Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello - lace bra crop top, leather petal


By Alice Butterlin

This interview initially appeared in Crash #84, Summer 2018 issue.

All it takes is one glance at the enigmatic Angèle Metzger’s Instagram account to know we are dealing with a muse: the muse of young Canadian photographer Erick Faulkner, the muse of her actor and musician boyfriend Lukas Ionesco, the muse of various top fashion designers, and, more recently, the muse of director Serge Bozon, who also supplied her first role in the haunting Mrs. Hyde alongside Isabelle Huppert. At just twenty years old, the young lady with the boyish haircut and arch expression seems dead set on offering up all her vintage charisma and grace to the camera. Before we catch her next performance in Marie-Sophie Chambon’s 100 Kilos d’Etoiles, we wanted to find out more about the new face of French film.

How did you get started in film?

I was drawn to film because my father is an actor and I really wanted to join a talent agency. He knew a few so he let me join the Oz agency, where I’ve done a lot of castings since I was fourteen. I didn’t get any parts for quite a while. (laughs) A lot of young people want to act but few are chosen. I got a role in Mrs. Hyde in 2015 and we shot the film in 2016. That’s two years ago already! It was my very first role in film. I was also in a short film by my mother who is a director. She cast the whole family in the film. She is going to do a feature soon and that will be even better. It’s going to be a family affair. (laughs) More recently, last September I got the lead role in a film called 100 Kilos d’Etoiles directed by Marie-Sophie Chambon and it should open soon. And I’ve also got a small part in the next Lisa Azuelos film called Mon Bébé.

How did you meet Serge Bozon?

I met him at the first casting for Mrs. Hyde. It’s rare for a director to get involved in the casting process at such an early stage, especially since I didn’t have a major part in the film. It must be fun for him. I came back with Roxane Arnal because Serge wanted to test the partners. She ended up acting alongside me, even though we don’t really look alike except that we both had long hair. Maybe we have the same kind of good girl face with freckles. Either way, we got along really well. Even within the team, we were a real duo. There were a lot of separate groups on set who show up in the same groups on screen. There were the guys in the class, the two of us, and the film crew who were older. There was a clear separation. The adult actors may have interacted more.

Was it amazing to shoot your first film with Isabelle Huppert?

In all honesty, she was very kind with the actors, she has a beautiful soul. She has a very comforting way of looking at you that makes you feel confident. It was nice acting with her and Romain Duris. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to talk much off set.

Did their acting style inspire you in any way?

No, I don’t think so. Perhaps because my father is an actor and he’s my ultimate model. That said, it’s interesting to work with very experienced actors who are great at what they do. So all the scenes flow very nicely.

Were you already familiar with film sets, since your parents are in the industry?

Yes, I had been to a few. I would go see my father a lot. Obviously, it made me want to act, it’s only natural. Everyone is influenced by what their parents do. Either you go in a totally opposite direction, or you want to do the same thing and discover their job. I always saw my parents in a very unique environment with no set schedule. They also passed on their film culture by showing me a lot of movies.

Did any films in particular inspire you growing up?

More so recently, in fact. When I was little, I would refuse to watch sad movies, so that limited the field a bit. (laughs) On top of that, comedies aren’t always the best movies. In recent years I started watching more social films and older movies. I was also allergic to “old films” when I was little, like a lot of kids. My parents didn’t force me to have any specific culture. Now I’m super curious to discover new film styles. When I started high school I met people who had an impressive knowledge of film. They knew about all the French New Wave movies, auteur films, and I didn’t know about any of it. It motivated me to fill in my gaps.

Now when you watch a movie, do you take notes and analyze the acting?

Ever since I was in preparatory class, I’ve taken notes constantly when reading books. Especially with philosophy books, I read them while taking notes in the margin. Sometimes I do the same thing with film, it’s kind of crazy. (laughs) I always want to jot down nearly every quote. Sometimes it’s better to stick with your first instinct and not overanalyze a film. I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time the other day. As soon as it was over, I was already on the web looking for analyses and explanations of the film.

Your first role (in Mrs. Hyde) was not too far off from your actual life, since you played a student. It must have made it easier to get into the skin of the character.

