Acting for the Dardennes

The idea that Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have an uncanny ability to get right on top of the action in a scene without their camera’s ever feeling intrusive—to actors or viewers—is a common refrain in discussions of the Belgian directors’ electrifying cinema. In this clip from an interview on our new special edition of La promesse, two of the Dardennes’ recurring stars, Olivier Gourmet (also in Rosetta and The Son) and Jérémie Renier (also in L'enfant, Lorna’s Silence, and The Kid with a Bike), discuss the brothers’ distinct brand of realism and what it’s like on the front lines of their sets, where, as Gourmet says, “the camera is another actor.” The experience on La promesse was particularly important for Renier, who was making his debut at age fourteen.

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