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Short and Suite

When she was 22: Le Besco
photo: Cinema Guild

"Acting is very easy for me because I'm very open and I know that I can do everything," Isild Le Besco says with demure confidence. The 22-year-old actress proves this in Benoît Jacquot's À Tout de Suite, opening April 29. Based on Elisabeth Fanger's memoir When I Was 19, À Tout de Suite burns with Le Besco's searing portrayal of a melancholy, moneyed Parisian heroine on the lam with her bandit boyfriend in 1975. "I read [Fanger's] book when the film was finished," Le Besco explains. "I met her before shooting. It was not for research; it was just out of curiosity. She wanted to meet the person who was going to play her 30 years ago." Le Besco adds that she never felt burdened by playing someone who is still alive: "[Fanger] was as I thought I could be. She has the same free way."

Le Besco attracted stateside attention three years ago as a willing pupil in Sade, her first collaboration with Jacquot. "Both of us are only interested in the truth," she says of the director. "Actors want to work with him. . . . He makes films to film actors." Le Besco has her own experience behind the camera: Her DV featurette Half-Price, about three under-10 siblings essentially raising themselves, was hailed by Chris Marker as the Breathless of "a new new wave." Has her work as a director changed the way she approaches acting? "Absolutely not," she responds. "I think my real thing is to act more. As a director, I'm not really sure."


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