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“My New Friends”, interview with actress Isabelle Huppert

todayFebruary 23, 2024

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Exploring Ethical Dilemmas and Emotional Turbulence: Isabelle Huppert Delves into "My New Friends" at Berlinale 74

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    "My New Friends", interview with actress Isabelle Huppert Federica Scarpa

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At the 74th Berlinale International Film Festival, the French actress Isabelle Huppert sat down to discuss her latest film, “My New Friends”, directed by André Téchiné and featured in the Panorama section. In this interview, Isabelle Huppert unravels the complexities of her character’s moral dilemma and the portrayal of mental health within law enforcement.

Diving into the Moral Quagmire

Isabelle Huppert shares insights into what drew her to the film, highlighting the central theme of a moral dilemma faced by her character, Lucie, a specialized agent in the scientific police. The film navigates the delicate balance between professional duty and personal compassion as Lucie grapples with conflicting loyalties towards her job and her desire to help her neighbours.

Mental Health and Emotional Struggles

Delving deeper, Isabelle Huppert reflects on the representation of mental health in the film “My New Friends”, mainly through Lucie’s character, who not only battles professional ethics but also grapples with personal suffering as a widow. This layered portrayal adds depth to the narrative, shedding light on the complexities of mental well-being within law enforcement.

Paradoxes and Dynamics

Isabelle Huppert discusses the paradoxical nature of her character’s journey, highlighting the irony of a policewoman torn between upholding the law and extending compassion to her neighbours. This intricate dynamic adds layers to the storyline of “My New Friends”, prompting viewers to ponder the blurred lines between professional obligations and personal morality.

Crafting the Character

The French actress shares her approach to portraying a policewoman in a film transcending the conventional police genre. Isabelle Huppert brings Lucie to life through meticulous character work, infusing her with depth and complexity beyond typical law enforcement archetypes.

Navigating Inner Turbulence

Reflecting on the character’s arc throughout the film, Isabelle Huppert explores the theme of inner turmoil and resolution. While the narrative may not offer a tidy resolution, there’s a sense of coming to terms with the complexities of life, offering a glimpse into the process of reconciliation and acceptance.

Exploring Grief and Redemption

Huppert delves into the film’s exploration of grief, suggesting that “My New Friends” is also a meditation on the process of grieving. Through Lucie’s journey, the film navigates themes of loss, redemption, and the transformative power of human connection.

Reuniting with André Téchiné

The actress reflects on her collaboration with director André Téchiné, marking their reunion since “The Brontë Sisters”. Isabelle Huppert praises Téchiné‘s ability to delve into the emotional core of storytelling, creating a cinematic experience that is both profound and enigmatic.

“My New Friends” is a thought-provoking exploration of morality, mental health, and human resilience. Isabelle Huppert‘s portrayal of Lucie adds layers of depth and nuance to the narrative, inviting audiences to contemplate the complexities of ethical dilemmas and the redemptive power of compassion. As the film unfolds against the backdrop of everyday life in a suburban setting, it serves as a poignant reminder of the universal struggles and triumphs that define the human experience.


Lucie is a specialized agent in the scientific police. Her solitary daily life is disturbed by the arrival in her housing estate of a young couple and their little girl. While Lucie gets to know her new neighbors, she discovers that Yann, the father, is an anti-police activist with a long criminal record. Lucie’s moral conflict between her professional conscience and her desire to help this family will shake her certainties.

Written by: Federica Scarpa


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