STACY MARTIN IN CONVERSATION WITH GUIA ORTOLANI
She considers herself a “third culture kid”, after finding out this is the way children are called when brought up, educated and raised with a different culture than the one of their parents. Stacy has travelled the world, which made her develop her innate curiosity for other people and cultures. Personally, I was sixteen when I first saw Nymphomaniac, Lars Von Trier’s world famous movie, and I must say it shook me up; Stacy played the role of Joe, one of the main characters, and this was her incredibly loud debut. From then on, she has been on set non-stop. Martin has clear ideas on the socio-political Issues we are facing nowadays, and she will be playing in La Graine, new movie by Eloise Lang out this year, which tells the story of a homosexual couple who wishes to have a kid. Stacy is undeniably talented, clearly beautiful and, being half French, also very sophisticated, that makes her the perfect Louis Vuitton girl. For this February Cover Story she tells MUSE about her love for hosting big dinner parties, but also watching three movies a day, and about her latest interest for a role that requires physical training, to discover more about herself and push her boundaries to the limit.
GO Ciao Stacy, I am so glad to connect with you! How are you? What have you been up to recently?
SM I’m currently home from shooting Le Malade Imaginaire by Olivier Py, and I’m taking a little break until starting my next project in March with Brady Corbet. There’s been a lot of travelling and working recently with really inspiring people.
GO I have followed through your Instagram some hints of La Graine filming, the new movie by Eloise Lang out this year, where you play a woman in love with another woman, a couple who have a dream of starting a family… tell us more!
SM La Graine is a comedy by Eloise Lang with Marie Papillon and Francois Damiens about a couple who is trying to have a child through assisted procreation. This was a process that was accessible for only heterosexual couples in France until 2021. This story happened in 2018 and you follow my character Ines’ and Lucie’s (played by Marie Papillon) journey from falling in love to then trying to conceive a child. Their journey to motherhood is accompanied by a quirky and unusual doctor which takes them on a wild road trip through Belgium. What I connected to initially is that it combines the political and the comedy together. Ines’ character is totally consumed by her dreams of motherhood and her couple is unfortunately hit by the legal obstacles our society is still sadly trying to change and grapple with. Being a parent today for me is so much bigger and beautiful than the normative set up that’s been influencing our society. Everyone has a right, regardless of their sexuality, to be a parent and there are still obstacles being put up that I strongly believe are outdated and so detrimental. We filmed for a month in and around Belgium, it was an incredibly inclusive set and it was also great to explore the comedy genre. Eloise Lang humour is very peculiar and working with her to create Ines as a gracious and sometimes neurotic soon to be mother was really fun.
GO You have acted in many independent films, with a great and unusual debut in Nymphomaniac of Lars Von Trier, but you are courted by both Hollywood and arthouse cinema. What’s the difference between these two worlds? Would you be able to say which one you prefer?
SM When I did Nymphomaniac in 2012 the difference between arthouse and Hollywood was very tangible. It was either you did one and not the other, and it was very rare as an actor, writer or director to do both. When you look at cinema today, so many things have impacted it, the emergence and dominance of streaming platforms, the obsession we have with fast paced content and even the Covid pandemic, these things have made the difference between the two worlds blurrier. And I think that’s really exciting. We should go beyond this opposite duality. Especially as an actor, I want to explore as many opposing characters as possible, different genres and different directors. Lars was one of the first person to challenge me and push me to see beyond this duality. I think it’s fun and surprising, it keeps me on my toes.
GO What are you binge-watching at the moment?
SM I’m catching up on all the awards films at the moment, as I was working for most of the second half of the year. So I’m binge watching those and I was amazed by some of them. Especially Close by Lukhas Dhont and Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Ostlund. There was also Blue Jean by Georgia Oakley. It’s a first feature film and made me really excited about English cinema in a way I haven’t been in a while.
GO Are you a Netflix and chill kind of person or a party animal?
SM I’m probably a bit of both. There are times where I love immersing myself in cinema and watching three films a day, cooking and reading. And then I want to see friends and go out. I love hosting big dinner parties and being around people, it requires a lot of energy but sharing a meal is a wonderful way to connect and enjoy a moment of your day and life with others. It’s very celebratory and a source of comfort I think.
GO If you had to pick one person to have dinner with, who would you choose?
SM I would pick Gena Rowlands. She’s one of my biggest inspirations. I’d have so many questions about Opening Night, Gloria and her work with Cassavetes, but I’d probably end up happily listening to her talk about a plant pot for hours. She’s an actress who worked and excelled in Hollywood with performances that have an arthouse quality to it. She’s raw, she’s surprising and incredibly poignant. Her films are some of the only ones I’m able to rewatch over and over.
GO You looked stunning in the latest Nicolas Ghesquière SS23 Collection. What does it mean to you being a Louis Vuitton girl?
SM I love Nicolas’s design and ethos. He’s very inspiring, his designs are boundless and have a lot of strength. They always tell a story and reference his favourite art movements or architectural pieces. It’s great to be able to be a part of that world and see his creations every season.
GO If you could learn one new skill instantly, what would it be?
SM There are so many things I need to learn. I have to redo my driver’s test in manual as I was lazy at 19 and only passed the automatic license, and also my motorbike license too so if I could just have that sorted out instantly I’d be thrilled. I’ve also tried to learn the piano for so many years but clearly haven’t gotten very far.
Read the full interview on Muse February Issue 61.