“I have my body, I am my body, I have dark circles, and European cinema allows me to impose it”

Thanks to her gaming instinct and physical presence, she can play just about anything. The actress presents two films in Cannes, future crimes by David Cronenberg, and beautiful morning, by Mia Hansen Love. A perfect balance for the Vuitton muse at the top of her game.

It is rumored that in the beginning of March when My wife’s story From Ildiko Ennedi, Léa Seydoux received a letter from Catherine Deneuve telling her of her joy. It was the first. And you have to hear in this letter from Queen Deneuve something of a rendition between two actresses who have so many things in common: a form of implacable sensuality, made up of daring and elegance, golden hair, fierce love, bravery, authoritative cinema, and undeniable international influence. Above all, they both belong to the category of actress called by Arnaud Despelchin, who directed them, with all the admiration of the world for “filmmakers”, a rare class of those who can also claim the title of author, spreading from film to filming not the same, always the same, That would be very boring, but an idea of ​​a woman, of a woman, that one and not the other, that each movie reveals a little more.

This year again, Léa Seydoux shocked us in two films, future crimes And beautiful morning. One is signed by one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, Canadian David Cronenberg, and the other is by one of contemporary cinema’s greatest hopefuls, French Mia Hansen Love. Both films will be in Cannes. Cronenberg hits theaters at the same time. When we called her to talk about her, one Saturday afternoon, Léa Seydoux was in New York. A ray of sunlight fills the room. hi leah…?

Video My Wife’s Story Trailer

Madame Figaro . – Before talking about your double news in Cannes, I would like to go back to Cannes last year, this missed opportunity …
Leah Seydoux.- Having four films in competition like last year is something that never happened, and there it is… I caught Covid in the middle of filmingbeautiful morning, The film Mia Hansen-Løve, which will be shown in Cannes this year at Fortnight. We were filming at Epahds, in hospitals. I knew I was positive when I left for Cannes. Suddenly, I am at home, in Paris, in front of the Internet, deprived of this unique encounter between the films of which I was so proud and in the fresh air. And there… we become fatalists. (He laughs). She chose life.

In Cannes, in 2021, cinema was reborn, it was a powerful symbol of the life that can be resumed …
Cinema is always on the side of life. Which is why walking away from this comeback to life seemed to me absurd. Personally, I don’t like it when things go wrong, in love, at work, in friendship – but we face it every day: we all have moments when we are trapped in nothingness. Being an actress helps overcome it, and that’s undeniable. The career of an actress has this very thing: you live in a character for eight weeks, and suddenly you make him die … Maybe to defend myself from her, but I have the impression that I act in a movie in a movie for one character. , whom I give feelings and character traits that are mine. This character is wandering. These are differences from me. But in reality, when you make a movie, you present yourself completely, you put hope and energy into it, and then you are denied it. You have to learn to live with that. There is little side to death.

Is there a cure for this?
Shoot other movies quickly. Try different things. future crimes David Cronenberg’s movie has that interest for me. It’s a powerful movie. It is a metaphor for what it means to be an artist today: our increasing physical, physical, and sexual relationship to suffering, to transcendence. It is with great pride that we take part in the work of such a director. Great directors, when you meet them, there is always something cheerful, and at the same time completely abstract. One wonders what they are doing except that they see it. There, for example, the movie might look opaque once you read the script, and you wondered how that would convey in the picture. It’s a feeling that I really like: not knowing everything in advance, not understanding everything in advance, makes shooting exciting.

Léa Seydoux, cover story

The movie is about the body, its modifications, post-human, and disturbing weirdness. On set, on a daily basis, for you who have to play these extraordinary scenes, how does that translate?
Cronenberg takes very little. In a scenario that is dense and unreal and I have to play it in a language that is not mine. So it was very confusing at times.

We especially wanted to tell you that in this film you are, in the continuity of the roles you played for Arnaud Distribution (deception (or Wes Anderson)French Dispatch ): extreme physical presence, almost sensational distance, sarcasm, use of language as a weapon …
Today the question of the position in the cinema for the actress has become complicated.

