Greek-born French actress Ariane Labed is currently starring in a new BBC eight-episode drama called Trigonometry, on HBO Max. The story is about a coupleGemma, played by Thalissa Teixeira, and Kieran, played by Gary Carrwho bring Labed's character Ray into their home and relationship.
Labed brings a diverse career to the table that began in theater, studying at the University of Provence. Also, she is a founding member of Vasistas Theatre Company.
Her film debut came with Attenberg, and she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress for her role in that movie. Other parts in the cinema include The Lobster, Assassin's Creed and The Souvenir.
Windy City Times: Are you calling from Greece?
Ariane Labed: Yes. I don't live here. I currently live in London, but I was in Greece when everything shut down.
WCT: What does the title Trigonometry refer to?
AL: It is a word referring to the rules of triangles. It is about the perfect shape of a triangle.
WCT: Talk about your character in Trigonometry.
AL: My character's name is Ray Wilson. She's half British and half French. In the story, she's a synchronized swimmer. She decides to change her life and move to London. She moves in with Gemma and Kieran. Slowly, they start to fall in love with each other.
Ray is truly her own person and unique. She comes from the water somehow. It's almost like she is from another time and environment. She's 30 and ready to change everything. There is something very brave about her.
WCT: Are the water references in Trigonometry referring to your character possibly being sexually fluid?
AL: Yes, I think there is something like that. She doesn't say she is one way or another. She doesn't seem to care that much. She's able to express her attraction and love for these two people, whether it is a man or a woman is not an issue.
WCT: Do you think this character had bisexual experience previous to this couple?
AL: I don't think she was in love before. She [likely] had sex, being 30 years old, but I don't think she was very sexual before and doesn't like labels. There is something very simple and natural about the relationship with this couple.
WCT: Was this role a challenge for you?
AL: Yes. Just being comfortable in the water was a challenge.
As far as the relationship, Thalissa and Gary were easy to work with and we enjoyed it so much. We found a way to act being in love and having sex together in a very respectful and beautiful way. It was playful and I enjoyed it.
WCT: Had you done this kind of role in the past?
AL: I have had other roles having intercourse with women. That doesn't matter to me at all.
WCT: How was filming the gay-bar scene in Trigonometry?
AL: That was maybe the first or second day of shooting. It was a great way to get into a good spirit. We spent two days there and had the best time. I think it was the best way to get to know each other. I met beautiful people there.
WCT: What would you like to see explored in the series Trigonometry that hasn't been covered yet?
AL: I can imagine many things for my character to go through in the future. They could have a family together. The show is about a family and what that means. They could explore all the shapes of those concepts.
WCT: I read that your movie Attenberg was censored on Facebook because of two women kissing on the promo photo.
AL: I didn't know about that. The movie poster was a picture of my back, but at the beginning of the movie my friend is teaching me to kiss and it is with two women, which was brilliant and beautiful. That was ridiculous that a picture from it would be censored.
WCT: Facebook allowed it later. Talk about working with Tilda Swinton on The Souvenir.
AL: We didn't have many scenes together, but I am a huge fan of hers. She's an amazing actress and icon. I was watching the film with her and her daughter Honor, who is the main character in The Souvenir.
WCT: I'm a fan of Black Mirror, and you were in an episode of that.
AL: I had a funny part in it. I was a monster. I had a crazy mask and makeup. I loved it!
WCT: How was your experience on The Lobster?
AL: I loved working with Yorgos Lanthimos and my character. I was able to go through all these different worlds and have a lot of fun. It was a very different language than with Trigonometry.
WCT: What other projects do you have coming out?
AL: I am working on a French TV series. It is on hold right now, but we are hoping to go back to work at the end of July. It is set in Paris at the opera and about ballet.
All eight episodes of Trigonometry are currently available. Subscription information is at HBOMax.com.