A brief encounter with actress Lily-Rose Depp

By Helen Barlow

A few words with 17-year-old actress Lily-Rose Depp.
Lily-Rose Depp.
Lily-Rose Depp.

How did you feel when The Dancer had a standing ovation in Cannes?

We just had a lot of friends in the room and they kept it going. We paid them a lot.

Your mother was clapping.

Yeah, and my brother [Jack, 14]. Everyone that we knew was there [except Johnny]. It was so surreal having not only so many of our friends and family supporting us, but just hearing everyone who is completely unbiased clapping so hard.

What do you have in common with Isadora Duncan?

I'd like to think that I'm determined and ambitious like she was - but not manipulative and malicious. Unlike her I'm a perfectionist and a hard worker. Loie Fuller (the dancer of the film's title) was ready to almost destroy herself for her art, just for it to be beautiful for the public. Isadora believed it should come from within and it should feel as good to do as it looks.

Is there something you would never sacrifice for your career?

Love and family. Obviously sacrifices come with everything, especially in this industry. But you don't have anything if you don't have love and you don't have people close to you who care about you and keep you grounded.

Did you feel insecure or doubtful playing part of a lesbian relationship?

No for me it's just all part of the story.

Did you do the dancing yourself?

I came to the project a month or two before we started shooting, so I didn't have much time to prepare. For the more complicated things I had a double but for the parts that were me - and there were a lot of them - I worked with a choreographer.

I read that you don't want to sing like your mother and you want to take after your father more.

I don't remember saying that. But I don't want to sing. It's not what I like to do. I like to act.

What advice did you get from Mum and Dad?

They don't want to impose. It's my career and they want to just let me do it by myself.

Lily-Rose Depp plays Isadora Duncan in The Dancer, screening at the NZIFF.

- Canvas

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