That’s true. We had a lot of direction, too. The roles required a special kind of acting. The way we read the script does not come naturally. We had to talk at the same time, clearly enunciate every syllable, etc. We couldn’t shorten any words like we do a lot in Paris. Serge wanted something very precise, but he also let us propose things, too. I would never have come up with that way of acting on my own. It took me by surprise when he told us to talk at the same time, because that never happens in real life. In the end, you have to accept that you are stepping into a fictional world, it’s not real life. It can be hard to get a clear idea of the director’s creative vision just by reading the script, it only comes to life on set. The acting style can totally change a script. A certain passage may seem sad on your first reading, but then make you laugh when the actor depicts it. For example, I never suspected that Romain Duris’s role would be so funny. He played it in a comical way and it was very well done! The film is unlike anything else, it looks like a comedy but it’s very dark. The humor is very cringeworthy.

What type of film would you like to do more of in your career?

I would like to teleport back to the 1990s. (laughs) I like road movies from that era. In fact, Marie-Sophie Chambon’s 100 Kilos d’Etoiles which we filmed last September is pretty close to what I like because it actually centers on a road trip. It’s about an overweight girl of sixteen who wants to be an astronaut, but unfortunately you need to be in top physical shape to do that job. So she decides to stop eating and her parents send her to a center for adolescents with eating disorders, where she meets my character, Amélie, who is anorexic, and two other teens, Stannah and Justine. One has a motor disability and the other has electromagnetic hypersensitivity. They all become friends even though my character never gets close to anyone, since she is reserved and lonely. They decide to escape from the center together to compete in an astronomy contest and win a flight in zero gravity. The whole story is about their road trip across France. It’s about girls’ relationship to their bodies and the transition from teenage years to adulthood. They are all uncomfortable in their own skin. I thought it was a touching story and I think it will be very poetic. It’s not a drama, even though the subjects are serious, they are depicted in a light way.

Did you have to prepare physically to interpret an anorexic character?

No, not really. They didn’t want me to lose weight and just used a few special effects. I think it’s believable when I’m dressed. They used makeup on my body, too. It was interesting to see how anorexia isn’t just a physical condition, but a psychological disorder, too. I also thought about how people react to anorexia. I had already read a lot on the topic because I think it’s interesting. I can’t wait for the film to come out! It’s my first lead role so it’s very exciting.

You also do modeling alongside acting. What made you want to pose in photos?

I like photography and when I met my boyfriend Lukas Ionesco, we started taking a lot of photos with film cameras. Little by little, by posting images on Instagram, some of our friends started photographing us, and then magazines, and it just took off from there. One thing led to another and now we each work on our own separate projects. It’s a valuable experience because it helped me discover fashion, which is an intriguing industry. It’s everything and its opposite, it’s artistic and commercial… but I don’t think it’s really my thing. Preparatory classes were very demanding so I had to limit my photo shoots. At the start of the school year I missed two months of literature classes and I was afraid it would be impossible to make it up. It’s such an intense program… But it turned out fine and my school was very understanding. I like my studies and it keeps me structured. I don’t go out during the week, it forces me to have a certain level of discipline. With jobs like modeling and acting that have no structure, it’s comforting to take classes where I love the material.

For today’s photo shoot you wore Yves Saint-Laurent. What does this fashion house represent for you? Is it your kind of fashion?

I like the androgyny of Saint-Laurent! There is a feminine side in their menswear with sequins and cinched jackets, as well as masculine forms for womenswear, notably the wide shoulders. Vacarello also develops something very feminine and sexy for women with bustiers, low necklines, and short dresses. He mixes genders while keeping it classic. It’s elegant and vulgar all at once, in my opinion. And there is also something very punk and 90s about the brand with Vacarello, and that’s something I really love.

There are a lot of photos, videos, and stories about you and Lukas Ionesco as a couple… There is a lot of fascination surrounding you. Where do you think that comes from?

When we first met, Lukas didn’t do any photos or modeling, even though he could have with all the notoriety from the Larry Clark film. He was in a dark period in his life, kind of punk in a way. He didn’t live in Paris, so he was far from all the action. When we got together he wanted to take photos of us right away, as a way to immortalize a powerful love story. So we decided to make our romance public through images. At first it was something spontaneous, but then we started having fun with it, so we kept it going. I hope we keep working together for the rest of our lives. I hope it goes beyond photography, and I’m sure it will. I even sang a song for his band. I was on stage with him at the release party. Obviously, I would love it if we could act together in a film.

