Rebecca is inimitable. She has that je ne sais quoi we all love to endow French women with who now live in New York. She also has an unyielding, natural curiosity and drive. It's formidable and captivating to see – she simply leans in and works hard. Ostensibly effortless but always with her in the driver's seat.
It's her tenacity, not her French charm (though it is charming), that has seen her seamlessly weave into her career the titles of actor, artist, model and writer. As her latest film, Novitiate, currently plays in cinemas, we sat down with Rebecca to discuss working on an almost all-woman set, how her friends inspire her, and her schizophrenic style.
What gets you up in the morning?
And what do your mornings look like?
I don’t really stick to a routine, but it usually involves a shower, checking my emails and breakfast – not necessarily in that order. As far as getting dressed, it depends on what I’m doing that day. Today, I just picked a pair of jeans and a slip dress… two things I have a lot of in my closet.
You paired them both with Frances de Lourdes tees – what do you like about them?
They’re comfortable and elegant.
How would you describe your style?
What does style mean to you?
Confidence and personality. It’s more of an attitude than what you wear.
You're an artist, actor, model, and writer. What led you to this life?
Passion, curiosity, playfulness and serendipity.
How do all of these pursuits weave together?
They all feed and inspire one another and are part of a growing process. Sometimes it’s a lot at once and sometimes it’s very quiet, but it’s ultimately a great combination.
Your film, Novitiate, is currently in cinemas. Was filming this a different experience to your previous films?
Yes. Each film is different but it was my first time working with mostly women and it was a very special and enlightening experience.
How does working with women transform the experience? How can we all, women and men, learn from working alongside women?
I'm not one for exclusive environments at all, but it was just particularly suited for Novitiate because of the subject matter. There was an atmosphere of trust and we all were very supportive of each other, and that was quite enjoyable – but I think we can all learn from working alongside each other regardless of gender.
How did playing a nun in mid-1960s America challenge you?
I didn't look at it in those terms really because that would only underline how different I am from my character. Instead I approached it as playing a young woman in love, who is striving for something greater and on a path of self-discovery. Which was incredibly relatable. The challenge laid more in allowing those truths about myself to transpire through Sister Emanuel rather than understanding what her circumstances were, which to me is so interesting and fun and calls mostly on one’s empathy.
How else did you relate to your character?
No matter how different I can be from the characters I play, there is always one thing about them that I can entirely relate to. In this case they were many, if you remove the religious context; the striving for perfection, the self-punishment, the desire for something more and the idealization of love are all things I can relate to, even if they manifest themselves differently in my life.
When acting, painting, in daily life – what inspires you?
People. What makes them different from one another and what makes them similar.
Are there other artists out there who inspire you?
My friends Rachel Rossin and Ariana Papademetropoulos.
What else do you aspire to do?
Give back – maybe through education.
Your best advice for life?
Don’t worry so much.
By Neada Jane
Photography by Bec Lorrimer