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Carice Van Houten, game's over

Piazza Grande - Instinct

Carice Van Houten, game's over

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© Kris Dewitte

Your character is present in almost every frame, the film centers around her, we perceive a strong trusting relationship between you and the director Halina; can you tell me how this relationship started and was built upon?

We’ve been best friends since we were 19, we met at an audition for a theatre school. And since then, there’s been a big love and a huge trust between us. I flourish more in a safe environment, and for this film we, Halina the writer and myself, have been working since the beginning.

How did you work the part?

Intellectually I am quite well prepared as I need to understand every word I say and why I say it, so there are lots of conversations beforehand. I always have millions of questions. Sometimes when struggling with the part, you bump into your own self, you feel you can defend the character even if you don’t agree with it. Especially with this character, it was a very delicate sort of dance between the two of them, the guy and the woman. You want to have the balance right and it requires precision. It’s really raw in many ways and very vulnerable. And that vulnerability is not always easy to surrender to, but if I’m around Halina, a person who understands and loves me, I can’t hold back, I’d have to give my all. Even with a pretty complex character, I feel that I was so free in my acting, it was so flowy, so true. I was completely there.

How was the relation with your male counterpart?

We were challenging each other. We felt we were bringing each other to life. Also, we had lots of fun on the set, it wasn’t at all very tense or sexual. We were like kids; it was such a joyful and positive atmosphere on set.

Not refusing to go into the complexities of the human soul is quite courageous!

We wanted to explore the mechanism of people that have problems with intimacy: why do we get attracted by things that are not good for us? It’s not just people that are weak and vulnerable who get into these situations, it’s also includes very smart and intelligent people. We like to investigate those grey areas in people.

Mathilde Henrot

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