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Ariane Labed in Dior
Ariane Labed is one of those rare creatures which is best described as a reluctant star. Her aim is not for her name to get noticed or her face to be recognized, and yetÖ and yet her devotion to the craft of acting is so complete that she cannot prevent her roles from attracting attention. She shines in spite of herself.
That is why Ariane did not seek her first film role; the role sought her.
After training for years as a ballet dancer, Ariane decided at age 16 that she needed more creative input as to how her body was used, that she wanted to be ęmore than an instrument Ľ. She stopped dance to explore theater, ultimately creating her own experimental, transnational, post-linguistic troupe, Vasistas.
She created shows, she acted in them, she performed physically demanding parts, she traveled, all on her own terms. Theater was her thing.
She didnít ask to do film, she didnít ask to have a leading role in a language she didnít know, she didnít ask to win an award bestowed by Quentin Tarentino, and she certainly didnít ask to become famous.
Playing Marina in Athina Rachel Tsangariís Attenberg, for which she won the Copa Volpi in Venice in 2010, was both an accident and her destiny.
An accident because Ariane almost reluctantly agreed to try cinema for the first time, and when shooting started, it was as second role. Soon though she had to learn not only a new role, but a whole new language she did not speak Ė Greek.
Destiny because, though of French parents and education, Ariane was born in Greece and lived there for 6 years before moving to Germany and then to France. Destiny because the role of Marina demanded jumping and screaming like a monkey, dancing, as well as some shocking tongue action, featured in the opening scene of the film. With the director, re-invented her role to make the most of her physical acting style.
No matter where life takes her, she still wants to be one those ďwomen who donít do what is expected of them, who donít follow established order, who ignore the accepted standards of beauty, who rule on their own body, and who donít wait to marry a king to become queens.Ē
For behind Arianeís fair exterior lies a somber and strong beauty, an enigmatic queen, a dark star.
PHOTO BY RENEí HABERMACHER
STYLING: ISABELLE KOUNTOURE
TEXT BY ANTOINE ASSERAF
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