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Words by Cath Clarke

Photography by Emma Le Doyen / Styling by Stéphy Galvani

France’s emerging actress and filmmaker Lola Bessis on moving house, recreating history and keeping a relationship together when you’re co-creating a film

“Destiny” is the working title that Paris-born Lola Bessis has given to the film that she’s writing and plans to co-direct sometime in the near future. But when it comes to her own life and career, the actress and director has left nothing to fate. She was just 21 when she co-wrote, co-directed and starred in the comic drama Swim Little Fish Swim, catapulting her to fame on the indie filmmaking scene. Bessis made the film with Ruben Amar, her partner in life and work, shooting it in her own tiny Chinatown apartment in New York on shoestring budget.

Now 24, she’s back in Paris, dividing her time between acting gigs and her laptop, writing a new draft of “Destiny” – a Los Angeles epic about a 70-year-old former Hollywood icon reconnecting with her past. When I call on a Sunday afternoon, Bessis is packing up her loft apartment in the Belleville district of Paris. Tomorrow morning, she flies to Australia for three months, to act in a major period television drama Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Her English is impeccable – albeit charmingly accented. “My week ees a beet ’ectic,” she exclaims, finding a spot among the boxes to sit.

Read more in Issue 4...