March 9, 2016 — Karin Viard, who plays Ariane, the best friend to Julie Delpy’s Violette in Delpy’s eagerly anticipated rom-com Lolo, has won multitudes of acting awards since her first screen appearance in the French comedy Tatie Danielle in 1990.
Her second film, Delicatessen, further established her career.
In addition to her two César Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars) and 7 nominations, she has a host of international acting awards and nominations. She invariably makes any list of the top French film actresses.
Viard and Delpy had worked together briefly on Delpy’s film Skylab, and Viard was eager to work again with the actress/director/writer.
She described her character Ariane: “She’s a confident, liberated woman, and she’s very outspoken, particularly as far as sexuality is concerned. She won’t conform to society’s expectations – meeting someone, living with someone, getting married… She’s creative and emancipated – she’s way different from Violette to whom she serves as a catalyst. In her films, Julie always needs a counterpoint to the characters she portrays. In LOLO we’re a bit like Thelma and Louise – although I have a supporting role, I didn’t feel like being the foil. Neither takes precedence over the other.”
She also noted that although she does not usually get asked to take a supporting role, she was happy to do so to work with Delpy. “Julie wrote that character for me. The role was fun to play and most importantly I love Julie’s films. I’m attracted to her career as a woman, as an actress, as a screenwriter and a director – just like Maïwenn or Josiane Balasko before her, she managed to work her way up. I have a lot of admiration for that kind of woman – they hold high the value of feminism and that’s important to me. They’re bold, clever and perceptive and that’s why I like them. They’re fighters. I’d love to play the lead in one of Julie’s films.
Ariane is a woman one rarely sees in American films: a sexually active 45-year old woman with a child who clearly does not like children. “She finds motherhood unbearable. Obviously you can tell that she isn’t altogether put off by motherhood – there’s a real female camaraderie between her daughter and her but Julie is pretty daring on this issue,” she explains.
Viard continued. “What is the role of sexuality in the life of 45 year-old women? What is the role of men when those women already have children? How can you take some distance with a toxic son? The film deals with all those issues with a lot of wit. Julie always portrays situations that are true to life, even the most over-the- top, crazy situations. Julie is not trying to «deliver» at all costs – she’s not trying to crack jokes for the sake of it. She’d rather let the humor sneak in effortlessly.”
Her working relationship with Delpy sounds refreshing. “We don’t like beating about the bush and we say what’s on our mind. There was a family-like atmosphere on LOLO’s set. Julie inspires this. Everybody joins in with her.”
Lolo opens theatrically in New York on March 11.