonde enough".

"I wish I could have worked with Alfred Hitchcock. I would have loved to work with him. But I think I wasn't blonde enough to work with Hitchcock," the 66-year-old celebrated actor quipped during a masterclass here on Thursday.

Hitchock's affinity towards blondes started with cameos and his first film with a blonde lead was 1926's "The Lodger", featuring actor June Tripp.

In the coming years, the 'Hitchcock blonde' reached its peak as the director roped in Ingrid Bergman ("Notorious"), Eva Marie Saint ("North by Northwest"), Grace Kelly ("Dial M for Murder", "Rear Window") as his mystery women.

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Huppert, who made her debut in 1971, five years before Hitchcock directed his last film "Family Plot", added that "I was an actor enough to work with" such big names as she always required a lot of freedom to perform in front of the camera.

She credited her frequent collaborators German filmmaker Werner Schroeter and Austrian director Michael Haneke for giving her the space she required as an actor.

"Schroeter was an extraordinary theatre and movie director. He was very interesting. He had such a different vision and was a unique artiste.

"He inspired me a lot. He was a like poet. And it is always tough to bring poetry on screen," Huppert said about the late helmer, with whom she worked on memorable films like "Deux", "Malina", among others.

Praising Haneke, who directed her in "The Piano Teacher", "Amour" and "Happy End", the actor said he is one of the most "technically" sound filmmakers she has worked with.

"Everybody expects Micahel Haneke to be very difficult but as a person he is very easy. He is very nice and sometimes even very funny. But he is mostly interested in the technical expect of movie making. He wants movies to be as real as possible.

"He is obsessed with technicality of movie making and when it comes to emotions he leaves it to his actors. That is why he is so fun to work with, because an actor always wants to take care of his own responsibility and have the freedom," she said.

Huppert's Golden Globe-winning drama "Elle" will be screened at IFFI on Friday.

The film festival will conclude on November 28.

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