At the tender age of just 22, the half French and half Lebanese actress Yara Pilartz has already ingrained herself in French television and cinema through the enigmatic roles she has played since her teen years. Her first break came in the award-winning supernatural television series Les Revenants (The Returned) and her latest role sees her playing an orphaned teenager who falls in love with a charming show man in the feature film La Belle Occasion (The Beautiful Occasion), directed by Isild Le Besco. Currently alternating between acting and her language studies degree in Spanish, Yara embodies a certain charm and ingeniousness in the outwardly difficult and mysterious characters she often plays, making her one of the steadily rising stars of the big screen in France and far beyond.
I feel very comfortable playing characters who tend to go against society's codes and standards.
I like to slip into their shoes and feel free to do what I want. Mathilde, the character I play in La Belle Occasion is hard to grasp and mysterious, even more so since Isild (the director) cut my script when she edited the movie because she didn’t want me to speak throughout. It’s a real coincidence, but I feel the roles I’ve played since the age of 15 all have an air of mystery surrounding. In real life, I think I’m an open-minded, extroverted and exuberant person – the exact opposite!
I've learnt that it can be easy to feel as though you've lost everything when you put too much hope in one place.
I have always been too scattered to channel my creativity in just one place, but I don't necessarily feel as though this is a bad thing. When I was young, I used to write, draw - never just one or the other. I'd like to finish my language studies degree in Spanish before considering acting as my main occupation because for now, I want keep my feet firmly on the ground as I move forward cautiously.
There are many images and sounds I can associate with my childhood.
I'm quite an obsessive person and I tend to play the same songs on a loop. When I listen to these songs after a long time, I automatically have pictures coming to my mind: scenes from my childhood, a landscape, a mood, my interpretation of the period of the music I'm listening to if it's an old song… Often when I close my eyes alone, images and sounds cross my mind.
I find it difficult to keep still or remain silent.
I have even more difficulty trying to sit down being idle. Paris is such an intense city which has an air of urgency to do things so this makes me really used to being active - it’s very much part of my nature now. I lived in Madrid for a year as part of my degree and it helped me to slow down a lot more. I think you learn so much when you leave your home town because you don’t know what to expect. For me, getting out of my comfort zone is vital to my growth.
I am a big fan of the Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar’s zany and sensitive universe.
In the whole of his filmography, the same madness and unique aesthetic can be found throughout - it's very definitive of him. I really like his cinematographic universe because he effortlessly goes from one contrast to another: from funny to serious, profoundness to casualness, realistic to mystic. His films are also a wonderful way to familiarise yourself with Spanish culture.