©Sendra Uebele

©Sendra Uebele

EVA JARRIAU

By SPECIWOMEN Illustration SENDRA UEBELE

"When I was young I used to look at all the people working, guessing what were their job on the set"

Who are you?

My name is Eva. I am a French actress, and also a young producer, theatre director, and translator. I was born in Paris where I lived until I was 23. Now I am living in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I am about to turn 26. I have Spanish origins, my grandmother is Catalan and I have always been fascinated with languages. 

When I came back to Paris from my first journey in Argentina, I was completely changed, and friends and family were kind of surprised of how much the country fascinated me. 

Now, I am acting here, in feature films, short movies, commercials, theatre pieces... in Spanish, French or English.

How did you get into theater?

Very young, I might had been 10 years old when I started playing. I have always been surrounded by cinema. My mum is a make up artist, and my dad is a prop man, so the baby sitter for me, and my little brother were the sets! 

I have always felt good there, great people, good vibes. When I was young I used to look at all the people working, guessing what were their job on the set. I began theatre in a tiny school called "Le Pocket Théâtre", my first family theatre. I spent like 10 years acting there with my teachers Caroline, and Giovanni. They kind of drew what is now my actress brain, as well as my reality of acting. Then, I remember, we wrote a play in school and I played a journalist defending nature, and warning everyone from environmental disasters. I was really convincing! So, I kept acting because I realized I felt really comfortable and I could go beyond my timidity, the typical theatre motivation...

As an actress, what has been the hardest role to mentally prepare yourself for?

I think it was last year, in the beginning of 2016, I was the protagonist of a short movie directed by Roberto Barbery, a very talented Bolivian director, and actor. The short movie was about a young mother, drug addict, prostituting herself for drugs in Constitution, Buenos Aires' quarter. It was a large process, the most interesting, and intense I ever had to undergo, rehearsing a lot, and filming more than 20 hours a day. Watching real drug addicts in the streets, on Youtube, imitating them, listening to former drug addicts, learning how to make a pipe with a bottle and a pen, and smoking fake "paco" (the latin american cheaper crack). Now that I think about it, I already had to act a drug addict, working a scene for L'école du Jeu, in a masterpiece called "Catégorie 3.1" by Lars Noren, marginal people trying to deal with life...

Another part, a little complicated, was a Koffi Kwahulé's play: "Misterioso 119" directed by Vincent Varène in Paris, in 2013. First of all, the play was written like a jazz Monk rythm, and second of all, I had to play a lonely prisoner girl who fell in love with her theater teacher that came every week to teach the girls of the prison. They began a platonic love until they touched themselves, and she killed her because she needed to kill everyone she loved. 

What is the biggest misconception about theatre?

That to be an actor you have to have a big ego. That your actor life ends if you don't enter a French National Dramatic Conservatory, ha.

What are you top three favorite shows.

The first one, I think, is "Incendie", a play by Wajdi Mouawad that I saw in 2011. I think that we applause for 30 minutes, and I couldn't stop crying. I was so touched by the actors' power and energy.

Another play I loved was in Buenos Aires' 2015 FIBA, "Todo Piola". Intimacy allowed a state of wild imagination, in a crazy mix of romance, physical theatre, and phantasmagoria.

"Tout est normal mon cœur scintille" by Jacques Gamblin, a masterpiece of human generosity.

Another one is a play I really enjoyed which I translated into Rioplatense Spanish, "Clôture de l'Amour" by Pascal Rambert.

Who was your favorite character you played? 

It's very hard to say. All the "border ones" I think. All the big challenges I had. Each character is an adventure, I think which make it more "my favorite" is all the adventures that I made with each project. In 2014, i was selected to act in a play called "Los Rubiecitos" (The Little Blonds), written by a Bolivian dramaturge, Laura Derpic, she won the 2016 Best Dramatic Text award in Bolivia. We made two awesome seasons in Buenos Aires's alternative scene, and then, our dream came true and we went to Bolivia in four different towns: Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, La Paz and Oruro. In December, they gave the play Best 2016 Play From Critic. I obviously had to play a "blond" Bolivian girl with a Bolivian accent. That was kind of a challenge. I could never imagine when I went to Argentina that I would end up acting in Bolivia, and having as much success as we had. "Us", this play was really made by "us" and that's what makes it my favorite. 

What I really enjoy too is guessing all the challenges you have while filming on set. As an actress and also about knowing how they film, with which camera, what kind of shot, it stimulates me a lot. This is something you don't have in theatre, because I think you feel more protected there, rehearsing and knowing everybody for a longtime. 

Are there any projects in the works?

I am actually working on a French/Argentinian co-production to direct a site specific play in Paris, in June 2017. I am part of a Buenos Aires' collective which manage Club Cultural Matienzo's scenics arts programmation and production called MARTE. It is my third theatre family. This year, we have been working on two creations, both commands for another cultural center and organized an event for the annual museum night. We are a group of 15 skilled energies, and agendas. This year, 6 authors from MARTE are writing the play I will play and direct with my second family theater, my actors, and colleagues who I met in the 17th arrondissement of Paris conservatory. It's a very important project for me because it's exactly what is like bringing to Paris what I really love from Buenos Aires, either the written play, my collective, or the site specific speciality, mixing every piece of that with my French actors and friends. I met some of them in Buenos Aires too. There are many projects in the works because we are going to adapt the play to cinema, filming it as it could be showing in Buenos Aires as well.

Where do you see yourself in three years?

Trying to keep doing what I want; traveling between French, and South American projects. Keep loving, and urging ourselves to never lose faith in humanity.

As a woman in the theater world, what have been your biggest challenges thus far?

Clearly moving from Paris to Buenos Aires, beginning to play in Spanish, to write in Spanish, to think in Spanish, and to love in Spanish, in a society that fits me very well, but being an expat is still a hard decision. Argentina is a great place to live.

I think for me it's always a big challenge to defend my own projects, and ideas as a woman. To reach my goals as a woman, trying to be strong, and find an answer to how to change the world on my way.