2020 is his year. And, if the word did not also have a medical meaning (sacred epidemic!), One would be tempted to write that it is also its acme. A familiar face of French cinema for more than twenty years, Pascale Arbillot is revealed today, thanks to three films simultaneously showing: Appearances by Marc Fitoussi, My cousin by Jan Kounen et Miss by Ruben Alves (whose release has been brought forward to October 21).
“In the first, I only make one appearance, but I had dreamed for a long time of playing in front of Marc’s camera. In the second, I play the role of Vincent Lindon’s wife. But again, it was for the pleasure of giving the answer to actors I love and for a leading director, ”she says. In the third, her intervention is more important since she embodies the director of the Miss France contest, managing to forget the big hats of Geneviève de Fontenay.
The apparent ease with which the actress embodies these three different women conceals an astonishing lack of confidence in her. “I feel like I’m starting out. It’s like I’m just starting my job. I still have the feeling of being illegitimate. Maybe because I didn’t go to the conservatory, ”she apologizes.
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Her career, it is true, did not predispose her to acting. Mother financial analyst, father in industry, childhood at the gates of Paris, Pascale Arbillot follows, as a teenager, a course far removed from the cinema. A model student (she was a year early), she studied at Sainte-Marie-de-Neuilly, then joined, after the baccalaureate, the IEP in Paris. On leaving, hesitating on the path to follow, she enrolled in O Languages to learn Russian. History of taking care.
“I vegetated a bit. I made a little money doing the hostess, in a short skirt and high heels, at the Auto Show. In retrospect, I have the feeling that I was constantly postponing my real life choices, ”she analyzes today. To reassure her parents, she nevertheless seeks a first job, fails to integrate a trading room and becomes, instead, a journalist in an economic magazine. Without vocation. “It took two years to realize that I was wrong,” she says.
At the age of 23, she therefore branched off, enrolled in Jean Périmony’s drama school and launched headlong into this new adventure. First appearance on an AB Productions sitcom (Honey and Bees), advertisements for yoghurts or laundry brands, multiple appearances, the beginnings are difficult. “My first role, in The case by Serge Gobbi, you can see me from behind, ”she jokes. At the theater, she finds herself embarked on a production by Robert Hossein (The night of crime). “An improbable play in the form of a detective plot where the public had to point out the murderer. Every night it was dantesque. “
Far from regretting these experiences, the actress believes that they will have trained her, just like her studies. “When you are an extra, you are often among the first to arrive and the last to leave. You can experience this as a school of humiliation. You can also take the opportunity to open your eyes wide and learn, ”she philosopher.
Difficult but formative beginnings
His career took off at the dawn of the 2000s. Revealed by the role of Odile Bonheur with which Artus de Penguern fell in love in Grégoire Moulin Against Humanity, she continues, in the theater, the classic roles (Ibsen and Marivaux), before imposing herself in the adaptation of a false vaudeville signed Woody Allen: Adultery, at the Théâtre de l’Atelier in 2006. This is where Agnès Jaoui spotted her and offered to play her sister in Tell me about the rain.
Series Thank you, the children are well, broadcast on M6, where she plays the main role of Isabelle, an overwhelmed mother, will occupy her for three seasons. Before Gad Elmaleh offered to play his wife in Coco and that Guillaume Canet entrusts him with the role of the wife of Benoît Magimel, in The Little Handkerchiefs. “This shoot was very strong for me. Like, I believe, for all the actors who found themselves working for several weeks in a house cut off from the world, ”she recalls.
Since this date, the actress seems to multiply. On television and on the big screen, but also on stage. “For a long time, I restrained myself, telling myself that I had to save myself for big roles. But at one point, I thought to myself that I was tired of waiting. Now, I accept more easily the interventions, even secondary, and I must say that I finally derive a lot of pleasure from it, ”confides the actress who just celebrated her fiftieth birthday last spring.
Present in five films in 2019 and 2020, Pascale Arbillot began two new shoots this fall. One by Nicolas Steil, in Luxembourg, which tells the story of a child hidden during the war and where she will share the poster with Simon Abkarian and Michel Vuillermoz. The other by Anne Fontaine, in Corrèze, a comedy on power which represents the 2012 duel between Nicolas Sarkozy (Jean Dujardin) and François Hollande (Grégory Gadebois).
But the actress’s secret dream would be to put on a single-on-stage that two young authors have written for her. “The story of a 50-year-old woman who goes crazy,” she slips without wanting to say more. In the meantime, we will find her, next January in Sylvie Ohayon’s second feature film: Haute Couture, the beauty of the gesture, where she will give the answer to Nathalie Baye. The date of the romantic comedy, which she shot this summer in front of François Uzan’s camera, with Jacques Gamblin, has not yet been decided.