CANNES- Actress Isabelle Huppert took on a string of taboos in the Oscar-nomination rape-revenge thriller “Elle”. Now she wants to push another boundary.“I would love to play a man. For an actress that’s the ultimate challenge,” the French star who admits to “reading a lot of the Marquis de Sade at the moment”, told a talk at the Cannes film festivaL.

Huppert, who made her name playing icy murderers, sado-masochists and abortionists, has teamed up for a third time with Michael Haneke for “Happy End”, which is the running for the festival’s top prize. The Austrian’s fierce take on the refugee crisis, which premieres Monday, is about a wealthy family who live near Calais in northern France, where thousands of migrants camped waiting for a chance to cross the Channel to Britain.


Huppert, 64, said she had no regrets about taking roles that sometimes made audiences squirm.


“I neither need to love nor not like a character (to play them). Cinema is not about presenting the nice side of people to the world, but to show what is difficult to admit,” she told a “Women in Motion” talk.


“I prefer roles that cross the lines rather than those that go straight,” she added.