Anne-Solenne’s beautiful face has graced many magazines in the modeling world as well as in TV and movies. Not only is this French actress gorgeous to look at, she is also extremely talented and passionate about her craft. So far, she has been fortunate enough to grace the big screen with the likes of Brad Pitt and George Clooney in Oceans Twelve as well as blow audiences away playing the role of Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We recently caught up with this busy star to find out about her inspirations in the world of acting, what she’s learned and her favorite roles to date. Here is what she had to share with the readers:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into performing?
I first started modeling in Paris while I was studying Cinema at La Sorbonne, Paris. One day, my booker told me I had a casting for a movie starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney. He told me to dress up well since it was for a scène in a restaurant with Brad Pitt. On that day, I was sick and didn’t have time to change and get prepared. So I went with my backpack and my sneakers straight from school to the audition. In the room, there were about 150 girls waiting. They were all mixed girls: half Black, half Asian and I was part of that. It is rare in France, to have such castings. Then the casting director told us we didn’t have much time and to just come into this room and make fun of Naomi Campbell as if we were doing a fashion show. That was fun, so I did something silly then she told me it was really great! I think it was because I had fun and didn’t care that much! Three months later, while I was preparing for my final exams, the production company (Warner Bros) flew me to Cineccitta in Rome. It was a dream to be on set and get to discover the industry. The industry of illusion where everything impossible is possible. I just tried on a few bathing suits and flew back. A week after I was in Lake Como, Italy to shoot a scène for Ocean’s Twelve directed by Steven Soderbergh.
What was it that inspired you to get into this industry?
On that same day for the shooting of Ocean’s Twelve, I met with French actor Vincent Cassel. As I was supposed to just do a simple fitting and the director decided to just shoot. Things went very fast, I had to change and get prepared quickly. Many people were around me, then I went to the makeup truck to get prepared. There was this song I remembered ‘Guantanamera’ from the Buenavista social club. While the makeup artist was preparing me, someone came up behind me and gave me a gentle slap on my back and said “Hi I’m George” and of course, it was George Clooney! Then Casey Affleck came in that truck as well as Vincent Cassel who said: ‘Oh c’est toi la petite française’! (Oh, it’s you the little Frenchie?) . He was so nice to me and told me, acting is so powerful you ought to dare doing everything in life you wouldn’t do. At this time he was jumping from a helicopter and training for his famous capoeira dance, scène in the movie. From that day, I trusted what he said and I told myself “let’s have fun and try the impossible”.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I first trained with Jean-Laurent Cochet in Paris learning classical theater to become a dancer. If you want to do modern dance, you need to know the basics of ballet. It is the same for acting, you have to know your basis first. I learned how to act with the French dramaturges : Moliere, Racine, Corneille. Then I went to NY and learned the American way of acting with Susan Batson, Patsy Rodenburg and most recently, I started studying Meisner in Los Angeles. It is very different from France. In France you say the word, then the emotions arrive. In America, you have to feel the emotion inside you (body and spirit) then say the words.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
My favorite part was Juliet. I was performing on stage in Romeo and Juliet in Paris for 5 months, 7 times a week. That was so scary but very fulfilling. It was a crazy experience, we were 21 on stage working in that play that lasted for more than 3 hours every night. We were playing in Le marais alongside the seine river in the 4th district of Paris. We had a wooden theatre that we installed. It was a replica of the Globe theatre in London. It was a dream of an experience, but not easy to do every day. At night we were playing Romeo and Juliet and during the day we were performing ‘As you like it ‘ from Shakespeare as well. I played Phebe, the exact opposite role of Juliet. Phebe is a young country maiden who is a proud and arrogant character whereas Juliet is a wild, passionate character who would do anything for love. My favorite quote that characterizes Juliet is ‘Je ferai tout sans peur ni doute’ (I will give you the exact English translation).
Phebe is a country-maiden and a shepherdess. She has considerable physical charm and has been depicted as having silky black hair and large black eyes. Phebe is proud and arrogant, though she is of a considerable lower status in life than that of Celia and Rosalind representing the city and court. She is proud of her good looks and puts on an air of superiority. She belittles the humble advances of the love-sick Silvius. The contrast between the court life and country life is one of the leading themes of the play and the contrast between the princesses and Phebe heightens the country.
What has been one of your biggest achievements in your career so far?
Juliet. At night when I can’t sleep I still memorize those lines and tell myself ‘Oh I should have done it like this’,then the day after, I have different thoughts.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan on continuing my work between Asia and America.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?