The titanium star is Vuitton’s new muse


Photo: James D. Kelly. Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Agathe Rousselle knows how to electrify an audience. The 33-year-old star of Titanium made waves on the festival circuit with her breakout performance in Julia Ducournau’s Body Horror. With his film debut topping the 2021 best of lists and winning the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in July, Rousselle is living his moment in the spotlight and learning what it’s like to present. a stimulating project to the world. “Once it’s out, you have to give up control because the film is no longer yours,” she shared over the phone from Paris. “It’s a bit like releasing something; I am relieved to see that he took his own life, and now it is in the eyes of viewers.

Originally from France, Rousselle always knew she would pursue art, but her choice of medium changed frequently. Acting on screen was always the end goal, but she worked as a photographer, casting director and model before landing her big break. “I wanted to play all my life; There is video footage of me at five o’clock doing shows for my parents, ”she says. “I had a dozen different lives in my twenties, but playing the part was always on my mind. I was modeling, doing short films, and appearing in music videos. If there was a chance to be in front of the camera, I would take it because I wanted to learn everything.

Rousselle’s tenacity finally led her to Ducournau, who, fresh from the success of her provocative first feature film Raw, was ready to bring another bold story to the big screen. Most actors start their careers with minor roles, but Rousselle’s performance takes root Titanium. As Alexia, a woman driven to obsession and murder by her attraction to automobiles, she is the center of the action. Entering Ducournau’s world and playing a one-of-a-kind character would have been a challenge for seasoned performers, but debutante Rousselle stepped into the role. “As this was my first feature film, every day was new and exciting,” she says. “The whole process was extremely intense, but I had been warned by [Julia], so I knew what I was getting into.

Ducournau turned out to be an ideal collaborator. “It teaches you to push your limits to a point that you never thought possible,” explains Rousselle. “It was demanding but also incredibly rewarding. I have learned so much from these experiences. To step into the role, Rousselle took dance lessons, worked with a movement coach, and overcame her disgust to get back into fashion on horror films, including Ducournau’s debut. “Normally I can’t watch them, but I had to do my homework,” says Rousselle. “Raw, of course, wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. A few scenes were difficult to watch, but once I did I had a better idea of ​​what I was getting myself into.

The fearlessness Rousselle is able to display onscreen may have something to do with her comfort in front of the camera, something honed during her time as a model. “In a way, I know the fashion industry better than the movie industry,” explains Rousselle, who found time during Paris Fashion Week to appear at the forefront of catwalks like Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent. Her familiarity with fashion also informed her experience with collections. “I’ve been to shows before and attended them, but this season was my first time in the front row,” she says. “Fashion week is this sexy and glamorous circus where there is a show inside each show. Everyone watches everyone, but that’s what makes it entertaining.

During the Vuitton spring 2022 show at the Louvre last Tuesday, Rousselle spotted the look she would eventually wear of titanium Premiere in London on Saturday. When model Miriam Sanchez paraded in a sheer black dress adorned with lace embroidery and crystals, Rousselle was captivated. “The dress was so dreamy that I pulled out my phone and took a picture of it,” she says. “I was hoping that maybe I could wear it someday, but when you see a dress like that, you think, ‘well, they’ll never let me wear that; it is far too precious.

The piece was inspired by 19th century and classic designers like Paul Poiret and Erté. Still, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière and his team felt modern beauty Rousselle was the right fit to bring the fantastic look into the real world. “Having someone like him in my corner feels good,” says Rousselle, who was the first person to wear the collection on the red carpet. “Doing events and promotions can be so intense, you have to have a shield and a support system. Having someone who supports you, wants you to be successful and to look good is important, so I’m incredibly grateful .

Naturally, Rousselle wore her fresh Vuitton look from the runway with swagger, contrasting the room’s frilly details with a rock ‘n’ roll beauty moment involving a platinum tipped headdress and dark purple lipstick. Some might call his approach to fashion “punk”, but Rousselle prefers not to label things. “I just wear what I like,” she says. “People always call me punk, but I think it’s just because I do what I want. In the end, I just have fun with clothes [and] it was nice to make this fantasy come true.

Having charmed both critics and the fashion crowd, Rousselle is ready for whatever comes next, especially if it’s completely on the sidelines. “My only hope is that all I can do next will be different. I just don’t want to be trapped in a specific role; it would be great to try a thriller or something experimental, ”she said, citing filmmakers like David Fincher and Richard Curtis as favorites. “After that I’d be so happy to do a comedy – working with Will Ferrell is one of my dreams!” ”

Below, Rousselle shares an intimate look at his preparation process for the BFI London Film Festival

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