L’Abîme on France 2: “It’s very interesting to play a character who is not at all who we believe”, confides Sara Mortensen



Sara Mortensen plays one of the main roles in “L’Abîme” on France 2. She plays Elsa, a mother who disappears as her past resurfaces… For AlloCiné, the star of “Astrid and Raphaëlle” looks back on this experience.

This Wednesday, February 8, 2023, France 2 is launching the broadcast of its new thriller mini-series L’Abîme, from 9:30 p.m. Here, Sara Mortensen and Gil Alma play the main roles, playing Elsa and Laurent, a married couple with a teenage daughter.

Seemingly perfect, their family life changes when Elsa mysteriously disappears while jogging. Haunted by a past that she hoped to leave behind forever, she and her loved ones find themselves hunted down and in great danger…

For AlloCiné, the star actress of Astrid and Raphaëlle looks back on this experience…

AlloCiné: What made you want to participate in The Abyss ?

Sarah Mortensen: I wanted to work for Elephant, which is the production company. So I was very happy when I was offered the role. When I read the scripts, I read all six episodes at once! I felt overwhelmed, which is a good sign. I then met the director, François Velle. He is an extraordinary person, very gentle and cultured. It was the winning combo!

Tell us about Elsa, your character…

She is a woman who has been married for twenty years to her man. They are still very much in love. They have a teenage daughter and it’s a little tricky with the mother… (laughs) Elsa lives with them and works in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, where she is a real estate agent. In appearance, it is the perfect family, in its routine. Elsa’s only outlet is to go running, she goes there every day.

That’s when she can be who she really is… Elsa is actually a very complex character and we’ll see that over the episodes. There’s always something happening on screen and that’s also what I liked about this project. It’s very interesting for an actress to play a character who is not at all what you think.

Elsa actually hides a heavy past and has lied to everyone for years… Do you understand her choice?

She had no choice, she was the victim of a chain of events. This is not voluntary ! For me, it’s not a real lie because she is sincere in what she experiences with her family. She forgot to share some data… We all know this mechanic and once it’s started, it’s very difficult to get out of it. The bigger it is, the harder it is to go back.

Was she always sincere towards her husband or did she first see in him a way to escape?

It’s a mix of both but I don’t think she would have stayed if she wasn’t sincere. Elsa and Laurent are in love, they still want each other. Long-term couples sometimes tend to run out of steam and this is not their case. At first, this relationship helped her but it was ultimately life-saving.

And you, in Laurent’s place, how would you have reacted to all these revelations?

I couldn’t accept that at all. Of course, it remains a fiction. That said, this very mysterious side exists in some people. Like people who go to buy cigarettes and never come back… They rebuild something by forgetting everything they had before. It’s a reality.

Do you enjoy playing this kind of trouble-making heroine?

It’s awesome ! I had filmed in The Art of Crime where I played a dancer from the Moulin Rouge who wakes up next to someone bloodied, without remembering anything. It’s great to play characters who have amnesia! You can’t reconstruct a puzzle since you don’t have the pieces… It must drive you crazy in real life.

How did your collaboration with Gil Alma go?

We didn’t know each other at all! We met while reading. I saw who he was thanks to Our dear neighbours. Our director told me ‘You’ll see, he’s a great actor and it’s going to do it in this register too.‘ And indeed, it matched right away.

Gil is a very nice, soothing, funny man… Obviously, the atmosphere is relaxed at his side. It does not fart or takes up too much space. He’s a cool, simple human being. We tried to tell our story together as best we could, listening to each other.


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