From “Birth of octopuses” to “Little mother”, Céline Sciamma has almost exclusively staged non-professional actresses. Focus on some of the faces revealed by the cinema of Sciamma.
While Little Mum, Céline Sciamma’s 5th feature film, has just been released in theaters, a spotlight on the faces revealed by the filmmaker and her casting director Christel Baras.
If Portrait of the young girl on fire was an exception with her duo of professional actresses – Adèle Haenel (revealed 10 years earlier by Birth of the Octopuses) and Noémie Merlant (Le Ciel attendra, Les Héritiers, Le retour du hero. .) -, without forgetting Valeria Golino (Rain Man, Hot Shots!) in a supporting role, the filmmaker has always had to highlight young actresses, who for the most part had no or very little experience in as an actress in the cinema.
From birth of octopuses to Little mom, here are 15 faces of Céline Sciamma’s cinema.
Birth of the Octopuses (2007)
From her first feature film, Céline Sciamma uses what is called a “wild casting”, in order to try to find young girls of the age for the role, and physique corresponding precisely to the archetypes desired for the plot. of Birth of Octopuses.
- Pauline Acquart (center) was found by chance by casting director Christel Baras, in the Jardin du Luxembourg. She plays Marie, the main character, shy, unsure of herself, both awkward and gracious. . After Birth of the Octopuses, we could see Pauline Acquart again in the feature films Jamais contentente by Emilie Deleuze and Jeanne Captive by Philippe Ramos. She recently shot in the short film Heurte, under the direction of Vincent Zulawski, the first film of the son of Sophie Marceau and Andrzej Zulawski
- Louise Blachère (left), who plays Anne, the good friend, joined the cast by responding to a classified ad. After this first feature film, she was one of the recurring characters in the Soda series with Kev Adams and William Lebghil. She was also one of the heroines of Olivier Afonso’s crazy film Girls with Balls which aired on Netflix. We also had it in Eperdument by Pierre Godeau and La vie très privée de Monsieur Sim by Michel Leclerc.
- Adele Haenel already had experience in the cinema, in this case Les Diables by Christophe Ruggia, released 5 years before Birth of the Octopuses. It is the same casting director, Christel Baras, who had the idea to call on her again for this film. Adèle Haenel had moved away from the cinema and continued her studies. Birth of the octopuses was the real starting point of his career, having since shot in twenty feature films (L’Apollonide, 120 Battements per minute, En Liberté …). She has also performed on stage, and is currently playing in L’Etang, directed by Gisèle Vienne.
The success of Tomboy’s casting was the sine qua non for Céline Sciamma’s second feature film to be made. Without a “rare pearl”, no film! The production should be fast, the filmmaker did not resort to a wild casting, but turned to the agencies of actors.
Zoé Héran who plays the main role of Laure / Michaël was spotted from the first day of the search! She had the photogeny and the attitudes sought by the director.
Zoé Héran continues her career in cinema, between series and feature films. She was in the soundtrack of the football film Comme des Garcons (2018) and is in the credits of the series Stalk.
Jeanne Disson was not destined for comedy. Spotted at the age of 9, also by Christel Baras, she convinced for her very childish look and her great sensitivity.
She will be showing in Leos Carax’s new film, Annette, which will open at Cannes, and in theaters on July 6 across France. She was also in the credits of Leos Carax’s previous film, Holy Motors.
Malonn Lévana plays Laure / Michaël’s little sister. The complicity between the two little actresses was an essential prerequisite, and this is what led to the choice of the little girl that we could also see in Polisse by Maïwenn.
Malonn Lévana has since toured under the direction of Jacques Doillon (Un enfant de toi), Hubert Viel (Girls in the Middle Ages), Pascal Chaumeil (Un plan parfait). She was also present in an episode of Bref (We were kids).
Band of Girls (2014)
Return to the wild casting for this third feature film. Several hundred girls were considered for the four roles in the film. The casting required 4 months of work, the casting director Christel Baras surveyed Paris and its suburbs, in search of strong looks and identities.
“An essential part of the project was to look at these faces and these bodies that we never see, or in a dynamic of diversity, which does not give pride of place to the characters, but which stages the gesture of representing them.“, indicated the director at the time of the promotion of the film, in 2014.
- Karidja Touré who plays the main role of Marieme / Vic pursues a career in cinema. We have seen it in particular in Sage femme by Martin Provost, Ce qui nous binds by Cédric Klapisch, La Colle by Alexandre Castagnetti, or Au bout des fingers by Ludovic Bernard.
- Assa Sylla is spotted at the Throne Fair with a friend. Then high school student, the teenager is cast to become Lady. After a few supporting roles, notably in season 3 of Falco and in Tout, tout de suite, the 6th feature film by Richard Berry, the young woman becomes Imane in the French version of the successful SKAM series. Season 4 of the series is also centered around his character.
- Lindsay Karamoh (Adiatou), spotted for her “comical nature, its flow and an intelligence of the rare verb“, subsequently played in Sex Doll by Sylvie Verheyde and Black Snake by Thomas Ngijol.
- Marietou Touré, Fily, the character “the most mysterious of the bunch [de filles], the most silent“, did not pursue his career in the cinema.
Portrait of the Girl on Fire (2019)
Luàna Bajrami was destined to become an actress and already had several experiences before joining Portrait of the young girl on fire.
Before playing the maid Sophie, alongside Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant, the young actress took her first steps in the telefilm Le Choix d’Adèle (2011) and Marion, 13 years old (2016).
In 2019, we were able to discover it in quick succession in three feature films: The Time of the Release by Sébastien Marnier, Family Celebration by Cédric Kahn and Portrait of the Young Girl on Fire.
In June 2021, we can find her successively in Les deux Alfred by Bruno Podalydès and Ibrahim by Samir Guesmi.
Luàna Bajrami has also embarked on directing. At barely 20 years old, she has already signed a first feature, entitled The hill where the lionesses roar, which should be released soon.
Little mom (2021)
For Little mom, her new feature film currently in theaters, Céline Sciamma has found her young actresses on classified ad.
“The announcement published by casting director Christel Baras mentioned [que des candidates soeurs, ou soeurs jumelles] were welcome and we received the candidacy of Joséphine and Gabrielle Sanz with whom we immediately found a field of work and listening. ”
“They wanted to make the film and their parents wanted to accompany them in this story that touched them“, details the filmmaker in the press kit of the film.
For the two young girls, now aged 9, it was a very first cinema experience. “As always in my work with children, everything was then done on set. No rehearsal, but a meeting with the challenges of day-to-day staging “, she continues.
“It is a gesture of radical confidence in the seriousness and talent of children. It requires a lot of preparation upstream – especially since the shooting times are legitimately reduced for the children – but also an extraordinary concentration at the time. But I’ve never been disappointed, far from it. “