Emma Mackey, the Eiffel asset: “My desire for French cinema was growing stronger”

Emma Mackey in Eiffel

For his very first French film, the revelation of Sex Education bursts the screen. Portrait.

Pathé this week unveiled the trailer forEiffel, a biopic that promises to be very romantic. At the heart of the video, we understand that among the reasons that pushed the creator of the most famous of Parisian monuments, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris), to build his A-shaped tower, there was the young Adrienne, incarnate by Emma MacKey. The opportunity to share our portrait of the actress revealed in the Netflix series Sex Education, originally published in the number First April 2021, of which Eiffel was on the cover.

Romain Duris falls for Emma Mackey in the Eiffel trailer

Yes Eiffel Bears the name of the creator of the famous tower, this film is indeed that of a duo. In its ambitions – the great love story behind the construction of the monument – as in fact, it rests on two pillars: Gustave Eiffel and Adrienne. The engineer and the love of his life, which existence puts back on its path twenty years after a rupture from which he has never recovered. It only takes a scene, or even a simple shot, to understand how high the actress who plays Adrienne will take this role, this duo and this film. His face is certainly world famous, but Eiffel will bring something else to Emma Mackey: the recognition of French cinema and a real metamorphosis. From the punkette to the piercings, pink hair and cockney accent of Sex Education to the young woman of good Bordeaux family with perfect French. Both, however, share one thing in common: a rebellious temperament, a desire to get out of the box or even blow them up. “This film proposal arrived at the right time”, explains Emma Mackey in a cheerful voice on the phone between two scenes of the third season of Sex Education, currently filming. “My desire for French cinema was growing stronger. And how can you be more French than a film like Eiffel? ” France, this native of Le Mans (French father, English mother) has spent most of her life there. But it is indeed across the Channel that her desire to become an actress took shape. “As a child, I grew up watching films, series, plays. One of my grandfathers had done theater and once a year he would take me to a musical. I loved it… but without thinking that I could one day be part of that world. “ But in adolescence, everything changed. “It all started with the idea that I had to leave Sablé-sur-Sarthe to study literature, to immerse myself in the British part of my culture. “ Head for the University of Leeds where, in parallel with her studies in classical literature, she took her first acting lessons. “And there, I meet people who make me understand that this job may be for me. A teacher will have a decisive influence in my learning and the doors he opens to me. “

Excluded – Romain Duris: How I became Eiffel

An intense role

It is thanks to him that she finds an agent. Very quickly, after a handful of unsuccessful auditions, she landed the role of Maeve Wiley in Sex Education. “Honestly, I didn’t think I had a chance. I was the opposite of the role by my age and my look. I was going to this casting to learn. “ Except that it is indeed to her that falls the role of the rebellious teenager in this series which hits instantly on Netflix. In the process, Emma Mackey receives many roles of punkettes that she declines. “Logic: no one knew me. You could believe I was the role. It is from the French producer Vanessa van Zuylen that will come the proposal she dreamed of. “I wanted to reconnect with my French side. And what could be better than this intense role of a woman who is curious and greedy for life? “ His first experience in French. “At first, I was apprehensive. After three years in immersion in England, I wondered if I could still speak French perfectly. As if in my head, the little girl from the Netflix series who tumbled in the middle of these people who have been making films for years had to prove something. But this fear quickly vanished. The only thing is that the musicality is different. For me, who tends to speak quickly, I have to take more of my time when I play in French. “ This year will inevitably remain apart in the career of Emma Mackey, because besides Eiffel and her long-term shoot, she has chained two seasons of Sex Education and Death on the Nile by Kenneth Branagh. Now, she is preparing to become Emily Brontë for Frances O’Connor. Its rise to power has only just begun. “This girl is the seed of a Meryl Streep”, assures Vanessa van Zuylen. We totally share his intuition.

TrailerEiffel, which will be released on August 25 at the cinema:

Emma Mackey (Sex Education): “It’s nice to be compared to Margot Robbie, but…”

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