So his existence in his place above all does not have one?
No, I wouldn’t say that either. It is to make it move, its place, to make it travel, from one country to another, with different modes of action, to choose if possible projects that avoid repetition. I am honored to be able to make the films that I love. They’re not necessarily unanimous, I’m not the most advertised either, and I’ve never had a Cesar, but I still feel like I’m in the right place. Even from a geographical point of view: I tour with authors from all over the world, and I see that I am allowed more freedom as a French actress.

Will there be a special status for the French actress?
Yes… my American actress friends know it all too well, they are the ones who are under more pressure from the agents, from the industry, which makes Hollywood. The box office decides their career and which films they have to make. Even more, unimaginable, to have a structure that the industry has no control over. I have a body, I am my body, I have black circles. I don’t want to erase it. European cinema allows me to impose it. But ironically, it was Hollywood cinema that taught me to love bodies with the marks of life: Marilyn Monroe’s body, Liz Taylor’s body, Jenna Rowlands’ body, we can hear the life left by the cracks, the doubts. It’s going.

Marilyn Monroe’s body, Liz Taylor’s body, Jenna Rowlands’ body, you can hear the life behind her, the cracks, the doubts. it’s going

Lea Seydoux

With this in mind, for example, I filmed last year France, By Bruno Dumont, a nearly signed four-handed movie that ridiculously shows the sometimes brutal, above-ground side of a celebrity?
Yes, it’s a movie that I like a lot, a lot, a lot. It evokes obvious reactions, which are always interesting.

France, Was it farewell to France French cinema?
No, the opposite is true! (He laughs). Proof, in Cannes, I’ll be here beautiful morning, The movie Mia Hansen-Løve, which we filmed with Melvil Poupaud, Nicole Garcia and Pascal Greggory. It is a film that questions France, regarding the two years we have just lived, the environment of care, the passing of generations. It’s great to go from this France-challenging film straight to a futuristic Cronenberg body film filmed in Athens with international cast. Mia Hansen Love has given me to breathe the air I know so well, the questions I hear about, the feelings I share with the actors I also know: There is a sense of great intimacy. I arrive in Athens, and there, feeling out of place, no longer in my comfort zone, the script describes bodies that are no longer ours, the groups are organic, and I play opposite actors, Viggo Mortensen, and Kristen Stewart, who have the consistency I don’t have. My technique specifically is to not have a technique and bet on instinct, so that every film remains first. Which means I have a lot of fear on stage…but I hold on to this craving to not rely on my mechanism, so I strive while playing. From my point of view, I rarely like what I do for the first time, I grope, and I look straight up, it’s messy. But facing Cronenberg, who does not like to do many tasks, forces you to look differently. Filming outside, with actors trained elsewhere, is often a call for me to get over whatever’s holding me back, and in the end, I know that’s where I get the best of myself. But it is very difficult at the moment.

Is it a way to test what we have always called your amazing adaptability?
Suppose I like to be moved. It helps me reinvent myself.

Does fashion move you?
I have loyalty with Vuitton. There is a dialogue with Nicolas Ghesquière that, as with some filmmakers, is invented as the sets and outfits go on.

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What is the next flight?
bertrand bonello movie, beast, beast, animal, We were going to shoot with Gaspard Uliel. (Long silence). The movie will be shot at the end of the summer. I am glad we are continuing the project. We have united the disappearance of Gaspard. I’ve made three films with Bertrand Bonello, we’ve known each other since 2008, when I started, but Gaspard’s sudden disappearance has brought us closer. There is no longer this hierarchy that still exists between the director and his representatives. But there is, this incomprehensible thing that shocked us, and that forces us to think about things differently. Gaspard was one of the greatest actors of my generation. Our films have crossed many times. He left, realizing that he had this nature reserve, this humility which meant we didn’t dare disturb him among the buds. We’ve been putting off time to be good friends too. It was so. With a part of the mystery associated with him, which allowed him to breathe between films, to exist other than the actor who spends his whole life in the picture.

Has his disappearance changed anything about your relationship with cinema?
Do not know if they are related. There, that’s right, I don’t want to chain fire. I need to take some time for myself. I want to work for filmmakers who will muster a very strong desire, on projects that challenge my way of acting a little bit. I want to live, not just be a fantasy. I feel the need, even if it is to feed the actress afterwards.

future crimes by David Cronenberg. Released May 25th.

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