Clara-Maria Laredo, the revelation of In her image by Thierry de Peretti

In one of the most beautiful films of this start of the festival, she portrays a young photographer at the heart of the events that will shake Corsica from the 80s to the 2000s. A sparkling debut. Encounter.

As his look marks your very first cinema experience. Did you imagine yourself one day becoming an actress?

Clara-Maria Laredo : I would say the only warning sign was that when I was a child, my mother called me commedia dell'arte! (laughs) But nothing more, I assure you…

How then do we find ourselves playing the leading role in Peretti's new Thierry?

It's a bit of a crazy story. I was doing an internship at the European Parliament as parliamentary assistant to MP François Alfonsi, who was also responsible for a Corsican autonomist magazine, Arriti, for which I wrote numerous political articles. And then one day when I had just seen Investigation into a state scandal, a friend tells me that Thierry is doing a wild casting call for his next film. I tell him that I don't see myself writing an article on that. And there, he suggested that I try to pass it. I tell him, “Damn if you do it.” And as he says this, here I am embarked on the process. But really in gamble mode to keep my word. Without ever thinking of getting the role for a moment. Except that I hang on to each of my exchanges with casting director Julie Allione. Because the questions she asks me are political around Corsica, the relationship to Corsican land, to religion. It makes me wonder. It fascinates me, especially since my father was an actor during those years. The reality the film talks about is therefore not mine but I am immediately connected to it. And then the turns come one after another and little by little we begin to work on certain scenes from the first version of the scenario.

Do you like playing?

Yes, I am immediately hooked on the exercise of improvisation. I find there a space of freedom which will continue to open and widen. Then Thierry asks me to start taking photos. I did it a lot younger, I stopped at 12 but I loved starting again. Cover with images the actions of friends involved in unions. And then, one day, Thierry offered me the role of Antonia…

How do you prepare for it when you have no cinematic experience?

By leading from the front… several fronts! A month after being hired, I was on an internship at Corse Matin where my character works. At the same time, I am training as a photographer, I take courses at the Agnès Varda University in Brussels, in photo development. I am accompanied by a photographer, Pierre-Antoine Fournier, who covered those years.


And from a gaming point of view?

It involves workshops with Thierry and the rest of the cast. Because the writing of scenes sometimes arises from our improvisations. But also to forge a bond between us, to create this group of friends that we see on the screen.

Did the camera impress you?

No because I started campaigning very young, notably by founding an association SSP (Under the Poverty Line). So I am used to speaking at demonstrations, to giving filmed interviews. And then I had the chance to be filmed here by someone as exceptional as Josée Deshaies. With Thierry and her, nothing can happen to you!

At the end of this adventure, what excited you the most in these weeks spent creating and then playing this character?

Its paradoxes. His unpredictable side. The difficulty we may have in understanding it. It's an incredible opportunity to be able to portray a character whose ways of envisioning him are so multiple. Does she decide, for example at one point in her life, to leave Corsica to cover the conflict in the former Yugoslavia because it responds to her quest for truth or to alleviate her boredom? Everyone – me first – has their own idea but no one is right or wrong. It gives incredible freedom in the game.

Did this first experience make you want to continue?

Yes really ! If the opportunity arises, I will be more than happy.

As his look. By Thierry de Peretti. With Clara-Maria Laredo, Marc Antonu Mozziconacci, Louis Starace… Duration: 1h53. Released September 4, 2024


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