meet the future stars of french cinema

i-D and Kenzo shoot the exciting, young talent nominated for the César Award for Most Promising Young Actor and Actress, and ask them about their vision of the future.

by i-D Staff
Mar 11 2016, 3:05pm

Bright, beautiful and brimming with ideas, this year's nominees for the César Award for Most Promising Young Actor and Actress are the kind of talented yet humble youth that make this generation of actors so exciting. They act not just because they love it, but because it's the only thing they truly believe in. Rod, Quentin Lou, Finnegan, Felix and Diane, the future of French cinema, and beyond, belongs to you. Bonne chance.

Quentin Dolmaire, 22, nominated for My Golden Days by Arnaud Desplechin

What does being nominated for Most Promising Actor mean to you?
It's a little bit strange. On the one hand it feels like a accomplishment, on the other it feels like I now have so much to prove. Desplechin's My Golden Days is the only movie I've been in, so I still have plenty learn as an actor. 

How did you react when you heard that Arnaud Desplechin had cast you?
I couldn't believe it! The casting process took a long time, about two months, and I was working at McDonalds to pay for drama classes, constantly waiting for the phone to ring. 

Did you watch his movies before the shooting?
Yes, even though he didn't want me to. Arnaud didn't want us to be influenced by his other movies, or by a certain ways of acting. But I did it, anyway.

What is your hope for the future?
I want to shoot with Desplechin again. And I want to act on stage. My dream would be to act in Long Voyage du Jour à la Nuit

Diane Rouxel, 22, nominated for La tête haute, by Emmanuelle Bercot

What do the César Awards mean to you?
Celebrating people who like to make beautiful things.

Did you ever imagine you'd be nominated for Most Promising Actress?
Not at all.

What is the best part about being an actress?
I enjoy the psychological side of the characters I play; I always try to understand them. Being able to get into the mind of someone else is really quite amazing. 

Who is your role model in cinema?
Isabelle Huppert.

If you had to pick your favorite French movie, which one would it be?
The 400 Blows, by François Truffaut. It addresses some really important social issues. I could talk about it for hours!

What do you think of French cinema in 2016?
It's hard to define, but there's a new energy. There's a new wave of French directors that are creating beautiful movies.

What are your dreams for the future?
I want to be part of lots of beautiful movies. I would love to shoot with Quentin Tarantino too. 

Do you think it is harder for a girl than for a boy to succeed in cinema?
In my opinion, no. But then again, ask me about it about when my eyes have turned all wrinkly!

What change would you like to see in the world?
More tolerance. Less discrimination.

Felix Moati, 26, nominated for All About Them

What are your dreams for your careers?
I only want to be part of films that I would watch. I don't want any separation between my job and my passion for cinema.

What's the best part of being an actor?
All the friendships you get to make on set. And being part of something that challenges your convictions.

What have you learned about yourself since becoming an actor?
I've learned to accept and embrace my feminine side.

What is femininity to you?
Femininity is strength. 

What film best encapsulates French cinema for you?
Kings and Queen, by Arnaud Desplechin.

What's your biggest dream?
I'd love to drink a bottle of wine with Francis Ford Coppola.

What would you talk about?
Women, I guess. I would imagine he knows a lot about love that I do not know.

Finnegan Oldfield, 25, nominated for Cowboys, by Thomas Bidegain

How does it feel to be nominated for this award?
It feels great. But being an actor means you always need more. You need to surpass yourself, to go further, to go deeper. 

What is the best part of being an actor ?
The atmosphere and ambiance of being on set. When I was 10 and had just started acting, being on set felt like being at summer camp. In a way, that feeling has never gone away, it still feels like summer camp. The adrenaline acting can provoke as well, when all the anger and stress inside of me becomes tangible.

What's your best memory as an actor?
I have too many amazing memories to name just one.

What are your favorite films?
I like a lot of old cinema. Like Truffaut's Small Change. I also adore Army of Shadow and Tontons Flingueurs. And most recently, I'd also say much of Jacques Audiard's films. 

Have you learned much about yourself through acting?
I learn something new every day I act. It happens every time I play a new character. 

Lou Roy Lecollinet, 19, nominated for My Golden Days, by Arnaud Desplechin

Have you always wanted to be an actress?
Not at all. When I was younger, I wanted to be a singer. I randomly found myself at the casting for Desplechin's movie!

Do you want to keep acting?
I can't see myself as just an actress for my entire life. But for now, it's great.

What is the best part of being an actress?
I'm not sure. When I'm acting, I just feel like myself. Even though I'm pretending to be someone else. The characters and stories might not be real, but the emotions definitely are.

What does being nominated for Most Promising Actress mean to you ?
It means a lot. It gives me hope, it encourages me, it makes me recognized. It feels like French cinema has told me, "we love you." 

What does your generation bring to cinema?
We are more free and more open-minded to different roles than previous generations. We love blockbusters as much as we love indie film. 

If you had to sum up French cinema, which movie would you pick?
Impossible! My Golden Days, perhaps?

What actresses inspire you?
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Emmanuelle Devos, Sara Forestier, Scarlett Johansson.

Rod Paradot, 20, nominated for La Tête Haute by Emanuelle Bercot

How does it feel to be nominated for this award?
I can't quite believe it. It's a beautiful experience. The door has been opened, now I just need to get through.

What was it like to shoot with Catherine Deneuve?
Our relationship became quite familial. On the first day of shooting, I obviously couldn't stop thinking "wow, I am shooting with Catherine Deneuve," but it soon became normal.

What film best encapsulates French cinema for you?
Neuilly Yo Mama!

Do you think you can make a meaningful impact on people through cinema?
Yes. Cinema opens peoples eyes.

If you could pick one actor to work with, who would it be?
I would love to shoot with Vincent Cassel, or François Cluzet.

What is your dream now?
I want to keep acting until I'm old! 


Text Tess Lochanski
Photography Emanuele Fontanesi
Hair Yuji Okuda
Make-Up David Lenhardt
Studio Flesh Studios

tess lochanski
emanuele fontanesi