Actress revealed thanks to her interpretation as Cathy in the film Van Gogh by Maurice Pialat, Elsa Zylberstein struck hard by receiving the Michel Simon Prize the following year (1992). In 2008, she won the César for best actress in a supporting role for the film I have loved you for a long time by Philippe Claudel. Today comes out Everything smiles on us by Mélissa Drigeard with Stéphane de Groodt, Guy Marchand and Anne Benoît.
franceinfo: The initial release was scheduled for November 11, 2020. That’s it, it’s in theaters!
Elsa Zylberstein: He received three prizes at the Alpe d’Huez Comedy Festival, so we are happy to finally show this film to the public, that people discover it.
You play the role of Audrey, mother of three children, married to Jérôme. For a weekend, you each go on your own with your respective lovers. You will have the same idea and find yourself in the family country house. It’s a film that forces us to reflect on the strength and importance of ties.
I think this is the basic premise. I take a lover, something I had never done. Audrey wants to get fucked up, to be stunned. She’s going to her country house with this Italian. Her husband does the same at the same time. The children in the house come to party with their friends and my parents come to surprise us when they see that the cars are there. So everyone, all generations, will meet in this house.
“It’s a funny and moving film. It talks about transmission, family secrets. Take off the masks! At some point, we can no longer pretend. We are going to tell each other what we think, we will say who we are. “Elsa Zylberstein
There is almost a crazy and strong side in this film which at the beginning started like a vaudeville. Audrey is in the “appearing” and we’re going to ask her to be in the “being” that weekend.
Have you always been in the being?
No. It takes time to be in the being. When you’re younger, you’re afraid of being judged. It takes a bit of both. When being is beautiful, appearing is magic.
Your father is played by Guy Marchand. He is sublime in this role, with the soul of a poet. He is a fan of poetry. He speaks of the passing of time, of the fleeting time, which is a challenge. How do you see this passing time?
It’s never necessarily pleasant, afterwards I don’t think about it too much. You have to live things as they are. I embrace life all the time, all the time, all the time.
Your dad is a physicist, your mom was a beautician at Dior. What did they convey to you?
Honesty, righteousness, fairness, a kind of rigor too. They passed this on to me.
“I think that to do the job I do, you have to have a strong education. To hold out, you have to be strong, that the base is strong.”Elsa Zylberstein
I was very good at dancing. My teacher called my parents all the time to get me to the Paris Opera. I did not want. I was very shy. And after at 16, 17, dancing, it was too late. I asked myself: what am I going to do?
When did you realize that your voice was in the cinema?
There were several actresses who made me want to. Isabelle Adjani, Romy Schneider, Annie Girardot. I said to myself: this is strong, this is what I want to do. I thought it was bigger than life. It was a dream. There was something romantic. I wanted life to be romantic. I do everything so that life is. I like a role and I tell myself I’m going and I trust the people I have chosen, on a lunch, a dinner, three work sessions and I say to myself, come on, we’ll see.
It is often said that the cinema is a family affair, for you too?
I feel very much at home in the cinema since I grew up there. When I was 18, I was already making movies. There, I am working with Jean-Pierre Jeunet at the moment and I have known him for fifteen years. It’s like romantic encounters with directors.
A word about the film Van Gogh by Maurice Pialat because I have the impression that it was a turning point in your life.
Sure. It is the finger of God. At one point, we feel like we have a little help from God: “You, we will help you a little bit“. I was an extra on Van Gogh, he came to look me in the eyes and said: “Look at the text“, I looked at the text. He said to me:”Don’t learn, that’s how we get bad“. I told him the first sentence and he said to me:”It’s okay, you got the role, go get dressed“. I shot for a month.
“The film went to Cannes, I was nominated for the César. It totally changed my life and for me, Pialat is like my cinema dad.”Elsa Zylberstein
It’s with I have loved you for a long time that you get that Grail, the Caesar for Best Supporting Actress. Does it change anything for you?
Sure. It doesn’t change your career, but it was as if the profession told me: “Go ahead, keep going“. I took it as a little gift, a little hug,”it’s good, we love you, continue“. I take it that way and I’m happy to see it in my living room.
In 2021, there are a lot of things to come. There are Simone, the journey of the century by Olivier Dahan. It must be pretty impressive to take on the role of Simone Veil.
It was an amazing experience. These are people who are missing today. Sometimes you wonder what she would have said in front of that, that and that? Gisèle Halimi too. These are the voices of strong women who were not afraid.