Being scared, it wakes me up

Interviewed by Louis Lepron

Directed and photographed by Emmanuel Giraud

Ever: After more than 10 years of career, what do you still love about acting?

Stacy: What I love above all is being on set. After everything that surrounds the release of the film, obviously I'm proud of it, but mainly because it's a team effort. I see the actors, the light, the image, and I feel all of that in the final film. As an actor, you come in like in a sandwich: you have no control over the production beforehand, the editing, etc. You have to trust the people you work with, and that can be both frustrating and magical; you completely surrender yourself. You watch the film and it's a surprise: you realize that your instincts and desires are realized in a very visual, auditory way, and that's cool.



Ever: Is the greatest pleasure in letting go?

Stacy: Yes, and it's quite strange because at the same time, during my workdays, I have no freedom, everything is highly controlled. We know the scenes, we know when we eat, we are told we're allowed to take 5 minutes to go to the bathroom: everything is intense. But in that control, there's also a freedom; letting go allows us to be "supported". Like people in circuses who do acrobatics, they always have a safety net. It's really having a safety net that allows you to do somersaults (laughs).






Ever: What would be the film in which you had the most freedom ?

Stacy: I had a lot of freedom in "The Apparition" by Marie Monge with Tahar Rahim. It's a film where she gave us immense freedom, and Tahar, he's an actor who loves to improvise and try new things in every scene. He improvises in action. It also allowed us to go beyond the story, to find new things and to let go of this idea of success and perfection. And sometimes we fail, but that's also the beauty of allowing ourselves to fail, and to say that we tried.



Ever: Do you sometimes have regrets related to a shoot ?

Stacy: Sometimes I have frustrations due to lack of time, maybe the other actor was stressed or something happened. We didn't manage to achieve what I imagined. But then I think to myself, "What was I imagining, actually?" Because cinema is defined by external circumstances, even if we have desires for direction, at some point it has to exist, with a script, an actor, a light, and an environment. It's more about my own insecurity, because we want it to be perfect and we don't want to disappoint others. With "The Imaginary Molière", the actors knew each other perfectly, with automatism. And during rehearsals, we had to rehearse to get that theatrical aspect, which intimidated me and exhilarated me at the same time. And I thought to myself, "What joy to play with these people." I thought I shouldn't disappoint them, to be up to their level. We create stress for ourselves by constantly comparing ourselves.



Ever: Do you try to imagine as much as possible how the shoot will go?

Stacy: When we were at school, we were sitting at our desks and the paper was turned over, and the 3 minutes before turning it over were horrible. You turn the paper over, and everything's fine, you're busy, you're in action. In the waiting, everything can be a disaster. A week before going on set, I completely shut myself off, but once I arrive and the rehearsals are in place, everything's fine. The beforehand is stressful. Afterwards, it's an apprehension that is necessary, an adrenaline rush that makes us want to be there, it's something that matters to us. If we didn't care, if I wasn't happy, if I didn't have a minimum of anxiety, I would think there was a problem. It gives us a little boost. Being scared wakes me up.





Ever: Has your vision of cinema, your desires, evolved since your first film?

Stacy: My desires, not necessarily, but it's mainly the film industry that has evolved, with the arrival of streaming platforms. Series have become more popular, actors who said they would never do series are now doing them, with a bit more freedom in terms of creation. After all, I'm at a point where, at the age of 33, I've changed too. I'm at a point in my life where I don't want the same roles anymore. I don't want to be the woman who falls in love for the first time anymore, and that's been a real change for me to realize that I now want to play a mother, a policewoman. I also feel like we're being pigeonholed so much. Because I look young, I still get offered roles of 18-year-olds. Emotionally and mentally, it's not something I want to do. There are so many more things to create, to do. I would love to have female roles that are a bit more punk.



Ever: It's funny because your first role was in a punk film, "Nymphomaniac".

Stacy: Maybe I want to go back to that (laughs).


Ever: Your next film with Lars Von Trier!

Stacy: I would love that.


Ever: So your desires have evolved over the years.

Stacy: Yes, and then we also want to change, but we have the freedom, as actors, to work with new actors and new directors. I manage by doing a maximum of 3 films per year, 3 different sets, 3 different languages, while a filmmaker, it's one film every 5 years, in a constant battle.






Ever: Directing, does it interest you?

Stacy: I get asked this question a lot because when I'm heavily involved in directing, I watch a lot of filmmakers and how they do it. The last thing I care about is the actors' performance. I have such a love for cinema that it scares me; it's so hard, you have to be so tenacious and vulnerable. As an actor, I'm protected, with someone else's words. If it's my story, my writing, it's 100% me. It's never the actors' fault.



