The actress and Chanel muse has been hiding a secret talent for photography

It's been more 15 years since Amélie shot French actress Audrey Tautou into fame, making her a household name as both a talented actress and a charming French ingénue.  But it was also something Tautou herself did not expect - according to an interview with Hettie Judar of the New York Times, fame was something that took her by surprise. To find some kind of balance and perspective, the actress turned to photography. "I needed to do it," she says. Explaining how she would take photos of journalists who would interview her. "Maybe because of what happened to me with this huge celebrity suddenly - it was a way for me to take a bit of distance from the storm."

Next month, the Chanel muse will open her first ever exhibition, held  as part of the annual Rencontres d'Arles photography festival in France. There, she will premiere her photos of journalists, alongside self-portraits, including many taken with her posing  with props, costumes, lighting and such. "I adapt myself to the location, which is always some intimate place - a place that I owned or at my parents' house," she says, noting that she carries a camera everywhere. "Once I take the photos, I don't retouch and I don't change the framing at all. I don't cheat on anything." Tautou also drops Martin Parr, Brassaï, Nan Goldin, André Kertész and Francesca Woodman as some of her main photographic influences.

Revealing herself as an artist, the show gives us a fascinating look into Tautou's psyche and her secret passion for photography. "For me it was a necessity to deliver myself from this work," she explained. "I've been keeping it to myself for so much time, even those around me don't know this work."

Read the full article here, and click through to see some of her photos. 

"Audrey Tautou, Superfacial", 3 July-24 September, Abbaye De Montmajour, Rencontres d'Arles, France. rencontres-arles.com

Inside Audrey Tautou’s art exhibition