In the new movie "Stillwater," Matt Damon plays Bill Baker, an oil-rig worker from Oklahoma who travels to the south of France to try to free his daughter from prison. But Damon's character does not speak any french. So, he relies on an initially standoffish actress and single mom, portrayed by Camille Cottin, to help him navigate the situation.
Damon said he didn't know Cottin before they worked together on the film, but he came away calling her fantastic.
"She was just phenomenal," Damon told 60 Minutes+ correspondent Seth Doane. "When an actor is great, they are good enough for both of you. And all you have to do is just look at the person and you get pulled in. And she's one of those, you know? And so all these scenes that we have together is a really specific relationship we're trying to create because it's not two people you think would come together and you have to invest in it and believe in it – and she was just fantastic."
"He was always in the energy of the character," Cottin said of Damon. "He was Matt, but he was so concentrated that I-- he completely disappeared for me. I didn't see Matt Damon anymore. I saw Bill Baker and it really helped me because I forgot I was, like, with this legend."
Doane interviewed Cottin from the Cannes Film Festival in her home country of France for a report streaming now on 60 Minutes+. On display throughout the interview was Cottin's ability to not take herself too seriously, but she knows she's at a point in her career in which studio heads – and much of Hollywood – are watching closely.
Most in the U.S. know her for her role in the smart, almost absurdist Netflix series "Call My Agent," originally made for French TV. The show, which wrapped up its 4th season before the first COVID lockdown, goes inside the world of a talent agency.
Doane asked Cottin why she thought the show resonated with American audiences.
"It's about cinema – and we've been deprived for two years, you know, it was-- it was difficult to produce," Cottin said. "And the producer, he spent, like, seven years trying to sell it to a channel. and many channels turned it down And they all said, 'Oh, it's too boutique. It's-- it's niche. The real people, they-- they won't care.' And so even in France, it started as a surprise-- that it was a success."
"It's a dream factory," Cottin continued, "and it's an ode to this dream factory, pointing the craziness of it, the absurdity, but the passion. So I think this is quite universal."
For more from Doane's interview with Cottin, check out the report on 60 Minutes+, streaming now only on Paramount+.