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Portrait #2 Linh-Dan Pham, comédienne globe-trotteuse

A portrait of Linh-Dan Pham, a French actress of Vietnamese origin.
From Saigon to London, via Paris, Singapore, New York and more, we discover a woman of many talents.

Linh Dan Pham made a big impression with her role in the wonderful film by Jacques Audiard “The beat my heart skipped”. Remember, she was the lady who gave piano lessons to Romain Duris. Deeply moving, even though she barely said a word, she gradually helped him find his way back to humanity. For this role she received a César award for most promising female actress in 2006: pretty successful for a come-back! Here is a clip from the film…

However, her career started well before this as 13 years earlier she was also nominated for a César award!

A film career almost by chance

Born in 1974 in Saigon, Linh-Dan Pham left Vietnam at the age of one to live in France just before the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. She then grew up in a suburb of Paris.

When she was 16, she spotted a small advertisement: “We are looking for a young girl to shoot a film with Catherine Deneuve inVietnam”. She decided to call and was cast in the film “Indochine”, by Régis Wargnier and shooting began one year later. She played the role of Camille, an orphan of the Nguyen dynasty adopted by a French plantation owner.

Linh-Dan was living in Holland when the film was released and as a result she wasn’t fully aware of her success and the consequences of her César nomination.

She then was away from the screen for more than 10 years while she focused on her studies. Linh-Dan studied business and subsequently worked as a marketing manager in Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.

Following her destiny

In 2001, casting directors rediscovered her: they had been looking for a long time! Fascinated by the Actor’s Studio method, she enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York where she trained for 4 years. During this time she received offers of roles in France and she chose “Gamblers” by Frédéric Balekdjian and “The beat that my heart skipped” by Jacques Audiard, both released in 2005. Since then she has been filming regularly. Linh-Dan appeared in “The actress’ ball” and also in the successful 2010 film “All that glitters”.

Going back to her roots

In 2008 Linh-Dan was part of a Vietnamese production for the first time : “Choi Voi” (Adrift) by director Bùi Thạc Chuyên, released in 2009 in Vietnam and in February 2011 in France under the title “Vertiges“. In it she plays the role of  Câm, a woman secretly in love with another woman, Duyen, a newlywed. Câm tries to hide her love and jealousy and subtly pushes Duyen into the arms of an experienced and seductive man. With him Duyen discovers her femininity – until that point she had been bound by the constraints of traditional morals.This film is a gem among the limited number of Vietnamese films. Co-produced by France it has the benefit of some independence. Selected in Venice in 2009, “Adrift” evokes themes which until now the authorities did not approve of, particularly homosexuality.

Comments (1)
  • Sylvain Pierre says:

    Bien que j’adore ce film, je dois avouer être un peu déçu que Jacques Audiard fasse parler en vietnamien une fille qui serait Chinoise dans le film 🙂

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