‘Rodeo’ by Lola Quivoron: ‘There is part of my anger in the character of Julia’

Where does this desire to confront universes and genres come from?

What I express in the film, the questions of gender stereotypes, the conflicting relationships between men and women, it comes more from my anger as a woman in society, not necessarily from that environment. It’s true that there is a lack of diversity in practice, a form of virility, it’s hard for a woman to assert herself in such a masculine universe. But as in any male universe, in the end: you enter a garage as a woman… you feel the weight of the gaze.

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How did you shape the character of Julia?

I have long dreamed of seeing this character on screen, because I missed him a lot. I love action, mafia and gangster movies, and the female characters in them are always relegated to roles I don’t identify with. Julia was born from several parameters. First, the idea of ​​infiltrating a woman’s body into this universe was bound to create fiction. I saw it when I was going to see the riders on the training lines. It fascinates me to observe these male systems closed in on themselves, it questions me, this male complicity. Paul B. Preciado, a philosopher I admire, theorized this in his book An Apartment on Uranus.

I dreamed of this character for a long time, because I missed him a lot in the cinema

Second, there is a part of my anger in Julia. Especially when faced with the representations of femininity that society sent back to me: morbid, ossified images… What is it to be a woman? It never suited me to be within the norm of this definition. I have a woman’s body, but in my projections and my representations, I feel between the two. I read a lot of transfeminist and afrofeminist books, it enriched my outlook. I spent years deconstructing the stereotypes that inhabited me. The character is also nourished by my journey as a young homosexual adult in this society, and the way of feeling marginality in the eyes of others.

And finally, there is the meeting with Julie Ledru, which was a real miracle. For me, the heroine of the film was someone with a lot of inner scars, from being a woman, from being racialized, potentially attracted to other women… She has a lot of anger, but she’s also capable of gentleness, he is a hybrid, composite character. And when I come across Julie on Instagram, and then we meet on a bench in the Parisian suburbs, everything she tells me about her life is written in the script. It was amazing. So much so that I thought for a long time that she had lied to me (laughs)! I said to myself but it’s not possible, she tells me about my film! How did she do it? We saw each other again, and quickly it seemed obvious to me that she was Julia – who at the beginning was not called Julia, I played on the mirrors. She worked like crazy to achieve the intensity of this character, and surely also to meet my anger.

When I met Julie, at first I thought she had lied to me!

‘Rodeo’ by Lola Quivoron: ‘There is part of my anger in the character of Julia’