“People who say that French cinema sucks don’t see all its richness”, assures Virginie Efira. The actress is currently starring in the film Other People’s Children by Rebecca Zlotowski. She plays Rachel, a French teacher in her forties, who falls in love with Ali, Leila’s dad, to whom she becomes stepmother. A movie that questions motherhood and upsets the classic figure of the stepmotherthat of the stepmother.
For Virgine Efirathis change of vision was made possible by the fact that this film goes into the intimacy of what happens in the family and makes it universal. “It depicts more closely what having a stepmother or stepfather can mean to a child and what today means ‘make family‘, describing what ‘step-parenting’ really is”, thus presents the actress.
A film that questions the question of parenthood
This film questions in particular the place of the mother-in-law within the family and this desire for motherhood which can be heightened in the woman at the time of the encounter with the child. “At this moment, the question arises of what we represent for the other and for how long, but also what can be transmitted and what remains of us after our death”, explains the actress. Thus, what “really transported” Virginie Efira, “is that this film is about the loneliness you can have that doesn’t resolve just because you have a child.”
Because for the actress, the question of parenthood and the fact of becoming a mother is essential very early in women and “the film also looks at another place that is little watched, which is this feminine impotence” to give life. Thus, for Viriginie Efira, the words of the gynecologist to her character asking her “Why did you wait so long? It’s a countdown“, are “a truth that corresponds to something rarely named in society because slightly shameful“.
For this role, the actress admits having drawn, as regularly in her work as an actress, from her life as a woman and a mother to shoot this film. “I know what it’s like to be a mother-in-law, I’m also at an age where the question of fertility can arise and I know what love rejection is“, she assures.
For Virgine Efira, it’s a chance to be able to play in France
Present at the Toronto festival to present this film last week, Virgine Efira confides thatshe dreams of playing outside of France, “whether in Italy, the United States or elsewhere”. “It’s nice to see another way of doing and learning, she says. But I’m already lucky to play in France. Actors all over the world envy us because we have an extremely diversified cinema that does not necessarily submit to the codes of society, but questions them..”
The actress squarely poses as a defender of French cinema by dropping: “People who say that French cinema sucks is that they don’t see all its richness. There are really a lot of different and cool things. It is quite a joyful terrain to roam.”
Showing seven films this year, Virgine Efira also ensures that she refuses films. “But it’s really difficult, because there are always interesting roles and i love it, she says. It’s an absolutely fascinating job.”
People who say that French cinema sucks don’t see all its richness”, assures Virginie Efira