Watch | 25. Sep 2022

The French Connection

To meet one of the award winning stars at Zürch Film Fest is always a pleasure. To witness a humble and very likeable Charlotte Gainsbourg talking about her career was an exciting experience.

Her talking about her husband Yvan Attal (who she actually is not maried to but still...) whom she considers one of her idols (next to Sean Connery and Benicio del Torro), her devotion to her family (she bought her father´s house in Paris to turn it into a museum and produced a documentary about her mother) was quite touching. Also: How she loved to play in a movie when she was still very young ("it felt like being on a family vacation") and how hard it feels to get back to normal after playing a very "wild" character (like in "The Antichrist").

Her speical relationshsip to Lars von Trier whom she "trusts deeply" and the difference between a TV show and a movie (how she prefers TV to develop a part slowly and stay in it for much longer), and how her life changed for the better after having started her own family.

How music is a family heritage and being on stage still freaks her out (away from the big screen she has enjoyed a successful career as a musician and songwriter releasing five studio albums to date, the last of which "Rest" (2017) earned her Artist of the Year 2018 at the Victoires de la Musique (the French Grammy Awards).

As the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, Charlotte Gainsbourg has known what it is to be in show business since childhood. She starred in Claude Millers L’EFFRONTÉE (1985) at the age of 14, a performance that earned her the César Award for Most Promising Actress. Gainsbourg was soon shooting with France's most renowned auteur filmmakers, including Agnès Varda (KUNG-FU MASTER, 1988), her life partner Yvan Attal (who also joined her on several occasions in front of the camera to create a screen couple), Jacques Doillon, Patrice Leconte, Arnaud Desplechin, Dominik Moll and Danièle Thompson. 

When I left the theatre I was thinking about that wonderful sentence Carrie Fisher once said "Take Your Broken Heart, Turn It Into Art": Watching pictures and clips of a young Charlotte with her drunken dad and her so obiviously over-sensitive mother I could not help but wonder how abusive this childhood really was.

It also was the beginning and making of a really great actress.