Female Interpretation Award at the last Cannes Film Festival, Renate Reinsve is one of the major revelations of this film year. Meeting with the heroine of “Julie (in 12 chapters”) with our interview-portrait… in 12 parts.
Achieving unanimity at the Cannes Film Festival is not easy. It is even mission impossible at times. But that’s what Renate Reinsve has achieved. Presented in Competition at the start of the 2021 edition, Julie (in 12 chapters), a new jewel signed Joachim Trier, brought everyone together thanks to her actress, who very quickly became the favorite for the Female Interpretation Award. That she wins, unsurprisingly, a few days later.
When we meet her, on the Croisette, Renate Reinsve has not yet been crowned, and is only recovering from the emotions of the official screening (and a bad cold), which had taken place the day before. But her name is already on everyone’s lips and it may be the same, now that this very beautiful portrait of a woman, in which everyone can recognize themselves, is released in French theaters.
While the feature film could, why not, take it to the Oscars, it’s time to meet Renate Reinsve. In 12 chapters.
THE CANNOISE PROJECTION
It was so crazy! I couldn’t wait to be there and finally see the movie with so many people. But when I got to the red carpet I thought to myself: “Wow, this is crazy!” I was a little scared, but also very happy and confused (laughs) And watching the movie was a bit difficult because I really wanted everyone to have a good time. Because I love it. Fortunately the applause at the end was incredible. I felt a lot of love, it was really good.
A TAILOR-MADE ROLE
Joachim [Trier] and Eskil [Vogt, le co-scénariste, ndlr] wrote it while thinking of me, that’s probably why I liked Julie. And I felt very connected to her while reading the script. I felt they really grabbed me, just like they grabbed a lot of women my age. And people from the previous generation also said they felt connected to her.
They wanted me to bring a little of myself to it as well, that was important. Joachim was nervous when I read the script, because they are two men who wrote a female role. They wanted it to be fair, and I was very surprised when I read it the first time. I was very moved by the accuracy of their portrait of a woman. I was really relieved (laughs)
IN JULIE’S SKIN
How long did the shooting take? Your character seems to age over the chapters: is it makeup, or the result of a long shoot?
Make-up. Because the shooting lasted three months. We also focused on her physicality, so that her body reflects her restless side, and that she looks younger thanks to the makeup and the hairstyle. Then, when she settles down and accepts things as they are, through this notion of loss – of her ideas and of the people around her – she is more calm and collected. More sure of herself. Even if she runs after what she wants to be.
Was the filming done chronologically, from chapter 1 to chapter 12?
No. We had to go back and forth a lot, for the lighting, the sets and even my hairstyle, which changes all the time. Respecting continuity took a lot of back and forth in terms of logistics and knowing when to cut my hair, where to go.
We see masks in the epilogue. Is it because it was shot long after the rest of the movie?
No, it was Joachim who intuitively wanted to add masks in the last scene. It wasn’t written that way, but he wanted us to feel like we had landed in the present day. As if the rest of the story was in the past, and the end in the present, where everyone has this relationship to the mask. But when asked, he said he didn’t really have an answer as to why he was doing this. It was just a hunch.
A FAVORITE CHAPTER?
It’s a good question. Because each day of shooting was really special, because I had to look for something special, ask myself the right questions. Without answering them, of course, to leave them open to interpretation by the public. But I really enjoyed the wedding scene [dans le chapitre 2, ndlr], when she meets Ivan [Herbert Nordrum]. We shot it for a week, at night. It was very nice.
And I loved shooting the scene …