Stacy Martin, 30 years old, the Franco-British actress and habituée of the shows, always in the front row, has long been the muse of the creative director of Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière. It should not surprise us, therefore, that the actress is the face of the maison’s pre-fall 2021 collection, an eclectic mix of printed jackets, over-the-knee boots and bags with chains in acid colors that Martin shows off in a series of shots made by the same designer.
“Stacy has an innate elegance and a very interesting personality,” says Ghesquière. “I have a lot of respect for his career path, for his courageous choices and the roles he has played. In the last ten years, from the interpretation that launched it, that of a girl with sexual addictions in Nymphomaniac (2013), has shown his courage and versatility on more than one occasion. She was a queen in gothic fantasy of Matteo Garrone The telling of tales (2015), a private teacher in the coming-of-age film Childhood of a leader (2015), a mysterious woman in the dystopian film High-Rise – The revolt (2015) and the sympathetic sister of Natalie Portman in the distressing drama Vox Lux (2018). But for Stacey Martin 2021 will be the year of consecration, thanks to a series of upcoming films, including ghost stories and her first TV series.
To talk about the launch of Vuitton’s latest collection he stars in, we talked to Martin about his post-pandemic projects and how he tried to exorcise fear of horror movies by playing one.
Tell us about the experience of being photographed by Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton’s pre-fall 2021.
“Nicolas has such a unique vision, he always surprises you. We took the photos in a beautiful castle in France, about an hour and a half from Paris. The architecture was very traditional, but then you walked into this bathroom — you see it in one of the photos — and it looked like a David Lynch movie. It was like entering another dimension. And as a photographer, he knows exactly what he wants ”.
Nicolas Ghesquière photographs Stacy Martin
© Louis Vuitton / Gauthier Leducq
Your favorite look?
“I loved the shoes. I’m not a slide wearer usually, but I think the lockdown has changed me. I spent most of the shooting with those slides on, I thought: ‘They are fantastic’! I also like the look I wear in the bathroom, with the purple background. All elements that put together create a truly extraordinary result “.
Besides fashion, you have a lot of new projects for this 2021, like the thriller set in the 70s The Serpent, where you are the ex-wife of serial killer Charles Sobhraj. The miniseries just came out in the UK and will be on Netflix in the coming months. Was it your first TV series?
“Yes, the first! I’ve always thought ‘TV is very specific, it never really got me’. Maybe I was a little too arrogant (laughs). But things have changed, and a lot. Now filmmakers are given much more freedom, and platforms like Netflix can afford to take risks. And then I’m morbidly obsessed with true crime, and the story of Charles Sobhraj is very dark indeed. My character, Juliette, is aware of her nature. There’s a moment in the show where you realize there’s true love between them, and it’s heartbreaking. I went through that kind of situation when I was a teenager, I used to say things like ‘I love you, but you’re not the right person for me at all’! Of course, we were on a different level, because I wasn’t dating a killer, of course, but I think we can all recognize each other a bit ”.
How has the public reaction been so far?
“One thing I find very funny is that since it’s a more conventional role to me than it used to be, and it’s on TV, there are a lot more relatives who say to me, ‘Oh my, congratulations. A fantastic role ‘. A very nice thing, sure, but at the same time I say to myself, ‘Why, I’ve been doing this job for seven years, and they act like it’s my first big role.’ But it’s still nice that they can see what I do, especially people like my grandmother. I don’t think I’d ever show her Nymphomaniac, to say”.
Sounds like a wise choice to me! Recently released is also the science fiction film Archive, where you are a robot created by a scientist who wants to bring his wife back to life. What attracted you to this role?
“It was a tiring role, and I really wanted to have this kind of experience. Before this movie, I had gotten to a point where I wanted to do something different, push myself beyond the limits of what others thought I could do. Director Gavin Rothery explained to me what the film was going to be like, and that he wanted to use very little computer-generated imagery (CGI), and I loved that. I thought, ‘I want to do it’ !, then I arrived on set and after hours of makeup it didn’t look like me anymore. I have completely re-evaluated my way of working “.
Louis Vuitton Pre Fall 2021
© Courtesy Louis Vuitton
And there are also two other films coming out this year, presented at the Sundance festival in 2020: horror The Night House and the drama The Evening Hour. How was it?
“It was my first time at Sundance and, when I think back, it feels like a lifetime ago. I really like them both. The Night House it was crazy. I never watch horror movies, they terrify me. But I talked to director David Bruckner and I thought maybe making a horror movie could be a great way to recover from my phobia. I really enjoyed both the story and my role. I wasn’t sure if my character was real or not, at one point David says to me: ‘You could be a ghost’. I didn’t sleep for the rest of the shoot (laughs). I was staying in this beautiful, somewhat styled hotel Shining“.
Then at the Venice Film Festival in 2020 you presented the French thriller Lovers, which should be out soon. And we will also see you in the biopic Louis Wain, on the British artist famous for his cat paintings, and in Brady Corbet’s costume film The Brutalist. Can you tell us more?
“In 2019 I was part of the jury in Venice, so I know how it works, where the jurors sit. Lovers it meant a lot to me, so knowing that the jury and Cate Blanchett were watching the film sitting to my left was a very strong emotion, and a great joy. Louis Wain it’s a very eccentric movie, it was crazy to make it. I never imagined that Sharon Rooney, Andrea Riseborough and Aimee Lou Wood would be part of the same family. Neither of us is a ‘cat lady’, so having 20 cats around the set was a lot of fun. IS The Brutalist it’s a wonderful movie. It tells of a foreigner who tries to integrate, and how at times he feels welcome, sometimes unwanted, something that you can still identify with today. Brady shows us how in some ways things haven’t changed at all ”.
Are there any particular projects you would like to work on in the future?
“I am very attracted to the idea of an action movie that requires physical preparation. I would also love to act in a longer TV series, because the work you do on the character is very different from what you do for the cinema ”.
The first thing you are looking forward to after the pandemic ends?
“Back on set. The first lockdown was great for me because I didn’t have to go anywhere and that hiatus period enriched me a lot. Now, with the third lockdown in the UK, I simply miss my job ”.