Noémie Schmidt: “Like in Anthracite, I love cult stories!”

Noémie Schmidt: “Like in Anthracite, I love cult stories!”

The Swiss actress shines in the new Netflix series, where she plays a web detective on the trail of a sinister Alpine sect, which is causing carnage. Meet the star of the new French crime series from Netflix.

It is the story of a collective suicide in a valley in the Alps. It is the story of a sect which never ceases to terrorize the inhabitants when, 30 years later, a woman is murdered according to the rituals of the strange community obsessed with its guru. It's the story of Ida, an eccentric and ultra-connected “geek”, who searches for her missing father and follows in the footsteps of the sect, thanks to her community of “web sleuths”… The actress Noémie Schmidt puts herself in the shoes of this Internet investigator confronted with reality in Anthracitethe new mystery series from Netflix, which is released this Wednesday, April 10 on the platform.

FIRST: What attracted you to Anthracite ? The “true crime” side or Ida’s somewhat lunar character?
Noémie Schmidt
: True crime is really the genre that I love the most at the moment. I watch a lot of true crime on TV. Exploring the human soul, seeing how people can abuse their power, I find it fascinating. Human nature is fascinating and reality is almost crazier than fiction in the end. Above all, I love cult stories. I ask myself this question every time: could I too let myself be led by someone? By a prophet? I don't judge these people. I know that deep in my moments of doubt, I could also allow myself to be bamboozled by the idea of ​​a collective experience, by something bigger than myself. And then the character of Ida…

How would you describe Ida?
She is both brilliant, but very uncomfortable in society. He is someone who spent part of his childhood in the solitude of a hospital. Her father is her best friend, but she found her family in the digital world, with her Internet community. She flourished in the virtual world, which means that when she is in the real world, it is complicated. It’s a fun mismatch.

Did you know what “web sleuthing” was?
I had seen the true crime docuseries Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer (on Netflix). It was about Internet users who started tracking down a guy who tortured kittens. They managed to locate him, even finding his building, to alert the police… who did not believe them. Because they used not really traditional investigative tools. We see the same thing in Anthracite: Ida who tries to explain to the gendarme, played by Camille Lou, what she found, and she faces a form of distrust. However, it is indeed the best way to use the Internet, using it as a collective intelligence.

Are you connected to the forums yourself?
Not as much as Ida, obviously. But I love Twitch. I naturally spend a lot of time there and I follow streamers, from whom I took inspiration to build Ida. His way of speaking to his community. The vocabulary, the chat, all that, I knew thanks to Twitch.

Is it difficult to embody these web search sequences on screen?
What's complicated is that there are a lot of things that are digitally embedded later in post-production. So we find ourselves playing with air… But it's actually very fun. All the “web sleuthing” sequences were my favorite. Ida was having a blast. This is where she flourishes. The film crew almost becomes his audience, in a way. She shows off her skills and has fun with reality.

It's been exactly 10 years since you were revealed in The Student and Monsieur Henri. What have you learned about acting during these 10 years?
I learned that it was not necessarily interesting to rely on what you have learned. With each new film, you have to start from scratch. Nothing is ever acquired. But what's great is precisely immersing yourself in a universe. I learned about the Minitel Rose era thanks to 3615 Monica. I have just filmed a biopic on General De Gaulle and I learned a lot of things about the Second World War. Every shoot is a challenge. And if you think you know what it's like to be an actress, in fact, this job reminds you with each new project that you know nothing. You have to relearn everything each time.

Finally, you switch from minitel with 3615 Monica to “web sleuthing” with Anthracite. Are you a bit of a geek deep down too?
I spend a lot of time on YouTube. I recently devoured The Empire never ended, by Pacôme Thiellement. There, I can spend a whole night watching YouTube. So maybe I'm a bit of a geek…

Anthracite, in 6 episodes, to watch on Netflix

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