Ever: How do you interact with directors?

Stacy: Directors, it's also a special relationship with their actors. You have to learn to communicate differently with other people. I don't like being talked to too much on set, for example; if someone talks to me for 10 minutes, I don't really understand the direction, I get lost. I like tangible things. I like it when the discussion has taken place beforehand. With Lars, that was the case, and on set, he would just say to me, "We've done it at 100%, let's try 78." I don't know what that means, but at that moment, I understood.



Ever: How much did this first experience define you?

Stacy: It defined me very strongly in terms of image, the cinema I entered. I belong to a very particular cinema bubble, and it's the one I dreamed of being in. I didn't realize it right away, actually, since I was focused on the film.



Ever: When do you take a step back from this first film? Do you establish a career "strategy"?

Stacy: The word strategy doesn't bother me because it raises the question of how we want to define ourselves artistically in cinema. A strategy means admitting what we want to do, being ambitious, and it's also courageous. It's a profession where you get rejected 70% of the time, not because you're bad, but because you don't fit the role. You also have to admit that you have limitations and you can't do everything. Also, I don't want to be seen everywhere, all the time. I kind of want to remain somewhat unknown. If people see me too much, they'll start to get tired of me. It takes a bit of strategy, and it's a job that demands a lot physically and in terms of personal life. For example, I hardly ever see my parents.


I think I've changed too: before COVID, I traveled and worked a lot. It was like "shoot - press - shoot - festival." COVID stopped everything, and I wondered what I was doing. I was exhausted, I didn't know who I was anymore. I found myself in a supermarket and had a panic attack. And since I didn't have the structure of a shoot anymore, I didn't know what to do. I even forgot my wallet. I was so disconnected from myself and my life, it was a huge shock. COVID allowed me to make a huge reset. It felt like a burnout. Now I pay attention to my friendships, I travel for myself, without it being organized with work attached. I need to be myself, I got a dog, and the simplicity of taking care of him gave me a responsibility, in a very simple way.




Ever: Regarding the evolution of your roles, what would be your ideal role?

Stacy: There's a play by Tennessee Williams called "Suddenly Last Summer," with the role of Valerie Venable played by Katharine Hepburn, who's incredible in it. While we know more about "A Streetcar Named Desire" or "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," this play has always fascinated me, in the idea of ​​playing it in the theater with all the rigor that it demands.



Ever: Do you have any rituals to prepare for your roles?

Stacy: I always find some sort of process. It's never the same because each role demands something different. For "The Imaginary Molière," it was amazing costumes, and it required a lot of time and density, which I incorporated into my preparation. It helped me a lot. Then there's the psychological aspect: I always spend three weeks alone beforehand. Sometimes we don't have the time, but during these three weeks, I read a lot; it's an unconscious work to assimilate things, to find lines that make sense. We read so much that we learn by default. I hate being forced to memorize; it stresses me out. There, I do "daydreaming," this idea of constant thought throughout the day. Then it can also be working on an accent. We also try to understand what can affect a character, like a detective would to understand the motivations of the person he's investigating.


Ever: Lastly, what's on your nightstand currently?

Stacy: I recently read a book called "Everything/Nothing/Someone: A Memoir" by Alice Carrière. She's a writer who wrote a very punk and yet very sweet autobiography. She fell into medication addiction at a young age, and she describes her journey. It's written in a funny and touching way, with distance and without being overly emotional. Then there's a trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen, a Danish writer, between biography and fiction. She's been writing since she was very young, and you feel like you're reading someone who's five years old. The feelings she manages to recreate are fascinating.



Ever: And a film you recently discovered and liked?

Stacy: I loved "The Zone of Interest." I adore Jonathan Glazer, and I found it to be a touching and disturbing film. It's a very contemporary film. And Sandra Hüller is perfection. And more recently, I watched "Dahomey" by Mati Diop, it's a masterpiece. It's 70 minutes of genius that tells the journey of pieces brought to Benin via France, which then sent them away.



Ever: Finally, a music artist?

Stacy: Right now, I'm listening to "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes. It's the ultimate feel-good song. And also "I'm on Fire" by Bruce Springsteen. The lyrics are unsettling, but it's a great song (laughs).










Credits :

Stylism — Marie Cheiakh @siwarcheiakh
Make up — Ismael Blancol @ismaelblancomakeup 
Hair — Ben Mignot @benmignot 
Nails — Virginie Mataja @vmataj 




contact us — contact@ever.paris




For each role, I ask myself who is this guy