« Take a break with… » Sofia Essaïdi – Actress, singer, show girl – Paris
Tell us about your news ?
I recently made a film directed by Fred Cavaye , with Vincent Lindon and Gilles Lellouche, which will be released at the end of 2013 . I also have two other shootings planned with France 2 . But now I ‘m focusing mainly on preparing my album. I put music aside for a while but it’s only better to return to it today. Following the musical » Cleopatra , » I started working on an album, but I was not happy with the project. I do this job to create things that please me and that I hold in my heart , so when this was not the case, I didn’t through with it!
I ‘ve always loved comedy. I started with the music but I could just as well have started with a play or a movie.
Cinema is as important as music in my life. I increasingly want to be on set . In short, I walk between these three worlds : music , dance and comedy. It is by doing all three that I ‘m happy. I let myself get carried from one to the other depending on my desires and the different projects.
As part of your job , who are the people that have inspired you ?
This is not an easy question ! In music , I have my « gods » that obviously inspire me , such as Jamie Cullum , Diana Krall or Trixie Whitley . Among the actresses , Kate Winslet , Kate Blanchett and Meryl Streep who are all real life goddesses. Each of their scenes is a free acting lesson !
Who do you think is the ideal woman ?
My mother ! She is a beautiful woman, sleek and elegant .
And Dalida … My mother gave me one of her tapes when I was 8 years old. I watched it constantly and was trying to imitate her in front of my mirror . Strangely enough she is someone who has always represented something very strong my life. What is even more eerie is that before her death she wanted to set up a musical on the life of Cleopatra. So you can imagine how I was truly blessed when I got the role in the Kamel Ouali play …
What does your typical day look like?
What is wonderful is that I do not have a typical day ! And that’s precisely what I love about my job. My days are organized depending on the project I’m working on. When I ‘m recording my album I usually: wake up , warm my vocal cords , go to the studio, have a quick lunch break and then back to the studio .
During the « promos » I run from one interview to another. On a shoot: all your habits are scrambled! You wake up at 4am (!) And then it’s non-stop all day. And finally, my favorite days are…when we prepare for a show! We rehearse from morning to night. I love this stage when we are creating , working with the whole team, trying new things and sharing our ideas to move forward on the project.
What is your favorite place to have dinner?
I’m a real homebody . With my job, my days are so full that at night I just want it to stay home .
Younger, there was a time when I went out a lot to all the new trendy places , but now I prefer to invite my friends for a nice dinner at home. I don’t have a favorite place in mind, just any restaurant which in on the seaside …
What is your best memory : in your career? In your private life?
I worked on many projects and I have been fortunate enough to have experienced beautiful moments . One of the first highlights of my career was with Sting at the » Star’ac . » We sang an acoustic version , totally improvised of » Roxanne . » Something truly amazing happened . It was my first artistic shock, the kind of moment where time seems to have stopped. This is surely one of my fondest memories in music.
Later, at the premiere of » Cleopatra , » while I was still very emotional at the end of the show, Kamel Ouali went on stage and spoke in front of everyone and said, » This show, I wrote it for you. » Two years prior to that moment he kept telling me « I’m warning you, I have an international cast and I will only take on the best . You will have to fight to get this role. » I worked so hard for the role and for two years he kept who he had chosen to himself . I think this was one of my greatest rewards .
Among my personal memories , it will have to be the birth of my nephew which was really a milestone , especially as I am very close to my family. I almost had the impression that I had a child myself !
Any crazy dreams?
Yes, many ! In this business , if you don’t have any dreams anymore, you should stop . And it is precisely that you are pursuing your dreams that to give you the strength to move forward. My biggest dream is to always be here in the business in twenty years. I also always keep this in mind when I select my projects. The approach is different when you want to be seriously grounded in the business . I have kept that in mind since I started the « Star Academy » . I declined a lot of attractive offers , but I think sometimes it is better to let some projects go, to refuse quick fame and easy money. I work a lot on instinct and for 10 years now I think I’ve managed pretty well.
My other biggest dream is never losing my passion …
What is your beauty ritual ?
I’m crazy about beauty treatments ! But, I ‘m not very serious in my everyday routine. I remove my make up every night with micellar water and I apply my cream morning and night, but I still have trouble doing weekly masks and scrubs . But, I love testing new beauty products . Right now I use the products from the brand Kanebo which I discovered at the time of the » Cleopatra » tour. I also love Vichy, La Roche Posay and sanoflore products. I also recently discovered a great makeup brand : Couleur Caramel .
What are your next plans ?
Music. And cinema ! I am also currently in discussion for a theater project in 2014. It’s a pretty crazy play ! But I’ll wait a bit before I tell you more about it. I knew that sooner or later I would work on a play , but I didn’t think it would happen this way. This is a very bold and pretty stressful project, but so exhilarating!
What did you think of the photo shoot for OOB mag?
This shoot was a very big step for me because I am a very reserved. I was offered many time to do nude photo-shoots but always refused. Nevertheless it remained something that I always wanted to do one day. I guess I was just waiting for the right moment , the right medium and the right team . With Oob , it was obvious. The setting is beautiful and artistic . I really wanted a » fashionable and arty » media. Here, all the elements were in the right place, I just needed to be shaken-up a little. I think I actually had a mental blockage on being naked and this shoot almost had a therapeutic effect.
Interview by OOB MAG
Photos by Jordan I