Marion Cotillard says she never sees a role as a "challenge".
The Oscar-winning actress, 37, stars in Jacques Audiard's French drama Rust And Bone as a whale trainer who has lost her leg in a workplace accident.
She said of playing a paraplegic: "I never see a role as a challenge. It was powerful, one of the most powerful roles I've had.
"You learn a little more about the human soul with each movie you do, each character you take and each person you try to understand."
The La Vie En Rose star said of the film: "When I read the script, I realised it was something I had never done before. I don't tell many love stories and this one is very unusual. I totally fell in love with all the characters."
She added: "I didn't do any research about what it is to have lost a part of your body, because what was very important for me was that what she gained after the accident was much more than what she'd lost."
:: Rust And Bone opens in cinemas on Friday, November 2.