Interview with Francesca Domenichini, actress in “Class Act ” series
Yael Yermia (Y.Y.): How were you contacted to star in the Netflix series “Class Act”?
Francesca Domenichini (F.D.) : Jean Toussaint, who was in charge of small parts, contacted me to try out for the role of Nathalie’s nanny.
The first tests went well, and when it came time for the callback, as we had a bit of time left, he asked me if I’d be up for doing a quick take of each of the small female roles he had to cast.
And that’s how I ended up playing a journalist in the series!
Y.Y. : What was your role? How did you develop your character?
F.D. : I was a journalist at the press conference where Bernard Tapie announced his takeover of the Wonder company.
Tristan Séguéla had asked for impatience, excitement and a certain fascination with the character, which was exacerbated in the editing process by the addition of the “Star ou rien” music, which made all our first lines completely inaudible, but which really made him seem like a rock star... It works really well!
There were three of us journalists, so we divided the questions between us, and I wanted my character to be the most “professional” of the three.
I kept the most specific questions for myself, about the negotiations with the CGT and its plans for getting out of the crisis, and my male colleagues had the more admiring questions…
In fact, we had a moment of improvisation at the end that went something like this, and which we kept.
Y.Y. : What did you think of the shoot? How long did it take?
F.D. : I only had the conference scene. So it was a very short experience for me, lasting only half a day!
The atmosphere was very good, it was only the 3rd day of shooting, the very beginning of the adventure for a large part of the team…
Y.Y. : Is there a particular Netflix feature that made this shoot different from the others?
F.D : The production was French (Unité) and I honestly didn’t notice any difference from shoots that aren’t intended for platforms.
Y.Y. : Which actors do you interact with?
F.D : In this scene, I’m talking exclusively to Bernard Tapie, masterfully played by Laurent Lafitte.
Y.Y. : What did you enjoy about this experience?
F.D : I used to be a professional dancer, but I changed of career paths quite recently, and this was my very first contract as an actress.
So at the time I was very happy to have been called for casting and to land a role, however small.
Now that I’ve seen the series, I’m even happier to have made my debut opposite Laurent Lafitte in this very fine production.
The script, the direction, the casting, the imagery – everything about this series is fantastic!
Y.Y. : How is your career progressing? What would you like to achieve?
F.D : I’ve only just started my acting career, so I’ve still got a lot to do!
It’s a big challenge, but I’m not one to give up, and I’m making steady progress on this new path.
I’ve had some great opportunities so far.
Last year I had my very first small role in Class Act series, then another one in an American drama.
Then I had a bigger role in a TF1 series, and finally the lead in several short films.
This year, I had several days of shooting in a supporting role on a France 2 series directed by Pierre Schoeller and Guillaume Senez, which I was offered directly without having to go through casting, which is quite royal!
Now I’d like to take it to the next level and work with an agent to get bigger roles.
“I really like Karin Viard’s choice of roles, as she often plays characters who are really flawed but terribly endearing, and Melvil Poupaud’s roles, which go very far into the worst of human nature…”
Y.Y. : Who do you like best among the actors?
F.D : As a spectator, what moves me most is perhaps less the actor or actress than the role he or she has chosen to play. I’m attached to strong stories and characters.
I really like Karin Viard’s choice of roles, as she often plays characters who are really flawed but terribly endearing, and Melvil Poupaud’s roles, which go very far into the worst of human nature…
For me, it’s the flaws or weaknesses of the characters that make them interesting. It must be terribly boring to play a smooth, flawless hero!
I was very honored to play with them on the France 2 series, as well as with Swann Arlaud, for whom I had a real crush.
There are so many talented actors in this series!
So far, I’ve been extremely lucky to work with some wonderful actors.
In this profession, we work on emotion and human. So I’m bound to have a different view of the people I meet who have moved me on a human level…
Y.Y. : Who do you like best amongst directors and with whom you’d like to shoot?
F.D : There are so many! My top 3 would be Albert Dupontel, Yórgos Lánthimos and Ruben Östlund.
I’m a huge fan of their uncompromising but fair views of human flaws and our society.
Y.Y. : What are your plans?
F.D : I currently have two short films in preparation, but I can’t talk about them because of confidentiality clauses.
At the same time, I’m still involved in live performance.
I’m taking over a role in the show “Seul.e.s” by Collectif Plateforme directed by Guillermina Celedón which deals with single parenthood.
And I’ll be choreographing Le dernier syrien by Collectif La Formule, adapted from Omar Youssef Souleimane’s novel by Malena Perrot in collaboration with the author, about Syrian youth at the dawn of the Arab Spring.
I also have contemporary art performance projects with artist Jérôme Grivel.
Trailer : Class Act series created by Tristan Séguéla et Olivier Demangel available on Netflix.
Also starring Fabrice Luchini, Hakim Jamily, Camille Chamoux, Antoine Reinartz