How Margot Bancilhon became a Machine for Arte

How Margot Bancilhon became a Machine for Arte

The actress knew nothing about martial arts and yet she ended up doing all her stunts herself!

In 2023, Margot Bancilhon was crowned Best Actress at Séries Mania, for her performance in Of Grace. She then played a gentle lawyer in a family of dockers. A year later, she caused a sensation again during the Lille festival. But for other reasons. While Machine won the prize for Best French Series, the actress amazed everyone by playing the title role, this former soldier of the French special forces, a highly trained weapon of mass destruction.

A feminine killing machine. “The idea was to have a female character, but without any romantic involvement. Which is rare!” underlines Thomas Bidegain, screenwriter and co-creator, at Première. “We wanted a woman who is not sexualized, to whom we rather attribute ideas and strength, who becomes the incarnation of a concept.”

Educated in Marxist thought, Machine will actually put its feet and its fists at the service of the proletariat. In impressive and highly choreographed fighting sequences, Margot Bancilhon gave of himself to become this Machine.

“The role of Machineit's always been her”, confesses the director and co-creator, Fred Grivois. “This is our fourth collaboration and I knew no one but her could do this. I knew she was the only one capable of doing it…”

Because Margot Bancilhon is not a black belt in karate or a taekwondo specialist. The 33-year-old Frenchwoman had never even practiced martial arts before starting the series: “She learned everything for the series. She had never done martial arts before and she absorbed hours of training. First by bodybuilding, then by practicing a little Thai boxing. And then, She spent a lot of time with the stuntmen. She has an incredible ability to memorize choreography. She never makes a mistake, even when we film a fight in sequence for 3 minutes!

Fred Grivois is admiring. He applauds the performance of his actress, a stunning physical embodiment of Marxism against capital, who wanted to do everything herself, on the set:

“There are only two shots in which it's not her doing her stunts. Otherwise, it's her, all the time. When Machine jumps from the roof of the building, it's Margot! big stunts, she did them. She does more things in Machine that Alban Lenoir doesn't do in his latest films. Margot Bancilhon.”

Machineseason 1 in 6 episodes, to be seen on Arte on Thursdays April 11 and 18 (and from April 4 on

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