Lena Garrel: “I couldn’t avoid cinema: it’s a family affair”

Lena Garrel he surprises me by speaking almost perfect Italian. “I lived in Italy for a year, a little more.” Twenty four years old Lena she is the “little girl” of the Garrel house, born of a father Philipwith director and screenwriter Caroline Deroisand his brother Louis40 years old and his sister EstherPhilip, 32, was born from his first marriage to actress and director Bridget C.

Lena, who like the rest of the family has recently started working in the entertainment industry, is one of the main characters in the film. Ursa Major – Great Chariot who after the victorySilver Bear for Directing (to Philip) Berlinale 2023, which recently hit theaters. A film in which the father wanted all three children also because it tells an intimate, personal story. A family of puppeteers at the center of the story Big carriagein fact, inspired by the passion for dolls his parents. Thus, the film is also a symbolic passing of the baton.

This was the first time my father staged it. How it was?
“Beautiful. And I really liked the Berlin Film Festival. I had never been there, I was amazed that all the attention was focused on cinema, art, and not on show business.”

When and how did he start talking to you about this film?
“During Covid, while we were in quarantine. He told me he was talking about a story about a family going on a trip. The idea for making dolls came from my grandfather, her father, who created costumes for dolls and who also taught this art to my grandmother, who in turn did the same with my father. Dad wanted this tradition to be passed on to us children. For a year before we made the film, we all took puppetry classes.”

She liked it?
“Yes. Because Dad never really told us much about his father. It was his way of passing on something from his grandparents to us grandchildren.”

Am I wrong or was your mom involved in writing the script too?
“He’s not wrong. We are all here(He is laughing)”.

In a family like yours, was it impossible not to become an actress?
“As a child, I said: “When I grow up, I will do anything except work in films or in the theater.” It seemed to me that a whole acting family was too much: “I’m the youngest, I’ll do something else. I don’t know, lawyer.” But it didn’t work. After school I signed up for an acting class to give it a try and realized I loved it too much to give up. This is what makes me the happiest in the world.”

Before this film he played in Le Amandier Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, in which her brother Louis was also present, who, among other things, was Valeria’s partner for a long time…
“In the film, I am a drama school student. In fact, after school, when I decided that I wanted to be an actress, I thought about the stage, not about cinema. I like the direct contact with the public, the fact that every evening I meet different views. I attended the auditions for Le Amandier because it was a film about the love of the theater.”

Did he really have to audition?
“Definitely! Six months of auditions, like everyone else. It was not a typical audition. She said: “You have to demonstrate that you want to go to Les Amandiers school.” It was as if Valeria was not the director of the film, but the director of the school for young actors.”

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