By SPECIWOMEN Illustration TEGAN IVERSEN
"I engage, as comedian, to dare for power, authority, and strength when I am on a set."
Give us some background information
My name is Judith Zins. I have studied in Paris, I got my High school diploma in literature with a focus in Drama at Victor Hugo, studying with Marion Ferry. Just after graduation, I was accepted to the 5th arrondissement Dramatic Academy where I studied with Bruno Wacrenier for 4 years. During these 4 years, thus from 17 to 21 years old, I learned how to be an actor but I also learned how to come up with my own ideas, and not wait for people to come get me.
In 2009, I wrote Jamais deux sans lui at the l’Etoile du Nord theater andante the Lavoir Moderne Parisien. This short play tells the story of two women who are in love with the same man and the disappearance of this man. I played one of the two women. In hindsight, I believe that I especially wanted to explore fear in love and jealousy.
In 2011 I wrote and staged a play for 17 actors, Pellicules de vie, played in Saint-Ouen for the Second Sight Festival swell as at the 5th arrondissement Dramatic Academy.The play is about the couple and the need for love.
Then I met Delphine Eliet at L’Ecole Du Jeu, I participated to the Enjeux Pro at the 104 in Paris. During my year in this school I was able to propose a White Card on Frida Kahlo called Fridas and in which we were 5 women.
I also wrote, played and directed Alone, a closed session for 6 actors which was played in various places, not always theaters. For example, at Le Perchoir in Paris or in apartments. The play tells the story of 3 couples forced to live together to save each others from each others.
It is a play about the group. I I like being in a group. It is obvious to me that it is important to be plural.
In 2015 I wrote and staged The Imaginary Child, a play designed for ayoung audience telling the story of a child who can't communicate with somebody else than his imaginary friend. We played at the Space 89 as well as in different social centers of the Parisian suburb.
During the same year, I directed On November 20th by Lars Norén, played at the Theatre De L’Antarès. In parallel with being an author and a director, I act.I want to say a word about Vincent Steinebach's Transition that we played at the HTH in Montpellier. This project means so much to me and I love my route in it, I look forward to us playing it again, it is really crazy. I also played a show on senior years Order Your Rests with the Cie du Theatre Variable for which we to do direct studies and spend time with old people. I also play, since 2015, in the Cie Eulalie’s show called Qu’il-y-a-t-il à présent? with director Sophie Le Carpentier, we played at Tab à Vannes and recently at the theater Charles Dullin de Grand Quevillyet as well as the theater L’eclat à Pont-Audemer. It is a unique experience where we play with high school students, it is a project on adolescence which takes different shapes according to the places we go to and to the teenagers we act with.I also did improv for a year with a small group that we called the Crooks In Clover. We went to various spots in Paris (bars, cellars, Le Café De Paris…) it was very enriching and I learned how to overtake quite a lot of things about my fears and my ego. Improv environment can be pretty macho, it is good to be able to talk it out on stage rather than to have some drinks in a too expensive bar talking about patriarchy. For cinema, I began to shoot very young, with Valerie Mréjen in the short film Une Noix. During my years at the academy, I shot with Sarah Jane Sauvegrain in the video Animal screened at the Theatre Du Rond Point, and then in her medium-length film Marito screened the Cinema Des Cineastes. I also work a lot with movie director Matthias Jacquin. I am in his movie Youth which was screened at the Cinema Du Pantheon, at the Tnb Cinema in Rennes, France, and a short time ago in multiple places because of the Jt16 Festival. Last January, I acted in Alice Sarfati's first short film which is doubtlessly going to be called Temps Ecoulé and in which the starting point is a Time Up's game.I just ended a TV pilot which is going to be called Le Bureau des Programmes in which I play the boss of a small company. I also had the opportunity to be one of France Culture’s readers for the fiction Douceur Des Echanges En Salle De Marche by Manele Labidi Labbé directed by Benjamin Abitan. I recently met directors and casting directors after the Movies Master's degree Class (Paris 16th arrondissement) which allowed me to meet beautiful people and confirmed my desire and my need to do Cinema in parallel with theater (and not instead).
