Winning the hearts of pirates, film fans and the Trophée Chopad judging panel at the Cannes film festival, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey really is worth her weight in gold.
The 25-year-old actress has captured audiences’ hearts in her native France since she was a teen, with roles in French flicks La Fille du Puisatier, Bruc and Un Barrage Contre le Pacifique. This month her appeal is set to widen, as Astrid makes her Hollywood debut as the beautiful and enigmatic mermaid Syrena in swashbuckling über-franchise Pirates Of The Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides, in cinemas this Friday. “I am so excited about being in Pirates and working with marvellous actors like Stephen Graham and Geoffrey Rush”, Astrid gushes over the telephone from her Parisian apartment. The bubbling brunette is equally determined not to be overawed, “when you’re working with monsters of actors you can’t just freeze in front them”, she says diplomatically. Off screen, Astrid was closest to her onscreen lover Sam Claflin, “he’s such an amazing actor and Pirates is his first movie too,” she explains “it was beautiful because we were sharing the first time in a big production and we were sharing the excitement.”
Aside from her excitement at appearing alongside a glutton of astounding actors, Astrid enthusiastically admits the role also indulges a childhood fascination with seafarers, “I was really crazy about pirates when I was young!” she says, “I was a tomboy who loved to play with pirates, cowboys and boys’ toys; I really fancied all these mysterious characters…” Happily, Astrid’s first encounter with Johnny Depp lived up to her childhood fantasies. “I met Johnny as Jack Sparrow because he was already in full make-up and costume,” she laughs, quick to add how struck she was by Depp’s humility, “he’s really normal”, she confirms. “And really generous, he says ‘hello’ to everybody; it’s really easy to talk to him.”
Despite having shared the screen with one of the most famous men in the world, acting was never Astrid’s childhood dream. “I enjoyed a bit of acting when I was at school, but it was just a hobby. I really wanted to study and become an osteopath”, she says. But a severely unfortunate event brought about a sharp change in direction. “When I was seventeen my father died. I realised that life is so short that I had to listen to my heart. I remembered how much pleasure I had when acting, it was really what I felt inside. I think I made a good decision because I’m now working on marvellous movies.” And winning marvellous prizes too, just last week Astrid scooped the 2011 Trophée Chopard at Cannes 2011, this gold rush looks like it’s only just begun!
Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides is in cinemas from today!