Laetita Casta at the Chartres theater: “I too was seen as a mutant”

Laetitia Casta has found the role of her life in Clara Haskil, prelude and fugue, a play programmed on February 4 at the theater of Chartres.
She plays the classical pianist Clara Haskil, whose genius has been celebrated by the biggest names of the 20th century like Charlie Chaplin. Still upset by this incarnation, the former model explains her relationship with her character and, more generally, her vision of the profession of actress.

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How did you approach the role of Clara Haskil?

I have immense respect for this woman. I wanted to tell his story. We already know his genius, so I tried to bring out all his emotions. It is an evocation and not a biopic. I don’t look like him, and I don’t try to imitate him. Clara Haskil was extremely sensitive, she had a bright side and a slightly dark side. His genius was also a pain.

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Do you find matches between the two of you?

Now yes. Before, I would never have been able to dare to embody it, it would have been much too early. Now, I have found, in my life as a woman, a serenity to embrace her trajectory, which is both accidental and wonderful. Things end up confusing.

You mean between you and the character?

Yes, this is the first time this has happened to me. There comes a time when you manage to be both a woman and an artist.

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How do you explain it?

It’s related to my background. Very young, I left my family to become a model. I didn’t ask, it fell on me. Me too, I was seen as a mutant, very quickly. I didn’t suffer from it, because I only knew that. It was when I had children that I discovered that my life was not “normal”.

“What guides me is the excitement of discovery, my thirst for learning. My only ambition is to be happy in what I do…”

Laetitia Casta (Actress)

In what state of mind do you carry out your career?

I don’t calculate. If I reflect, it’s an afterthought. When I made the last of Clara Haskil in Paris in front of a full house, I felt the love of the public. It is beyond ego, beyond letting go. We become one with the spectators. Theater makes it easier to reach people’s hearts.

More than cinema?

We are not really responsible. We feel like the tool of a great machine.

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There is still a big difference between the profession of model and that of actress…

I don’t feel like I’ve changed that much. Even in fashion, I was not in the norm. I paraded for Jean-Paul Gaultier and he was different. I wasn’t 1.80m tall, I wasn’t thin… It was a fight, I didn’t ask for anything.

Has the pandemic changed the relationship with the public?

The show was delayed, so we rehearsed hard while we waited. When I was finally able to go on stage, I was ready. We were lucky. The room was full, while people have to come under quite stressful conditions, with the health pass, etc. What a privilege that the public came to see us!

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Being alone on stage, for you, is a challenge…

I did it because I had confidence in the director, Safy Nebbou. We share the same requirement. I never feel alone on stage: there is the music, the light, the audience…

Do you want to be where you are not expected?

No, I choose the roles that speak to me. What guides me is the excitement of discovery, my thirst for learning. My only ambition is to be happy in what I do…

Convenient. On February 4, at 8.30 p.m., at the Chartres theater. From €26 to €39. 02.37.23.42.79.

Remi Bonnet

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