Lou De Laage: “We live very well without social networks! »

In the Great Barnum of French cinema, Lou De Laage plays the card of difference, the restrained charm of the bourgeoisie or even the aristocracy, for the actress born Lou De Laage de Meux has a rare elegance. He looks very young to us, but when he says his first words, his deep voice challenges us. It was as if a sense of eternity was emerging from him, sheltered from the fashions hunting each other. If he cheated Melanie Laurent (“Breathe” and the play “The Last Testament” staged in Chaillot by James Frey), Anne Fontaine (“Les Innocentes” and “Blanche comme Neige”), Danièle Thompson (“Des people kissing”). , she also chose to trust directors making her first feature films: Olivier Treiner in Tourbillon de la vie, released last December 21, and Stephen Freiss as the daughter in You Will Choose Life this week. an Orthodox rabbi who used his stay in Puglia to free himself.

Lou De Laage is terrific as Esther, her chance to answer Italian cinema’s handsome boy, Riccardo Scarmacio. The actress who received an international call answered “yes” to Woody Allen. Melville Poupaud, Valérie Lemercier, Elsa Zylberstein, Niels Schneider have just finished shooting a new movie by New York’s most famous filmmaker… Top secret French-language film for now called “Cluster 22” (Woody Allen Special Project 2022) . Encounter.

O. – “You will choose life” is about a woman who rebels…
Lou De Laage. – Yes, Esther is a self-liberating, rebellious woman. In my eyes, he has the courage to wander, to tell himself that he has renounced his inheritance. He doesn’t know where to go. But daring to step out of your comfort zone is a journey in itself.

You filmed in Puglia. How was the meeting with Riccardo Scarmacio?
What a wonderful life! He is an excellent play partner, generous, curious. It eats life. He goes to meet others. In addition to his acting profession, he is at the head of a large estate where he is engaged in winemaking. He returned home every evening. Just like us when we shot in Paris!

Is it difficult to participate in the first feature film?
I’d say it’s special. For an actor, it is necessary to be more patient, more tolerant. The director has not yet acquired certain automatisms. We see someone who is searching and knows where he wants to go. Its discovery is exciting.

Religion is the big matrix of the film. How did you prepare?
The man who plays my father, Pierre-Henry Salfati, is a scientist. You can ask him all kinds of questions. It was reassuring. I read a lot and watched the series “The Stiezels, A Family in Jerusalem” and “Extraordinary”. This universe was completely alien to me.

What did your parents pass on to you?
My father, a journalist, was very open to the world. He was a senior political reporter, deputy editor of Sud-Ouest newspaper. My mother, an artist, was more focused on her world. My father lived according to the rhythm of the news, and he lived according to the news he invented for himself. I find it interesting that the two choices of freedom and life are contradictory. I have inherited a bit of both. With my work, I have the impression of being in motion, in an exciting rhythm. Then when the shoot is over or I’m preparing for a role, the pressure is off, I withdraw and retire!

How did they react when you told them you wanted to be an actress?
I had a chance to know what I wanted to do from the age of six. I never left my goal. When I was a teenager, I was engaged in theater and dance. My parents believed that if you try to do what you love, you will be disappointed. Later, my mother admitted to me that they were very scared. But they never told me about their pain. They gave me strength.

Two women have been counted in your career: Mélanie Laurent and Anne Fontaine. What did they teach you?
Both are strong women who are free to take on and express what they want to do. And they do it ruthlessly. It is useful to work with them. When you have a chance to develop loyalty at work, it’s nice. Everything is simple.

How did you find yourself in Paris, on the set of 50?e A Woody Allen movie?
I didn’t need to go through any casting. He contacted me when he had already made up his mind. That means he has seen a few of my movies. A very rare thing!

It is rumored to be his last film and has a similar atmosphere to Match Point (2005). Do you approve?
I’m not allowed to talk too much. We filmed entirely in French. Niels Schneider, Melville Poupaud, Valerie Lemercier and I spoke to him in English. He told us he couldn’t check the dialogue word for word. He knew everything by heart and trusted us. I loved working with him. For the image, he surrounded himself with Vittorio Storaro, who worked on Apocalypse Now. It was incredible to observe these two myths. Never sharp, they always found solutions. Woody Allen remained very much alive.

It is said that it was filmed in France because it became difficult for him to work in the US…
I think he was tried twice. So I’m definitely not the one to try this again. I am not justice.

Do you like seeing yourself on screen?
I don’t look at myself in detail. If you start focusing on your physique, you will completely miss your work. I think I’m not a model. I’m not here to be a frozen image, but to convey an emotion. I watch my films to see if I have achieved what I wanted. As an analysis.

You are not on social networks. Why?
We live very well without it! People around me sometimes worry and ask me, “Is this a good thing? “. And I answer them: “Is it a good idea to be there? “Frankly, I don’t know. If I see that one day my work is suffering, maybe I will think differently. To be honest, I don’t mind being out of everything.

You protect your privacy well…
A matter of modesty. But in roles, we always convey something from ourselves. All the tears and anger we express come from nowhere…

Lou De Laage, Riccardo Scarmacio and Pierre-Henry Salfati in Stephane Freis’ You Will Choose Life, in theaters on January 25, 2023.

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