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“Hollywood is a very painful experience”

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Luxembourg is too small a country to have big dreams. This is what Vicky Cripps (37 years) always says from his native country. There she grew up attending theater classes, in which she never played a princess, only supporting roles, in the background, a tree, a child without dialogue. She dreamed of becoming an actress, but she was sure it was a big dream for such a small space. Because of that narrow horizon, the Cripps moved quickly. First, where she could advance geographically and culturally: a trip from South Africa to Mozambique gave her the strength to seriously decide she wanted to be an actress and returned to Europe. She studied in Zurich, in Berlin – where she had already settled and still lives with her husband and two children – and in London.

It started in the theatre, in the cinema, on television and continued throughout Europe. He speaks English, French, German. She was making some leaps to the United States, but it was in 2017 when her career exploded without her looking or waiting for her. Paul Thomas Anderson chose her as the soul, collection, curse and passion of his fashion designer in the subtle and sublime invisible thread. Cripps faced Danielle Day-Lewis on screen, almost literally, and not only was he at his height, he was the big star of the film. Search. Between the end of 2017 and the 2018 Oscars, Vicky Cripps got on the Hollywood machine, accepting all the obligations that come with this kind of production, but as soon as it’s all over, he shied away from that “celebrity culture”. Berlin became, for her family, a more accessible European industry. Now, in 2021, it releases a handful of movies, Weather, M. Night Shyamalan (theatrical release July 30); Beckett, Survivor… he starred only at the recent Cannes Film Festival Burgman Island, by Mia Hansen-Lowe; and Hold Me Tight, by Matthew Amalric. «I am usually a very shy person. And I still don’t feel comfortable with this part of my job, promoting, talking about myself, it scares me … », she begins. But in this case, I am happy to be able to celebrate cinema again. I just want people to watch my movies, go to the movies.

Vicky Cripps

Crips stars alongside Gael García Bernal in ‘Tempo’. Photo: 2021 Universal Studios

Almost all of his new films are short European productions, less Weather. What did you like about the script?
I haven’t seen it yet, I don’t know how scary it will be in the end, but I can imagine. Although the most important thing for me is that it speaks to a deeper meaning of life, and is linked to my other two films, Burgman Island You hold me tight. It is a coincidence, but three of them reflect on the idea of ​​reality: what is real, what is my reality, what am I as a woman, as a wife, as a person in society … time There is a big theme in the film, obviously. is called Weather [en inglés Old] And it’s a horror movie, of course, isn’t it? I hope when you leave the cinema you ask yourself why are we so afraid of getting old, why do we run away from the only certainty of this life: it’s over. We don’t know when.

As an actress, is old age scary?
Maybe I’m stubborn, I think I am, I try not to obsess, I try not to be afraid of getting old, I want to enjoy it, and I found the only weapon to do that Well, I know it sounds weird, to be present. Be here and now. If I succeed, nothing scares me and then getting old becomes just living and I can enjoy my birthday. It’s wonderful to watch your partner grow old together, watch your children grow together… everything is part of the cycle of life. And that the movie is set on the beach is not accidental, the beach reminds you of the coming and going of the tides, the rhythm of this planet which is very different from the time of our clocks because it is just a tradition, but no Doesn’t know what the time really is.

It’s a matter of time… invisible thread Does it seem too far?
On one hand, it feels like it was yesterday because it was completely different from my experiences. And maybe because I learned a lot, I think I was a different person on that set than I was a kid [se ríe] And it seems far away.

everyone told him invisible thread He was going to change his career, but he fled Hollywood and went back to Berlin. Why?
I didn’t go to Hollywood because I feel like I wasn’t ready personally. It wasn’t that I thought I couldn’t work there, but personally I needed to be again, to understand where I came from… when you come from a small country like Luxembourg, So all of a sudden you make this great film, you go to Hollywood, the Oscars, all that attention. It’s a very painful experience, really, because nothing prepares you for it. I think that’s why I needed this time, to take some distance and be myself, perhaps because I feared losing myself in that world. I don’t know if it was the right move or not, but I didn’t miss it. And if that was my goal, I have achieved it. The first time I had to stop to make plans.

That would mean marking red lines, saying no at times.
I remember knowing after Paul Thomas Anderson that I worked with probably the best director you could work with today. What could I do then? The only thing that was clear to me was that I thought that if I could choose, I wanted to make French cinema. And it was magical, because I didn’t show up there: «Bonjour, People, here I am ». I started getting scripts, they were all fantastic and I started working in France. i like a movie invisible thread And, above all, a character like Alma deserves the attention of directors like Mia Hansen-Lowe or Matthew Amalric. And I don’t regret it at all. The two films I’ve presented at Cannes are two ‘handmade’ masterpieces. even though Weather Also, I feel very fortunate to be able to choose and bet on this type of project.

Vicky Cripps

Her portrayal of Alma in ‘The Invisible Thread’ earned her recognition in Hollywood. Photo: Cordon Press

Vicky Cripps is on the phone, just landed… in Luxembourg. « I am back home but only a few weeks to resume filming courses, In which I am playing the role of Sisi Maharani. Remake of Romy Schneider movies? No, something completely new. The original CC movies are great, they’re cult movies, but they don’t show real women. They are a romantic version of her, who was darker, tougher, she had suffered a lot to be a woman at that time, she was a great intellectual, also very politically committed, then there was something taboo for a woman, She was very sad, sad. An example: He had a tattoo, we’re talking about 1860, found it in a sailor’s bar in Amsterdam. When I found out about it and started reading, I discussed it with the director: we had to do justice to him, tell his story. This was my idea. Another proof that Vicky Cripps moves at a different pace. at other times. It goes in other directions than marked by conventions and industry.

Director Mia Hansen-Love said that her film Burgman Island Talks about what it means to be a woman in the world of cinema. what does it mean to you?
I am doing this work for a film like this. This is a film from which I have learned a lot. Ask who you are as an artist, as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a lover… Are all these women the same person? And what the movie says is that in the end, you have to let it go, you’ll always be all these different people. We have to forget this dictatorship of reality, because we don’t know what is real, which means feeling the present, if I exist then I am real… but what is reality? We have all these preconceptions about ourselves, we have to forget them. It’s been a seminal film for me, because it talks about who we are who we are now, but also who we were years ago… I’m still the girl who lived my first love, And mother as well as children.

Is the line between fact and fiction more blurred when you’re an actress?
I talked a lot about this with Gael García Bernal during the filming of Timpo. I see myself as a dancer between realities, between times, like those buffoons of the Middle Ages. I think actors can dance a little on the lines that happen in society. It would be very chaotic if we all did it, but some of us need to do it. Actors can dare to go to other realities and not know whether we will come back or not. It’s not dangerous, it’s not that I don’t care about the rules, but it means being brave to see the abyss. Sometimes you have to accept the madness so as not to go mad at all.

What would you do if your children wanted to follow in your footsteps?
I know there are many actors who tell their kids never to do this. But I find it stupid, how can I stand in front of my daughter and tell her not to be who I am. So who am I? That would be a lie. Of course, I love what I do, but I’ll never decorate it, and she looks at it, she knows I don’t have a vacation, I don’t stop. But I love my work and can’t find anything else to satisfy my curiosity.

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