The Father of My Children - Mia Hansen Love profile

The Father of My Children - Mia Hansen Love profile

The Father of My Children

Mia Hansen Love

5 February 1981, Paris

The daughter of two philosophy teachers of Danish-German ancestry, Hansen-Love acted as a 17-year-old in Olivier Assayas’ Late August, Early September and in the same director’s next film Les Destinées Sentimentales. Having studied for two years at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Paris, she began writing for Cahiers du Cinéma. She made her directorial debut with Tout est pardonné (All is Forgiven), an intimate study of a daughter reuniting with her drug-addicted father after a long period of separation.

What’s she up to now?
Hansen-Love’s new film The Father of My Children, which was inspired by the real-life suicide of French art-house producer Humbert Balsan, won a Special Jury Prize at Cannes last May. Lead actor Louis-Do de Lencquesaing plays a married father of three daughters, whose film production company is on the verge of financial meltdown. Currently Hansen-Love is preparing to shoot a third film, Un Amour de Jeunesse.

On Humbert Balsan
‘I only knew him for a year, but he was enormously important to me. He changed my relationship with cinema. Before I met him the films I made were melancholic. He transmitted his confidence, energy and generosity to me. He profoundly loved cinema and he had the soul of an artist.’

On directing actors
‘I don’t believe in the psychological direction of actors. I like to do lots of takes and I like to work on physical instructions. I would tell Louis-Do in The Father of My Children how his character Gregoire should walk or how quickly he should speak or how he should shut the door.’

On Cahiers du Cinema
‘All the directors I most admired such as Francois Truffaut and Eric Rohmer had written for the magazine. Working for Cahiers really helped me to learn the language of cinema and to analyse films. It was more useful to me in becoming a director than to going to film school.’

On Cinema and real life
‘Cinema has made me become much more grounded. In making films you have to overcome a series of practical problems. What interests me in cinema is the relationship between the artistic and spiritual questions you are exploring and the fact you are confronting the real world.’

Interesting fact
Hansen-Love recently had a baby daughter with fellow director Olivier Assayas.

The Father of My Children is at GFT, Glasgow and Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 5 Mar.

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