Léa Seydoux has had a lot of success with Hollywood blockbusters, appearing in two James Bond films — Spectre and No Time to Die — and now in Dune: Part Two, where she plays Lady Margot Fenring.

But despite those triumphs, the French actress said in a recent Harper’s Bazaar interview that acting in Europe is easier on a woman than it is being in the industry in the U.S.

“The industry in America…” she trails off, searching for the words. “I find it harsh on women. It’s hard for women to age. I don’t want to be afraid not to be desirable or to lose my contract. In America, it’s economic, and when it becomes a matter of making money, you lose your freedom. I don’t feel comfortable with the fact that you have to tick all the boxes. Being a woman on screen is easier in Europe.”

She added later in the interview: “My strength is that I’m able to travel and adapt. I have more freedom because I’m a European actress, which suits me. I’m not trying to be popular, I’m just trying to enjoy myself. In America you have to conform. I don’t want to adapt myself to the system, I want the system to adapt to me!”

Her latest French film, The Beast, satirizes mainstream American moviemaking and its obsession with youth.

Seydoux portrays the same character in 1910, 2014 and 2044. The Beast has one scene where Seydoux is required to lie in a bath of gelatinous black gunge for several hours.

“I was like, ‘Oh no…’” she says, laughing. “In the end, it wasn’t that bad. I even fell asleep! Sometimes you have to do uncomfortable things.”

Such as work in American movies.


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