a soft-spoken monster actress


Nathalie Richard, end of September 2023.

One cold November morning, Nathalie Richard meets in a Parisian café which is showing a video of a wood fire, next to the bar. We are saved! The radio spits hits from Whitney Houston and takes us back to the 1980s, when the actress took her first steps in Golden Eighties (1986), the musical comedy Chantal Akerman : the slender young woman, from a contemporary dance background, just out of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, in Paris, played one of the shampooers with eyeshadow. At the same time, she toured with Jacques Rivette in The Gang of Four (1988), where she was a drama student, destabilized in her learning by the appearance of a mysterious man – a role which earned her the Michel-Simon Prize for best performance.

Since her promising beginnings, the actress, born in Paris in 1962, to a father who was the director of a steel company and a mother who was an interpreter, has led a parallel career in the theater, alongside directors André EngelJean-Louis Benoît, Jean-François Peyret, Gérard Watkins… His look has not changed, half amused, half questioning. She kept these blond, wispy locks, which sweep over her face and can modify it at will. “In the cinema, I am either given strange, destructive roles, or I play a person of authority. And it probably came with age – I’m 61”says the actress, who played a minister of the economy in series Of money and blood (2023), by Xavier Giannoli (on Canal+), and a boss of the general directorate of internal security in An area to defend (2023), by Romain Cogitore.

A Nathalie Richard in almond paste

But it is in the fringes of French genre cinema, notably with Bertrand Mandico, that the actress in the leopard jacket has found her feet again in recent years. ” It is by actress Elina Löwensohn, whom I have known for fifteen or twenty years, whom I met Bertrand, who later became his companion. Elina and I started a comedy duo from Princess dramas, by Elfriede Jelinek [traduit en France en 2006, chez L’Arche]. We played The Sleeping Beauty, I played the prince and she played the Beauty. When Bertrand saw us, he put us on stage in Our Lady of Hormones [2015]. »

Since then, Nathalie Richard has appeared in almost all of the director’s films, The Wild Boys (2017), Ultra Pulp (2018), etc. Still with Mandico, she has just finished filming, in Frankfurt (Germany), a variation on The Year of Thirteen Moons (1978), by Fbinder.

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