Deborah Francois - profile

  • The List
  • 30 October 2006


Name Deborah François

Born Liege, Belgium, 1987

Background As a 16-year-old schoolgirl, François attended an open casting for the Dardenne Brothers film The Child in her Belgian hometown. Ahead of 150 other hopefuls, she was given the role of Sonia, the beleaguered teenage mother whose new baby is sold by her boyfriend. Having attended the Cannes festival, where the film won the Palme D’Or, François returned to school to complete her Bacalaureat.

What’s she up to now? She stars in Denis Dercourt’s revenge thriller The Page Turner, playing Melanie, a young woman who insinuates herself into the household of a married concert pianist (played by Catherine Frot). François has also completed shooting two other films, Alan Raoust’s Indian Summer and Stephan Carpiaux’s The Red Ants.

What she says about the Dardenne brothers ‘They insist on twenty or thirty takes for each scene. They are very precise and meticulous. And they’re very serious on the set - they don’t tell you if they liked what you did. I remember for my casting they asked me to sit on a bench and do nothing.’

What she says about The Page Turner ‘It was a completely different part to Sonia in The Child. I like disappearing into roles and Melanie is not like me at all. She has this carapace, this mask that is so interesting for an actress. I spent a month before the shoot practising the way Melanie holds her body and how she smiles without moving her face.’

What she says about working in French films ‘In Belgium we have lots of ideas for films, but we don’t have much money. It’s much harder to make a film there than it is in France. I find that French actors tend to take themselves very seriously - I find us Belgian actors have a different attitude and that we don’t take ourselves so seriously.’

Interesting fact Her favourite Woody Allen film is Manhattan.

The Page Turner is at Cameo, Edinburgh and selected cinemas from Fri 3 Nov.

Post a comment