Marion Cotillard wasn't very sociable as a teenager.

The 38-year-old actress admits she held herself back during her younger years and she turned to acting as a way of finding happiness, but she found that her choice in career allowed her to find her inner self and not hide behind her emotions.

She said: ''I was crazy, but I was not wild. I was not very sociable, not very happy either. I could do crazy things but in a way to destroy myself.

''I decided to be an actress. Perhaps the idea was to escape - but I released that it was the exact opposite, that it was the only way to meet myself. To meet my true self and not to escape anymore ... being someone else helped me to find my true self.''

The brunette beauty believes her career took a turn for the better after she was offered the role of Tina Lombardi in 'The Very Long Engagement', which won her a French Cesar, and then playing Edith Piaf in 'La Vie en Rose'.

She explained to The Belfast Telegraph newspaper: ''I started to get proposals of good roles in America - and it was watching American films that first got me interested in acting.''