Article Nov 20, 2016

You are no longer passing

Lea Seydoux: ‘Being French made it hard to establish myself’

Lea Seydoux found it difficult to make a name for herself as a French actress.

The 31-year-old had her big break in Hollywood when she landed a role in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds, with parts in films like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and The Lobster following. It wasn’t an easy feat achieving her acting dream though, as Lea admits her heritage held her back when it came to how people viewed her.

“In France, it’s to become someone on your own,” she sighed to Britain’s Esquire magazine. “Even if you’re a superstar, they will always say, ‘Yeah, but you come from that world.’ It’s difficult to have ambition if you live in Paris.”

Her fame hasn’t always been positive though, with Lea previously slamming director Abdellatif Kechiche for treating her like a “prostitute” in 2013’s Blue Is the Warmest Color. The lesbian love story won her the Palme d’Or award, but Lea felt bitter towards the filmmaker at the time.

“I think that I was angry and that I had to express my anger,” she recalled. “I really wanted to do it, because I love his work, but I knew this was the price to pay. Maybe I felt strong of the film and the success of the film made me strong. Everyone was like, ‘Kechiche, Kechiche, Kechiche,’ and I just wanted to say, ‘OK, he’s not, like, untouchable.’”

She appears to have left her bitter side behind though and now many of her movies are shot in the U.S. Quizzed on what she thinks of American men, Lea mused: “I don’t find them very sexy... there is something not so sexy about American men. They are too self-conscious and they spend too much time at the gym.”