I’ve been following the career of French actress Noemie Merlant since I saw her in Celine’s Sciamma queer romance film Portrait of a Lady on Fire at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. Since her performance as Marian in Sciamma’s film, Merlant has worked non-stop as an actress appearing films including:
- Jumbo directed by Zoe Wittock which premiered at Sundance 2020.
- A Good Man from frequent collaborator, director Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar.
- One Year, One Night by director Isaki Lacuesta which premiered at Berlinale this year.
And the Todd Field’s film Tar where she acts alongside two-time Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett. The actress told the Guardian that working with Blanchett was a dream come true and inspiration. “Cate Blanchett – she’s always been a key reference for me. I like to rewatch my favourite scenes of hers, sometimes right before I shoot a scene myself – not to copy her, just because it gives me energy.”
While shooting all of these films, she also directed two films, a short titled Shakira and starred, wrote, and directed her first feature Mi Lubita, Mon Amour which premiered at Cannes 2021. She’s working on a female-centered thriller script, and a documentary about her family.
Merlant most recent film, (opening Friday in New York theaters) Paris 13th District (Les Olympiades) by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, The Beat That My Heart Skipped) and co-written by none other than Celine Sciamma. The film follows three young people Nora (Merlant), Emillie (Lucie Zhang), and Camille (Makita Samba) navigating love and loss in modern day Paris.
She’s in demand right now, so it was great to chat with the actress about how she remained organized while working non-stop since 2019, and all the projects she has coming up.
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