Over the past year, Nadia Tereszkiewicz has headlined no less than five feature films. Recent winner of the César for best female hope, the young French actress, who we notably saw in Babysitter, by Monia Chokri, is now starring in the period comedy Mon crime, by François Ozon. Interview.
Monia Chokri had spotted her in Only the Beasts, a film by Dominik Moll that she shot a year after Savages, the Dennis Berry film in which she held her first “real” role in the cinema. Nadia Tereszkiewicz thus found herself on the set of Babysitter to play the title role of this film adaptation of the play by Catherine Léger, signed by the director of My Brother’s Wife. For the French actress, the memory of this shooting in Montreal is still very vivid.
“When we first met, Monia and I, it was so exciting that I forgot it was an audition! says Nadia Tereszkiewicz in videoconference. Monia is immensely funny and I loved her caring way of directing, the way she got us into her fantasy. »
In Les Amandiers, a film in which Valeria Bruni Tedeschi takes us back to the days of her formative years with Patrice Chéreau at the Amandiers theater school in Nanterre, Nadia Tereszkiewicz slipped into the skin of the alter ego of the filmmaker. Beyond the César for best female hope that she obtained thanks to her performance, this feature film, marred by allegations of sexual misconduct against actor Sofiane Bennacer (revealed after the film’s release in France), was important to the point where the actress believes there is a “before” and an “after” for her in Les Amandiers.
“Valeria guided me to a place where I could let myself be destabilized in the game. She pushed me to question myself on the necessity of acting, which is the issue at the heart of the film, in fact. I let myself be overwhelmed by emotions that I did not know, as if an inner click had happened. I have the impression that all the reflection resulting from this mise en abyme allowed me to affirm that acting could really be my job. »
At 26, Nadia Tereszkiewicz is now one of the most sought-after actresses in French cinema, but nothing predestined her. Born in France to a Finnish mother and a French father of Polish origin, the young woman was first a dancer. For 15 years of her life, she practiced her art, devoting several hours of training to it every day.
“I even went to the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto for a summer,” she recalls. This is also when I realized that it was too hard, that I would not succeed. I think I was a bit broken artistically because I didn’t finish the dance. I felt like I was stuck and went to study literature, my other passion. I did three years of letters in Paris during which I went to the theater a lot and I started taking competitions in secret. The theater revealed to me that with the body, the words and the stage, my creativity was at its maximum. »
Although she saw a lot of films with her cinephile father during her childhood, Nadia Tereszkiewicz had never entertained the desire to become an actress one day.
“I was more into reading,” she says. When we went to the media library, my father took the films and I took the books. My cinephilia came later, when I started making films. »
“In fact, my cinephilia stems from every film I make,” she adds. For Babysitter, Monia [Chokri] had given me a list of films to see. Same with My Crime, where I watched a lot of 1930s comedies.”
Fair return, François Ozon has always been one of the favorite filmmakers of the actress and her father. In this feminist comedy that the director of Peter von Kant took from a forgotten play by Georges Berr and Louis Verneuil, Nadia Tereszkiewicz plays a broke apprentice actress, accused of the murder of a famous producer.
“François has been my favorite filmmaker since I was little! exclaims the actress. My sister and I danced a lot watching 8 women. When I was 15, when I was living in the south of France, I took a bus to see Dans la maison. As soon as a new Ozon came out, we went to see it as a family at the cinema. There is something very beautiful and symbolic in the fact that François gave me this role in Moncrime. I am very honoured. »
In addition to Rebecca Marder, who portrays her loyal accomplice, Mon crime features a constellation of stars of French cinema, including Isabelle Huppert, Fabrice Luchini, André Dussollier and Dany Boon.
“All these great actors came in all humility to serve the film and their complicity with François was beautiful to see. François creates a team spirit in which one can easily integrate. At first, it can be intimidating to be surrounded by such big stars, but very quickly, we are in the work. »
The one who will soon be from The Red Island, Robin Campillo’s next film (which the rumor may send to the Cannes Film Festival), is now hungry to shoot abroad. Fluent in Finnish and Italian, Nadia Tereszkiewicz dreams above all of a Nordic cinema. Juho Kuosmanen (Compartment 6) would be at the top of his dream list, as would Thomas Vinterberg, Joachim Trier or Lars von Trier.
“And then, I would like to come and shoot again in Quebec and find my Montreal family,” she said. It’s time for me to come back! »