Nathalie Richard, starring in “Conann”: a monster actress with a soft voice

Nathalie Richard, starring in “Conann”: a monster actress with a soft voice


One cold November morning, Nathalie Richard meets in a Parisian café which is showing a video of a wood fire, next to the bar. We are saved! The radio spits hits from Whitney Houston and takes us back to the 1980s, when the actress took her first steps in Golden Eighties (1986), the musical by Chantal Akerman: the slender young woman, from a contemporary dance background, just out of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art , in Paris, played one of the shampooers with eye shadow. At the same time, she filmed with Jacques Rivette in La Bande des quatre (1988), where she was a drama student, destabilized in her learning by the appearance of a mysterious man – a role which earned her the Michel-Prize. Simon for the best interpretation.

Since her promising beginnings, the actress, born in Paris in 1962, to a father who was the director of a steel company and a mother who was a performer, has led a parallel career in the theater, alongside the directors André Engel, Jean-Louis Benoît, Jean-François Peyret, Gérard Watkins… His look has not changed, half amused, half questioning. She kept these blond, wispy locks, which sweep over her face and can modify it as she wishes. “In the cinema, I am either given strange, destructive roles, or I play a person of authority. And it undoubtedly came with age – I’m 61,” says the actress, who played a minister of the economy in the series D’argent et de sang (2023), by Xavier Giannoli (on Canal+), and a boss of the general directorate of internal security in A zone to defend (2023), by Romain Cogitore.

A Nathalie Richard in almond paste

But it is in the fringes of French genre cinema, notably with Bertrand Mandico, that the actress in the leopard jacket has found her feet again in recent years. “It was through the actress Elina Löwensohn, whom I have known for fifteen or twenty years, that I met Bertrand, who later became his companion. Elina and I put together a comedy duo based on Princess Dramas, by Elfriede Jelinek [translated in France in 2006, by L’Arche] . We played Sleeping Beauty , I played the prince and she played Beauty. When Bertrand saw us, he featured us in Notre-Dame des hormones [2015]. »

Since then, Nathalie Richard has played in almost all of the director’s films, Les Garçons sauvage (2017), Ultra Pulpe (2018), etc. Still with Mandico, she has just finished filming, in Frankfurt (Germany), a variation on The Year of the Thirteen Moons (1978), by Fassbinder.

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