The French actress considers herself a “survivor” when she recalls her collaboration with Andrzej Żuławsk.
Isabelle Adjani feat Adèle Exarchopoulos : the two actresses lent themselves to the game of the magazine Interview in a discussion for two, of an astonishing complicity, around career choices, their relationship to cinema, to their profession, to themselves. Two actresses, two women who finally found each other in their respective journeys, remembering in particular the directions of actors “unconventional” with which they were confronted very young, but from which were born these roles which changed them forever: for one, his collaboration with the controversial Abdellatif Kechiche In The Life of Adele (2013) which propelled her career; for the other, the haunted and passionate management ofAndrzej Zulawsk in a disturbing thriller that has become cult, Possession (nineteen eighty one).
As she questions Adèle Exarchopoulos about her film debut and her first Palme d’Or at just 19 years old, Isabelle Adjani wonders : “I often wonder, when a person is an actress, if she is able to overcome everything that is inflicted on her”, before “to afford” a comparison with his own career and his collaboration with Andrzej Żuławsk, in Possession. She offers a hallucinating, hysterical and violent physical performance, in the role of Anna.
The Polish filmmaker films the implosion of a couple by exploring the deepest psychoses of his actress who will receive for her great performance a first César in 1982. And the spectator is not the only one to have been manhandled: more than 40 years later, aware of the perversity at play, the actress remembers this role as “something very violent” what “could never accept again”.
“I wonder if acting hasn’t been a little unhealthy at certain times in my life, hasn’t it?” she says rhetorically to Adèle Exarchopoulos.
When the actress on the poster of Crossings (in a again very contemporary sexual romance) discusses the heavy emotional charge represented by the filming of The Life of Adele when she started out, Adjani tried to reassure her about this ability to “to make a place in oneself for a character”in an almost mother/daughter relationship that Adèle Exachopoulos humbly qualifies as an icon/actress relationship:
“Great actresses have been devoured from within. (…) And that’s what I find so beautiful about you, it’s that you have a fervor, a spontaneity, a life force”confides Isabelle Adjani.
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The French actress who has become essential then did not hesitate to give her advice on the need to surround yourself in a profession which, according to her, “facilitates a happy state of mind”where it is possible “to get lost” and for which she has often forgotten herself. In particular, she made reference to her break after the grueling filming of Possessionwhich was very quickly reproached to him.
“I consider myself a survivor for many reasons, as someone who puts their life into their work”she assumes, affectionately submitting to Adèle Exarchopoulos the idea that she too would be one.
Two romantic heroines whose careers were built on the controversial legacy of films from their debut, and who will soon co-star in the new film by Melanie Laurent, Thieves, A “Mission Impossible in the feminine” which will be available on Netflix from November 1st.
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