On the occasion of the broadcast of “Girl” on Arte, a look back at the career of Victor Polster, a young Belgian dancer who takes his first steps here in front of the camera.
A real sensation at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, from which he left with three awards (the Camera d’Or, the Un Certain Regard Interpretation Award and the Queer Palm), Girl reveals not only a promising young filmmaker, Lukas Dhont, but also a newbie and equally talented actor, Victor Polster.
Born in Brussels in 2002, the young man took theater lessons from an early age then pursued a professional dancer course, joining the Royal Ballet School in Antwerp. It was by participating in the clip of the Belgian rock group Vegas that he stood out. Victor is in demand to appear in productions for Ballet Vlaanderen as well as in a shoot for the luxury brand Dior.
A GIRL THAT TURNS EVERYTHING UP
At only 14 years old, the one who was not destined for comedy landed the lead role of Girl. This Belgian drama traces the journey of a teenage girl, Lara, née Victor. The latter pursues two dreams: that of becoming a principal dancer and that of having an operation in order to have the biological body of a woman. To find his rare gem, Lukas Dhont auditioned nearly 500 people, both cisgender boys (person whose perceived gender corresponds to that attributed at birth) and transgender girls, before meeting Victor Polster.
For his part, the young man had gone to the casting in the hope of being part of the comrades of Lara’s dance school. He also wanted to meet the choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: “I immediately saw that she was a very strong person, sure of what she wanted later and ready to do anything to achieve it. I wanted to represent this character who is for me a heroine. know that it is very complicated to find the courage to make this choice, which is no longer even a choice but which becomes a necessity “ (comments collected by AlloCiné during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival).
Girl: meeting with the film crew that caused a sensation in Cannes
Like his character who must acquire the same level of dance as his female counterparts, Victor Polster had to learn in just three months to dance on pointe. This exercise, reserved for girls in classical dance, represented an incredible challenge: “It was quite dangerous, because I had never done it before and three months of training is not enough to train the muscles in this discipline”, he confides to Inrockuptibles, n ° 1192.
“It creates stability problems, I could fall, hurt myself. But, at the same time, it was a pretty strong experience to go to the other side”. The actor also worked with a speech therapist to get his voice into the treble.
His incarnation of a great accuracy of Lara, both introverted and determined, won him numerous praise and the Un Certain Regard Award for interpretation at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Yet, Victor Polster keeps his feet on the ground and plans to devote himself to his first passion, dance:
“I had other proposals from the cinema side, yes, but not things that interested me enough to interrupt my studies for two months for the shooting”, he explained to Ève Beauvallet for Release. “That’s why I’m not looking for roles right now. But in the future, yes, I would love to relive that kind of experience.”