She really is not cold in the eyes! For her first Belgian film, Rien à Foutre, Adèle Exarchopoulos (La Vie d’Adèle) embarked on an all-terrain shoot on the iPhone, surrounded by real air hostesses inspiring her role . A touching performance, describing the disenchantment of an entire generation.

How did you hear about directors Emmanuel Marre and Julie Lecoustre?
My agent told me that young Belgian directors wanted to meet me. Manu told me about the project and at this stage, it was already the story of a girl who lost her mother, and who will flee her grief by choosing to become a flight attendant, while nurturing this life false illusions. The film was going to talk about the masks we put on, the fantasies we draw to protect ourselves. But he didn’t have the ending, nor a real script, and wanted to shoot only with non-professionals. He looks at me and asks me: ‘Does that ring a bell? I said, ‘Serious, but please let me read something’. Leaving away from my son without a hitch, at that time, was a tough decision. And there he made me read a super successful scenario, but really badass… He was ready for his text! In fact, Manu did not want it to stay frozen. And it is true that we have completely moved away from it.

You talk about loneliness and masks. Experience as an actress?
It’s a job that can make you alone, because there is always a risk of dissociation between what people expect of you and what you become. Smile, dress like that, be nice but mysterious please… And then we can get lost in privileges too. The first time I came to the Cannes Film Festival, I was shocked to see that Coke was free (laughs). Or when it said ‘wolf’ in the restaurant menu, I didn’t understand that we were talking about a fish. It’s stupid but I don’t want to lose this carelessness. Nor the excitement of knowing that I am doing what I love, and that I receive totally outsized recognition. But I think I’m on the right track. Typically, here we are on a beach in Cannes, but then I go to a house thirty minutes from here where people I love are waiting for me. There are even friends who have gone upstairs and who sleep in my room. In my job or elsewhere, what matters is the people you share things with.

Does your character sum up a generation?
Absoutely. The film confronts a desire for revolution with a total abandonment of the convictions that can lead to it. He describes this desire to be perhaps too independent, as when Cassandre refuses to pool her sales earnings with the other hostesses. It’s a girl who abandons the collective. She flees that, in particular by immersing herself in her phone. Manu and Julie really succeeded in describing a current reality. Recognition is digital today, we no longer see smiles the same way, we no longer really look at the people or the situations around us. And I do not exclude myself from the observation.

You have worked with real air hostesses…
Several, yes. The immersion was therefore perfect, and we spent a lot of time together. They started explaining to me how I had to wear make-up or dress to respect the codes, how long they woke up before departure, how this rhythm completely changes your life… These people make four flights a day, at a moment it becomes hard to keep a grip on the ground.

And the filming was pretty rock’n’roll, right?
The device was actually super light. There were five of us on set, it really looked like a documentary! We shot on the iPhone without permission in airports, I was doing my makeup on my own like a grown-up… So yes, it was rock’n’roll, but super positive.

Our review of Rien à Foutre:
Everything is KO, next! Cassandre thinks she has chosen a dream life by working for a low-cost company that sends her into the sky four times a day. The sun, the party, the meetings… Cassandre continues at full speed, and soon absorbs the competitive foundations of her sector. Share your profits with the other hostesses? What next ! Support the unions? Just quit right away! But it is not because she has understood the rules of the game that she will find her account, and soon the question arises: by dint of losing her soul, who can help her? With its provocative title and its world of Ryanair-style travel, ‘Rien à foutre’ has the intelligence to tell us about a world that we all know, but that we never see on screen: paradise. low-cost, its attractiveness, and its quirks. With her jaded look and melancholy eyes, Adèle Exarchopoulos impresses by summarizing the paradoxes of a generation fed on capitalism. The sloppy image of the film will discourage some, but what a striking force! 4/5

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