How did you get into drama?
Honestly I do not remember how my interest for theater was born. Both of my parents are in the fashion industry, the brand Bernard Zins. Growing up, my girl friends wanted to be fashion designers or teachers. I believe that I wanted to be florist.
I remember acting at the Forum Des Halles in middle school and loving improv. I have always loved to act but I think that it is really in high school that I told myself that I wanted to make it my job.
Who inspires you?
I think that I function mostly with love and admiration. I am inspired by great art figures and by my friends. Famous people wise, I think of Frida, Alain Bashung, Jacques Brel, Marguerite Duras and Paul Claudel. I am also into painting and photography, I sometimes look at pictures to help me write. What inspires me the most is love. When I am in love, for the best or for the worst, it is always a great moment for me, to act, to write, to paint etc. Also, St Exupery's Little Prince, the band IAM and the singer Lhasa.
Are you working on anything currently?
I wrote and read a text called Come directed by Alexandre Plank that I recorded last weekend at the Centre Pompidou and that is available on France Culture.I am writing a radio drama called Nos Vices, Pretexte Pour Parler D’Amour of which a section of the first episode has been broadcasted on France Culture.It is a play for 13 actors that I wrote for them and for whom musician Luc Jacquin does the musique. Maybe this play will turn into a script, I am still thinking about it. I am also currently shooting a movie that is going to be called Adieu Mon Cheri by Louise Mootz Conceicao.This summer I am working in Banon to play at the Festival De Paon that we are trying to launch.I am also acting in the short film Le Martinet Noir buy Hugo Brune and in Matthias Jacquin’s next feature film which is an adaptation from L’Eveil Du Printemps.
Yesterday, I shot for the first time with a baby! Again, for one of Matthias Jacquin’s projects which title is still to be found and that is going to include 13 women. I might go spend a while in Morocco this fall for my staging of the 20th of November, and to direct Thomas Huguenot El Bouhati in a soliloquy. I am collaborating with Victor Assié on Short Cut which tells the story of a play staged on a theater set. I strongly believe in this project. I am also going to be acting with director Sara Amrous next year in Violences de Gabily as one of the three sisters. This summer, at the Villereal Festival and in September at the SACD, I appear in the movie Creuse by Aurelie Reinhorn and Magali Chanay. I am also writing and illustrating a children’s book that I would like to have finished in September. Finally, I'll appear in a wonderful feature film next year, but that is top secret for the moment!
Do you have other interests?
I am into music. I write songs for Pierre Cohen (Monsieur Pierrot).
I like the sea. I like to write, draw, look, be scared of the sea, be in love with her. It deeply fascinates me. Maybe I would like to ride a boat or to study oceanology.
Do you have future plans?
I am still working on Nos Vices, Prétexte Pour Parler D’Amour, as well as on my songs, poems and scripts ideas.
I want to play in movies with actors and plots that touch me, meaning that make me laugh or think. I would like to learn another language, as Italian, Arabic or Hebrew and dance again.
How is being a woman impacting your life?
Because I am a woman I am mad to see actresses simper or try to be “children-women” when they are 30. I engage, as comedian, to dare for power, authority, and strength when I am on a set. Which does not mean that I am not going to be soft or else, but I refuse to limit and shrink myself down. I also engage to write texts in which women are not serving a discourse. When something misogynistic happens, I react. Now I react in a better way, I learned how to transform my anger and my violence. I think that it is important to always ask ourselves the good old question “What should we do with dumbass people?”I am more than happy to be a woman, it never occurred to me that I would have liked to be a man. If I have a little girl, later, I’ll call her Jo. I hope to have girls and boys and that we will be able to talk about everything, as I was lucky to be able to do when I was a kid. The key is to give to your daughter confidence. I met a lot of girls that were being passive just because they were underestimating themselves. Because they were not confident at all, it was easy for others to take advantage of this lack or to use them without them even finding that unfair. I am confident. I think that people can play me and take me for an idiot but it is really hard for them to success without me knowing about it.