“I think I am less strong than the image I return”

Actress completed three films this summer, plays strong roles and has fun covering the slopes. Her demands on herself, her fight for parity, her affinities with the cinema… Marina Foïs gives herself without a filter.

A glance and the tone of her voice are enough for Marina Foïs, sitting on a Parisian terrace and camouflaged under a cap, to discover all the figures she has embodied on the screen. Sophie Petoncule in the robin hoodsirises in Policeman , by Maiwenn, Olivia in the workshop, by Laurent Cantet… They all reappear depending on the air, serious or light, of the actress. With a fixed gaze and a contained smile, Marina Foïs is captivatingly eloquent. Curious fact, she cites the directors by her last name, “Sorogoyen”, “Lartigau” “de Peretti”, and prefers to mention the actresses by their first name. “Chiara”, “Catherine”, “Isabella(Huppert)… These are some of the women who surround her in her life and who inspire her.

Marina Foïs is a gang girl, a leader. She was born into a large family, she started in a company and today evolves within different families: that of Catherine Corsini, but also that of leila bekhti or even Alain Chabat. “Sometimes a leader, sometimes a follower”, in her words, she stands out today as something of an opinion leader by campaigning for equality between women and men in film and by distinguishing herself in committed roles. The next ? the ofthe beasts, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, where she plays Olga, an eco-responsible peasant from a small Galician town, who fights to carry out her project and do justice. Parallel to this hard work, Marina Foïs ventured into a road movie by Didier Barceló (free wheel, with Benjamin Voisin), and in a genre film for the Boukherma brothers (the year of the shark).

On video, the interview of Marina Foïs in Cannes

“I tend to go for projects that scare me a bit”

“I accept more and more films named after directors, because it is, in my opinion, the choice that should prevail over all others. As all the stories, or almost, have already been told, it is the director’s gaze that makes the difference. I’m wary of choosing roles that are too similar to me, and I tend to go for projects that scare me a bit. For my last three films, it’s Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s, the beasts, which required me the most technical work. Shooting in the middle of the mountains made the adventure quite tough, but also very joyful, and I had to learn Spanish for this film. This experience not only showed me that I could play in another language, but also that I could find pleasure in it. I am interested in other foreign cinemas (Asian, Korean, Hong Kong, Latin American, etc.), because I find them much more uninhibited and less gender only in France.”

“Sometimes I am weak but I do not overcome difficulties”

“Unlike my character in the beasts, I think I am less strong than the image I return. It happens that I am weak in certain places, but I do not dodge, I do not avoid difficulties. I have a defense system that sometimes prevents me from living fully, but I try to be honest and be in the right place. My strength ? I take it from the many occasions I’ve had. This does not take anything away from my merit, but I have known accumulated happiness. I was born of a couple fathers who love themselves and their children, and in a bourgeois family in which the message transmitted was: “Anything is possible”. We were free to study or not. Then there were encounters, life, sometimes courage. Along with my friends, I also have two children, two powers of life, which give me strength.

“The approach drives me crazy”

“In my work I am prepared for everything, since the director is working. The approximation drives me crazy and the indifference does not interest me. knowing that he cinema it incurs costs, equipment, the minimum is to try to create something good. I’m not talking about the result, because it’s very easy to ruin a film, and it’s not so bad if it’s done with energy and passion. I’m the first to screw up shots on a set because I laugh sometimes, but the work is still serious business, and since you don’t have to make movies, the least you can do is put passion into it.”

Cotton blouse, skirts and high boots, Louis Vuitton. Etienne Sekola hairdresser. Angloma makeup. Xavi Gordo

“The idea of ​​having to set an example suits me”

“Surely because, or rather thanks to my family history and our experience of Justice, I swore never to comment on a case that I do not know perfectly. Public opinion being a dangerous thing, I do not comment on matters that I do not fully control. On the other hand, if I am in favor of the presumption of innocence, absolutely in favor, I am in favor of the withdrawal of those who are involved in cases of sexual assault. Especially when you are in positions of responsibility. The idea of ​​the duty to set an example suits me. I want to believe in justice, and I want to believe in the sense of moral responsibility of those to whom we empower. I know, for example, that within the 50/50 association, when a complaint is filed, those responsible have the merit of reacting immediately by temporarily removing the people involved, where the men are questioned by sexual assault staying in your place in other French institutions… It’s awkward, isn’t it?

“My children are lucky that they both have a passion”

“I’m raising two boys and I find it hard to keep my balance in their education. I remember a scene froma violent life by Thierry de Peretti, in which a mother who has lost her teenage daughter says, “I didn’t listen to her enough.” This phrase overwhelmed me, I think that the framework that is imposed on them and the principles that are instilled in them only work if we listen to them and look at them carefully. We must try to identify who these people are and what they need beyond what we think is good for them. My children are lucky to be inhabited by a passion and talent in their field: the oldest is 17 years old, dreams of being a pilot and already excels in karting competitions. The minor is 13 years old and sees himself as a chef in a restaurant.

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“When I photograph with Isabelle Huppert, I am in all my states”

“I acted with Isabelle Huppert in the Jean-Paul Salomé film, the trade unionist, and I must say I love it. I’m even a bit under her spell and in all my states when I’m in front of her. Isabelle has something. There is obviously her talent as an actress -she is the idol of all the actresses of my generation- and her curiosity about cinema, her cinephilia, what drives her career, but what is crazy is her intact taste for life and for people. She makes her into the actress that she is, and I think she shares that insatiable curiosity with catherine deneuvewith whom I went less on tour but with whom I rub shoulders more in life”.

“The worst thing would be for the directors to lose their freedom”

“When I see the films of Arnaud Desplechin on the same weekend (Brothers), by Michel Hazanavicius (Cut!) Y Luis Garrel (the innocent), I believe that the difficulties facing movie theaters today are not tied to the talent, creativity, or hard work of movie people. But it would be absurd not to question ourselves. The public has not fully returned since Covid. Platforms have taken up a lot of space, we have to think about how we can live with them, they are pleasures that do not seem contradictory to me. I do like both of them. If people go to the movies less, does that mean we are less desirable? And because ? Is it our stories that attract fewer viewers or the way we tell them? Or the way we “sell” movies? There is a uniformity in communication, from the poster to the promotion, which I don’t find very sexy and which in no way reflects the variety and richness of French cinema.

And the price of the seats could be questioned, right? I believe in the room, in its power of attraction. We have to overcome this crisis. The worst thing would be that the directors lose their freedom and that we end up with a format. Projects that no one believes in should be allowed to exist. But people from the cinema can also become their own gravedigger, and I can’t explain it to myself… I have in mind an interview with Roberto Rossellini from 1977 in which he said: “I think that cinema is dead, that’s why I make documentaries for television. .” Already in 1970 it was explained that the cinema was dead. Therefore, I distrust mortal discourse and do not submit to any form of pessimism because it does not interest me.

free wheel, by Didier Barceló, premiered on June 29.
the beasts, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, released on July 20.
the year of the shark, by Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma, published on August 3.

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