The Dardenne brothers’ new discovery
by Matthieu Reynaert, Cinergie.be
14/07/2008 - Arta Dobroshi (28) – who is originally from Pristina (the capital of Kosovo) but sees herself more as a citizen of the world – is the new discovery of the Dardenne brothers in Lorna’s Silence [trailer, film focus]. And what a find! Cinergie met with this young woman bursting with charm and spontaneity.
Cinergie: To start with, we feel obliged to ask the question: how did you meet the Dardenne brothers?
Arta Dobroshi: They’d seen the two films I’d made in Albania. An agent in Paris asked me to go to a casting call. At the time, I was appearing at the theatre in Sarajevo, and I went to Pristina for some auditions. An assistant filmed me for a few minutes, just long enough to say my name and the only words I knew in French: the days of the week!
Later on, the Dardenne brothers came to Sarajevo in person. They filmed me for a whole day, while I was engaged in various activities that were connected to the film or not. Then they asked me to come to Liège to meet Jérémie (Rénier) and Fabrizio (Rongione), and after working together for two days, they said to me: “Congratulations, you’re Lorna”!
After an intensive two-week French course at Berlitz, and a month and a half of rehearsals, I started to get by. The most important thing for me was to feel the language, to appropriate it for myself. I immersed myself in the language; I also made an effort to listen to French songs and, in the end, I had to speak it!
Your character goes through more or less the same experiences. In what way are you different from Lorna?
I lived the same, solitary existence in the same areas as Lorna during the five-month shoot. I didn’t want to go out to nightclubs or engage in activities that Lorna wouldn’t have chosen; I didn’t want that to affect my portrayal of her. Every actress has her own method, but I like to get as close as possible to the character. I write her biography and diary. The film was shot chronologically, so it really felt as if I was living her life.
How did you deal with your character’s descent into a kind of madness?
I put my whole body into a character and I don’t ask myself any questions. Jean-Pierre and Luc encourage this vision in the present. I didn’t have to intellectualise my performance, everything was very concrete and direct, to the point where it came naturally.
Your budding career has suddenly become international. Do you want to continue travelling for your job?
Yes, definitely. The world is small, and I follow my heart and passion, regardless of borders. I hope to be able to work all over the world, in film as well as theatre – striking a balance between the two is important for me.
How many languages are you prepared to learn in order to achieve this?
[Laughs] For the moment, I speak four, but my great grandfather spoke nine languages, so there’s still work to be done!
To see the video of the interview, click here.