Marine Vacth is the star of Nicolas Bedos’ new film. From Ozon to Klapisch, they all want her
She walks through the corridors of the Negresco then, suddenly, disappears. Volatilized. Elusive Marine Vacth. Never a sound, even when she mechanically lights cigarette after cigarette. Never a word too loud, she whispers more than she speaks. She would like to go unnoticed, but we can only notice her.
Since François Ozon offered him the leading role in 2013, in “Young and Pretty”, it hypnotizes French cinema. By her beauty, her big water-green eyes which, when they stare at you, destabilize you. And then her acting, raw, instinctive. She is not in the cerebral, hardly prepares her roles before the first day of shooting, but never balks at multiplying the takes: “I feel like a laboratory assistant. I like to try, to see what works or not, to put on another skin.”
In the new film by Nicolas Bedos, “Masquerade”, she is a professional con artist who uses her charms to get hold of rich men and afford the dream life she believes she deserves. “I would say of Margot that she is incredibly lively, talkative, hurt and gifted with a sometimes bloody repartee”: thus she analyzes her character. Often, Marine Vacth plays women with a strong character, the stubborn, the rebellious or the intrepid. Is it quite the opposite? Silence. Head down. The actress does not like to answer this kind of question.
A transporter father, an accountant mother, the cinema was not the destiny of Marine Vacth
Fellow journalists and press officers had warned us: Marine Vacth hates the exercise of the interview. Faced with her, we must therefore arm ourselves with patience to try to break through her silence. She herself admits, promotion is really not her favorite part. To have to indulge, at least a little, demands mad energy from him: “It’s better than before, I’m starting to get used to it, but I still experience it as a test. »
She does not read the interviews of her colleagues or sisters, the privacy of others does not interest her
Marine Vacth has her reasons: she totally wants to hide behind her character. “I like that anyone can project anything onto me. I am at the service of a story and a director. Ozon, her mentor, once called her a “blank slate.” Some could have been offended, believing they lacked rough edges. Not her: “That’s a great compliment! »
She doesn’t read her colleagues’ interviews either. The private life of others does not interest him any more than his own. She hates social networks, has never registered on Instagram: “It takes up too much importance, too much space.” If she only had one wish? That films can exist by themselves, without media hype. But the era is like this, she accepts it: “Of course, I want the films in which I play to be seen.”
The sky has cleared up, so she asks to sit on the balcony of one of the Negresco suites, so she can smoke in peace. “We may have filmed a scene from ‘Masquerade’ in this room. Or it was in another, ”she tries to remember. Nicolas Bedos’ fourth film was largely shot on the Baie des Anges. Marine, who knew little about the region, enjoyed spending time there. She loves the sea and wide open spaces in general.
Thanks to Ozon, I knew I wanted to do this job.
Throughout this interview, his gaze remains fixed on the horizon, perhaps a way of escaping. You have to earn Marine Vacth’s smile, prove to her that she can be trusted, that you don’t want to trap her. We will not talk to her about her private life, which she preserves as the most precious of treasures. Of her companion, the photographer Paul Schmidt, and of their son, Henri, 8 years old, we will know nothing… We try the banal question: how to reconcile the life of a mother and an actress? “It’s the same for anyone who has children, it’s often difficult to reconcile the two. I am lucky to be able to devote time to my family. ” Next question ?
Becoming an actress was not a vocation for Marine Vacth. A carrier father, an accountant mother, she grew up in the Parisian suburbs, in Maisons-Alfort, and quickly dreamed of elsewhere. She describes herself as a “withdrawn, uncomfortable, silent” teenager.
She has a latent animality and savagery
At 15, as she enters an H&M store to shelter from the rain, she is spotted by a talent hunter who offers her to join a prestigious modeling agency. “I wanted to discover something other than my daily life, this was the opportunity! She posed in advertisements for Ralph Lauren and Chloé, became the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s Parisienne perfume, and traveled the world. In 2011, Cédric Klapisch is looking for a supermodel for a small role in “My part of the cake”. At only 20 years old, here she is propelled on the big screen, already a femme fatale kissing Gilles Lellouche full on the lips.
She who had started modeling by chance enters the cinema by a combination of circumstances. Thanks to this first film, she is approached by François Ozon, director known for sublimating actresses, who sees in her a diamond to be polished.
I don’t want to turn for the sake of turning and I must not be the only one like that.
He offers her no less than the main role of “Young and Pretty”, the story of a high school student from the beautiful neighborhoods, Isabelle, who decides to prostitute herself to escape boredom. A contemporary version of “Belle de jour”. Moreover, at the start, Ozon had thought of an appearance by Catherine Deneuve as the wife of a client. It will ultimately be Charlotte Rampling, of whom Marine makes him think more: “She has a latent animality and savagery, which differ from the classicism and purity of a young Catherine Deneuve. And it’s a real brunette, “he explained at the time to the” World “.
The film is selected at the Cannes Film Festival, an immutable memory for a beginner actress. “I then realized that I really wanted to do this job,” she admits.
Since then, his filmography has grown: Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Cédric Jimenez or Matteo Garrone have been seduced by his talent. She returned to the Croisette in 2017, still with François Ozon, for “L’amant double”. But Marine Vacth is not one of those workaholic actresses: one film a year, no more, apart from this year when we will see her several times on the bill. “I don’t want to shoot for the sake of shooting and I shouldn’t be the only one like that. »
It is pointed out to her that she most often plays in front of the camera of men, at a time when the actresses of her generation, led by Adèle Haenel, show their preference for female directors. “I still shot with Maïwenn, Joan Chemla, and soon with Emmanuelle Devos. For me, there is no difference: I work with beings, personalities, I meet universes”, she explains.
Nicolas Bedos is an important meeting for me
Today, Marine Vacth is no longer a model but remains Chanel muse. Her slender silhouette and her ivory complexion made her spotted by the great Karl Lagerfeld in 2017. She feels close to this historic house which defined French elegance, without losing its family spirit. We sometimes see her in the front row of parades, even if most of the time she avoids anything that resembles social events, directly or indirectly. She rarely frequents her screen comrades outside the sets. “Did you know Pierre Niney before “Mascarade”? – Before reading the script, we had just crossed paths… – And Nicolas Bedos? – No more… Nicolas is an important encounter for me. »
She prefers nature walks. In Paris, she lives opposite the Bois de Vincennes, the company of trees soothes her. And, as soon as she can, she escapes to the countryside, far from the asphalt and the bustle. There, she is sheltered from everything, curious glances, indiscretions and then, above all, interviews.
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Marine Vacth: “I like that anyone can project anything on me”
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