French actress Audrey Tautou has blasted the subject of her new film COCO AVANT CHANEL - insisting the iconic couturier was a "liar".
The star takes on the role of Coco Chanel in the revealing new biopic, which documents the designer's life before she became a fashion sensation.
Chanel has been accused of conspiring with Nazis during World War II over claims she was living with a German lover during the conflict.
But Tautou, who has been tipped for an Oscar with her portrayal of Chanel, insists it's impossible to uncover the real truth behind the legend - because she constantly lied.
She tells Sky News, "She was a liar, so it's difficult to know who she was before she became famous and had some success.
"She didn't want to talk about her youth. I don't know why, maybe she was ashamed or maybe she didn't want people to feel pity for her because she came from a poor family."
And the The Da Vinci Code star admits she was apprehensive about taking on such a character - because Chanel is so revered in her native France.
She adds, "It's not scary, but it's more of a responsibility. I didn't want to betray her. I wanted to have a sense of her character, her personality.
"It was more interesting to get as deep as possible in her sensitivity and creation, rather than just giving the main cliche of her life."