Why did this character appeal to you?
Cecile from France: I like that Chiara has everything of a romantic heroine, that she listens to her desires and her passion, and that she is not idealized. His body has something very animal and gives off a strong vitality. She doesn’t always come across as a nice person, she’s not docile. Non-conformist, she must face looks and judgments on this island, a microcosm where morality and good morals dominate. But, despite being well-meaning, she allows herself not to sacrifice her well-being, her desires and she frees herself from diktats. As a spectator told us during a screening who told of having been forced to live according to the wishes of others, she is a heroine who listens to her heart, a very beautiful model of emancipation.
The film tells of the passion between an older woman and a young man…
CF: The director shifts the gaze, through a feminine prism: she not only allows this age difference, but also affirms that one can be in love with two men at the same time, since Chiara is married to a man she loves. . Héloïse Pelloquet moves the cursor, but without claiming it, without giving lessons. His cinema is above all popular and generous. She brings a new breath by offering different stories to the spectators, by explaining to them that there is no age to please, to love, to vibrate and to enjoy.
Is it this idea that freed you to shoot naked?
CF: Totally. Social networks have reinforced the dictates of appearance and we need more than ever realistic images to identify with in order to dream and live. I found it important to show my body as a 47-year-old woman as it is. It’s crazy to put it this way: I’m still young. But I am no longer in the standards of beauty. The character of Félix Lefebvre still falls in love with this woman, who works and does not correspond to the images of femininity that society feeds us. It’s his strength, his courage, his humor that appeals to this boy, not a so-called perfection.
What state of mind were you in for the love scenes?
CF: It was very easy and very happy! Félix and I have the same relationship with the body: we consider it an extraordinary working tool. We like to transform ourselves for a role: we color our hair, we build muscle, we lose weight… We put ourselves at the service of the story and our characters and, as Héloïse had choreographed the scenes very well, everything was fluid. I pay tribute to Felix. Despite his youth in the business, he instinctively knew how to make it all comfortable. We laughed a lot together.
What about the gestures of fishing and learning?
CF: We spent a week on the Noël boat, a fisherman from Noirmoutier. When I discovered Héloïse’s short films, I was sensitive to the care she brings to the representation of the work. This is again the case in the painting of this harsh, physical profession that is in tune with our times, because it is at the forefront of European regulations. And since she pays the same attention to portraying female jouissance, there is an interesting mix of naturalism and sensuality in the film. The sea and the power of the element added an additional romantic dimension to this love film, which includes the full range of vibrations and emotions of the genre.
We feel comfortable in this environment…
CF: I speak to you from my garden! I feel more fulfilled in nature. It’s almost hygienic, mandatory for my mental and physical health. But I am lucky to have been able to make this choice while continuing my job. It is a privilege and I am aware of it. For me, not forgetting that we are part of a greater whole is essential to our balance.
Are you committed to ecological issues?
CF: I don’t do politics, because I consider my profession and my choice of films as my mode of expression. But when you are an actress, a public figure, we are questioned about our intimate convictions and it is indeed one. I believe that my connection to nature comes from my origins, from my youth in Namur and the surrounding countryside. I have the feeling that in Belgium the question of eco-responsibility has occupied more of the public space, for longer. However, I feel a small global jump, thanks in particular to the young generation. We should have woken up a long time ago, but this is already good news.
Your character is never afraid to displease. When you are an actress, is it possible?
CF: I always listen to my heart without worrying about what people will think of me. If viewers like my films and come, it’s invaluable, but I don’t stop my choices to be fashionable. As for the public image, I show myself little outside of promotions and I don’t have to force myself. I don’t do this job to be exposed, but for the love of comedy.
I don’t do this job to be exposed, but for the love of comedy
Do you live in the moment like Chiara?
CF: Completely. Every morning I rejoice in the gift given to me of being healthy and living with those I love. It’s a day that won’t come back and you have to take advantage of it to have no regrets. When I was younger, I dreamed a lot about my future. Now that I’ve achieved my dream and I’m proud of what I’ve built, I’m enjoying it. Life is good with me!
In the Passenger, you play a Belgian adopted by the community. Should we see a parallel with your own life?
CF: It’s true that I quickly felt loved and adopted by French cinema, and I’m infinitely grateful to it. As I was in my place, I allowed myself to take off. I have always valued this curious cinema, open to others. I had the chance, for example, to follow two great projects recently: Second Tour, by Albert Dupontel, with whom I had played in Enquilibre. A crazy experience: Albert is gifted, artistically and intellectually. I play a journalist investigating a presidential candidate, but I wasn’t really the original character. Together, we built what he had in mind, he almost taught me my job again. I’ve also just finished filming Bonnard, Pierre et Marthe, by Martin Provost, about the love story between the painter Pierre Bonnard and his wife, his muse.
You also took a look Greek saladthe series by Cédric Klapisch derived from The Spanish inn for Amazon…
CF: My character winks. She’s the nice tata of the children of the couple formed by Romain Duris and Kelly Reilly: the heroes are them, the younger generation, activists in this case. We, the elders, are only passing through to try to guide them, despite all our contradictions. It was great to find this role that I love, Cédric, Romain and all my friends with whom we have been living a very strong thing for twenty years.
The Passengerby Héloïse Pelloquet. Released December 14.
Leave a Comment