Does he still want to act on screen?

Yes, definitely. Since the Larry Clark movie, he hasn’t released anything but shorts. He stopped for a while and didn’t want to act anymore. But when we met he wanted to act again and joined a talent agency. He felt more comfortable with himself and his image. He was more at ease with showing himself in public after a very solitary phase. We helped each other bloom. (laughs)

The image of the couple has a long history in fashion and ad campaigns, but what’s different about you is that people want to know your story. People follow your story on social media like watching a soap opera on television. Is it hard to manage what information you want to share with the public?

Fortunately I have no talent for selfies, so I only post professional photos. However, I’ve noticed that people prefer the more raw personal photos, that’s what gets the most reactions. People like seeing low-quality iPhone photos. I haven’t gotten into the habit of making stories either, which means I spend less time on Instagram. I think it’s easy to get addicted. My boyfriend is very addicted. When we met, Lukas didn’t have an Instagram and I regret ever telling him to download the app. (laughs). I didn’t have many followers then and I didn’t see it as such an influential platform. Since then, it has become absolutely massive. It’s like having a double life. For some people, their Instagram life is more important than their real life. It’s scary. History classes will be very interesting in twenty years. (laughs)

At the same time, Instagram opened the door to many professional opportunities for you.

Yes, it’s a good tool for work. You have to manage your account from that angle. People reach out to me a lot through the app, so it’s useful. I don’t post just anything on my page, I censor myself a bit but that’s fine. It’s so popular that I’m worried about the day when people will move on to the next thing, it will cause a giant crash. All the economies based on these apps will simply collapse. You are often defined by your Instagram page today, it’s a serious issue. I have an actor friend who doesn’t have an account and people always tell her she’s missing out on opportunities because of it. If your career comes down to the number of followers and photos on social media, then that’s a shame. But it’s also a way to stay in touch with people who like your work. And then I wonder what’s next. Instagram is much closer to our daily lives than even Facebook, so I can’t imagine what will come next.

What is your relationship to music and performance?

I love music, but I love the stage more than anything else. I don’t have the patience to learn an instrument. When I was little I wanted to play guitar, but I only took classes for a year and I don’t remember anything anymore. I’m a terrible singer but Lukas is nice enough to let me sing on one of his songs. (laughs) When I was younger, I took ballet lessons and we had a recital at the end of every year. Everyone was so nervous but I loved it. I was eager for the day to arrive every time. Getting up on stage and dancing is an exhilarating moment. At Lukas’s concert, I didn’t stress at all about singing with him in front of an audience. I have to hold myself back from getting up on stage at every concert I go to. (laughs) What I like about a band is their energy and the visual aspect is also very important for me. All the legendary rock groups have a style to die for.

This year is the twentieth anniversary of Crash and fifty years since May 1968. What does revolution mean for you?

Revolution is deleting your Instagram account! (laughs) But seriously, I would say there are two types of revolution. An ideological revolution and a physical revolution, and one brings about the other. In today’s world, we are not living through a revolution in the strict sense. There is no visible struggle or uprising. A revolution always brings violence. I get the impression that we’re floating in a void today. It doesn’t seem like anyone wants to revolt. In any case, the ideological revolution underway today is a gender revolution. We are beginning to see beyond predefined genders and stereotypes to arrive in a world with more blending. We have to reinvent our vocabulary, too. It’s an important part of breaking the molds. Homosexuality is more accepted today, but it isn’t a fact like any other yet. Transsexuality is still a complicated topic for a lot of people. In any case, I think that all sexualities are celebrated in fashion, and I appreciate that kind of freedom.

Interview by Alice Butterlin.

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello – jacket with patchwork in suede leather

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello – pants in leather, Era boots in black suede, Marrakesh studded bracelet (+bracelet)

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello – jacket with patchwork in suede leather, high waist shorts in leather

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello – smocked blouse in black silk with gold diamond shapes, short in black suede, iris sandal in black leather and ostrich feathers

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello – ruffled cape in black silk multicolored dots, blouse in black silk with gold diamond shapes, belt in leather, Era boots in black suede


Photographer: Pierre Seiter
Stylist: Armelle Leturcq
Stylist assistant: Benjamin Gaeng
Makeup and hair: Hugo Villard

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This