The at 18:37 by Justine Charlet
Amended on à 18:38
In Les Combattantesto be seen from October 28 on Netflix, Sofia Essaïdi plays Caroline, the wife of a mobilized company director, who struggles to keep the factory running in his absence. It's a role she's taken on wholeheartedly, and one that has enabled her to free herself a little more as a woman.
She's the latest addition to the cast, the fourth actress to complete the already magnificent trio ofAudrey Fleurot at rebellious prostitute, Julie de Bona at mother superior plagued by doubt and Camille Lou at gifted nurse. Sofia Essaïdi has joined the Bazar de la Charité on his pharaonic new project: Les Combattantes, broadcast on TF1 and available from October 28 on Netflix, and on which Télé-Loisirs.fr gives its opinion. The 38-year-old actress plays Caroline Dewitt, the wife of a wealthy industrialist who has to take over the family factory when her husband goes off to war. It's a far from simple task for this woman with a heavy past, who has to adapt in order to save the company, but it's one that fascinates the actress.
Télé-Loisirs.fr: Why did you agree to join the Charity bazaar ?
Sofia Essaïdi : I had worked with producer Iris Bucher on Murders in Auvergne. The Fighters and the character of Caroline appealed to me, and playing in a period drama was something I really wanted to do, as I'd never had the chance. I discovered the two hours of preparation in the morning, which transport you into another century all day long!
Were you well received by the other actresses?
When I arrived on the set, the other actresses hugged me and welcomed me. So I was very well received, with a lot of love and kindness, in a family atmosphere instilled by the director.
What was it like to be corseted?
The costume designer had made corsets that were nicer than those of the time, but there were times when I might not have worn it. However, I confess I wore it anyway, because the "held" aspect was very important in my role: Caroline Dewitt is a bourgeois woman, narrow-minded in her life, in a world where she can't exist or be who she really is... in her costumes too. So it allowed me to be a little more so, if only in the way I walked.
How did you prepare for your role?
I read a lot of articles, saw documentaries and films. For example, I rewatched The Officers' Chamber, The Guardians... And then I underwent real personal preparation, something I enjoy doing as much as shooting with my coach with whom I prepare all my films. It's a purely psychological preparation where I try to make the character come from me. As a result, I have the character's emotional journey running through my veins when I walk onto the set. I know what vibrates inside me.
And what part of you does Caroline echo?
A few years ago, I began a process of liberation and acceptance of myself as a woman. I want to free myself from my wounds, my conditioning, my fears, my obstacles, my limiting beliefs, everything that prevents me from being myself. And each film is like a stone added to my edifice.
At the start of your acting career, you were cast as an Arab woman or a woman of Arab origin... Do you appreciate being considered for other characters?
After the AïchaI turned down many roles that locked me into a cliché. My mother, Martine, is a blonde, blue-eyed German, my brother's name is Nicolas, and I look like my Moroccan father. Fortunately, over the years, TV channels and productions have become more and more imaginative. It's important to make roles where identity is no longer an issue.
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