After “Antoinette in the Cévennes”, Laure Calamy is back in a new major performance with “Une femme du monde”, currently in theaters. In the skin of Marie, independent prostitute and mother concerned about the future of her son Adrien, she shows once again why she is one of the most talented actresses of her generation. We met her.
If Laure Calamy has been working as an actress since the beginning of the 2000s, essentially cutting her teeth in the theater and in short films, everything accelerated in 2011, with a noticed and rewarded role in Guillaume’s short film. Brac A world without women. From there, the actress is more and more in demand and shines in high-profile supporting roles. In 2015, the revelation is total with his role of Noémie Leclerc in the series Ten percent, a great critical and commercial success that has gone far beyond our borders.
While keeping her role during the four seasons of the series, she is also a valuable performer of French auteur cinema before becoming a muse, in a dazzling way, with Antoinette in the Cévennes in 2020. A performance that earned her a Caesar and consecrated her as one of the most gifted actresses of her generation. Awarded at the 78th Venice Film Festival for Full time, which we will discover in March 2022, it is currently showing atA woman of the world, in a shocking and brilliantly interpreted new lead role. Encounter.
A Woman of the World is the first feature film by Cécile Ducrocq, after in particular her very noticed short film The Counter-alley, with you already in the role of a prostitute. Is it an extension?
Laure calamy : I would say that there is another breath compared to The Counter-alley. I followed the different stages of writing, and I think that the difficulty for Cécile was not to stick to this first story to start on something else, with the story of the son. But yes, we find this theme of globalization, that of networks, slashed prices, and even worse insecurity. But the main subject ofA woman of the world is the love story between this mother and her son.
We really supported each other throughout the process, the funding was not easy, because my character is not a girl who wants to get out of prostitution, and this idea disturbed. Free, independent prostitutes are not the majority of prostitution, I think I read that it was about 20%, but it nevertheless deserves that we talk about it and that it be legislated.
Moreover, what is beautiful in A woman of the world, and less common, is that generally when you show a prostitute character, the person is young. It’s nice to also show a mature woman, in her forties, and it illustrates all the more the difficulty she may have in exercising her profession, especially in the face of competition from networks.
The prostitute is a very real person, with a strong social identity, but also a great artistic figure. In literature, in cinema, in song, he is a rich and fascinating character. How do you approach a role like this?
LC : What is fascinating is that these are characters often told in their fragility, with a difficult life but at the same time it is a place where the woman handles the codes of femininity, as an instrument of power and fascination. A woman of the world describes that well, especially in his first sequence where we understand that it is the prostitute who leads the dance. It is she who decides the rules, what is the price, where it, how, etc.
On these subjects, I love the film Mistress by Barbet Schroeder, because the character is a dominatrix, which we talk about even less, with a whole ritual of appearance, there is something that interests me a lot in this process. In A woman of the world, it is neither miserable nor a glamorous vision. It goes towards a normal job, with a woman who has a kid and tries to lead her life like everyone else.
Even before meeting Cécile, I was always interested in the characters of prostitutes. I often come back to a poem by Grisélidis Réal, Death of a whore. She was a Swiss writer, prostitute, artist, an exceptional woman. She is known for the Ballet diary of a courtesan, a notebook in which she listed all her clients, with their age, what they liked, and sociological notes. And it’s a little tribute when you see me writing down in a notebook, at the beginning, the relationship with the film’s first client.
A woman of the world is the portrait of a woman, Marie, and a social chronicle on the world of independent prostitution, with its dangers and its demands.
LC : The…