News from the Locarno Festival

Ariane Labed

Ariane Labed



Q. Love Island is a joyful movie in which the idea of fiction has a predominant role. For example, you carry a fake bump...

It is my first comedy movie. Jasmila Zbanic created a universe where everything is exuberant and joyful, but also dangerous. Characters take risks in their love lives, like they are actually playing a role and writing their own fiction. Carrying that fake bump permitted me to interpret a future mom who has always to face her physical and social condition.

Q. How did Jasmila Zbanic introduce this role to you? And how did it happen with Lucie Borleteau, director of Fidelio, l'odyssée d'Alice?

With Jasmila it was a little bit crazy... She called and she told me: “I want you to come to Zagreb tomorrow for a casting!”. She has such a strong character that I went to Croatia, I passed the casting and everything went very quickly. On the other hand, Lucie introduced to me the character of Alice with a lot of passion and tenderness. That's a love and sea story, but there is not a woman waiting for somebody waiting at the harbour... I immediately liked that vision.”

Q. Love Island and Fidelio, l'odyssée d'Alice, two very different roles and movies which were shot by two women. Another woman – Athina Tsangari – was the director that discovered you. Is that a coincidence?

I think that I generally feel more touched by the visions of female directors. In the world of cinema the image of woman had been mostly built by men, generating (I guess) a certain kind of model. The two roles in Love Island and Fidelio represent two women which are pretty different, but they share the same way to impose theirselves. And that deeply impressed me.

Q. In Fidelio, l'odyssée d'Alice, the “very metal context” of the ship underlines your very physical way to act...

I started acting by chance. I wanted to become a dancer, then I studied theatre and I mixed these two disciplines. I love to approach new situations, words and interactions interpreting them as something absolutely organic. In the movie I wanted to create a fluid movement, something alive, in order to demonstrate how that sort of sensuality is made possible by the closed context of the ship.

Q. How did you prepare your role?

I followed a young mechanic (a Lucie's friend) for some days. I tried to become familiar with mechanical engineering, because I didn't know anything about it; I especially focused on her way to work with machines and her male colleagues. I wanted to understand her daily life. And above all, I learned to love the smell of fuel!

Mattia Bertoldi
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