Marine George speaks about her career & projects

Marine George is a French actress based in-between Paris, Los Angeles and Cape Town. As hard as it is to believe, prior to her acting career, she studied economics and worked in fields as broad as statistical development, the beer industry, media, diplomacy and tech. A curious mind with a true passion for the human behavior, she lived in France, South Africa, Congo, Qatar and the United States. Wherever she goes, she always carries her passion for ski, Muay Thai and yoga along.
Her acting training took place in Los Angeles where she was taught by Alex Taylor, who learned actors training from Sanford Meisner himself. Marine is currently involved in several projects, be it a TV dark comedy series in Los Angeles, a feminist contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello in Cape Town, or fantastic indie projects among which Cloud Nine, which she will shoot this summer in her hometown Paris.

  1. Being born & bred in France, how did you come about to Cape Town?

I did an Exchange Program (a year abroad) in 2010-2011 at the University of Cape Town (UCT) & I really loved it. I always wanted to come back but never had a good enough reason to. In January, for the first time in years, I finally had the possibility to spend a few months here, and my boyfriend got a job opportunity in Cape Town, so it all worked out very well. I like to think that I will keep traveling back with Cape Town remaining a strong base.

  1. Speaking about your degree, Bachelors in Sociology & a Masters in Economics, how does one have such a shift in careers?

It was a big move, but it all made sense. I enjoyed my job but there was something lacking in my life in general. Basically, I knew that if I wanted to keep having the will to wake up every day and look forward to the things that life could offer, I had to go back to my passion – which I knew was acting. So I thought: “I either slowly die or I go for it.”

  1. You have been to over 60 countries & 4 continents. Which one has been your favorite so far?

Well, South Africa! But Peru is very dear to me. I traveled there when I was 8 (eight) and promised myself to return there 20 years later, which I did last year.

  1. One of the mysteries I found is how did you decide to go to Qatar?

I finished my studies and wanted to move abroad. I lived in South Africa & Congo and back then I thought I wanted to go back to Africa but I thought if I didn’t try something else I would always wonder how it would be like. So the Middle East seemed like a good option, allowing me to then move to Africa, as many corporations put the Middle East and Africa under one umbrella – although the two areas are extremely different. I thought Dubai was a little overdone, I wanted to try something new. Qatar was booming, everyone was talking about it on the radio, it was the country with the highest growth, there were constructions everywhere. I thought it would be a nice change from the old, steady Europe. And I got a job there!

  1. Do you speak a bit of Arabic also?

I started learning, I can say a few words & I try to have a decent accent.

  1. You have 3 projects now, in Paris, Cape Town & US. What are the projects?

Paris: Cloud Nine is a short movie about a terrible date, a dark comedy. The team is very international: the producer and lead actress are Italian, the writer, director and co-producer is British & as the only Frenchie, I am…the terrible date! The overall theme will be very jazzy and we are lucky to be featuring the band Three Blind Mince (whose bassist is…Australian!). We are still looking for the ideal lead actor – we are having a hard time finding him as it is a very tough role. It is Paris, it is about romance & it is about the gap between self-perception and the harsh reality. We will submit it for festivals too…which means you probably won’t get to see it for another year.

Cape Town: I will be playing in Othello: A Woman’s Story, a contemporary, all-female version of Othello, one of my favorite Shakespeare tragedies. It is the first time I am going back on stage after 20 years as last time was when I was a kid. I am very excited about this. The play will take place in June & July in Cape Town, at The Galloway Theatre in the Waterfront & at the Drama Factory in Somerset West. This will be the first round and if it is successful we will make it larger. This adaptation tackles a lot of very relevant topics and the team is absolutely amazing, in particular, the director and producer are fantastic. All the dates and info are available here: book your tickets now!

US: I have been cast as the lead in a new series called Stiffs. We are in the Proof of Concept phase to get it distributed to various channels (more info here). It relates the lives of people working at the Hollywood Coroner’s office: it will be shocking, funny and with a lot of heart. Think about Six Feet Under and Cheers, with all FX done by Tim Leach (The X-Files, Spiderman, Starship Troopers, AVP: Alien vs Predator, It). Directed by Jeff DeVuono who previously worked on a documentary about the actual Hollywood Coroner, it will be extremely realistic and fun, and I personally love how we will go back and forth between the glamour of Hollywood and the lives of people whose passions drive them to literally spend their days dealing with dead bodies.

Last but not least, Year of Winter, a project I just finished, will be screened for the first time next month…stay posted and if you are on the US East Coast, come watch it before its promotion!

  1. How did you land a role in the play Othello in Cape Town?

I auditioned really, I had just arrived in Cape Town. I had little to no contacts, I looked for auditions online and found this one. I went there and auditioned for two different roles, then we had callbacks, I auditioned again and landed the role.

  1. Feminism, how would you describe being one?

There are as many (forms of) feminism as there are feminists. For myself, I believe it means giving the power to women to live the life they want the way they want to. We still face too many obstacles.

  1. Taking that into filming in Qatar where you have restrictions in filming, how does it play together?

There is a growing local film industry supported by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) which produces and promotes great quality movies from Qatar and around the world (I was lucky enough to be in two of them). The industry is very censored indeed. No nudity or kissing/sex scenes are allowed and some Qatari filmmakers were prevented from tackling some local taboos. I obviously defend freedom in movies and regret this censorship.

However, it’s been a very interesting experience to watch movies showcased by DFI festivals – and thus compliant with the local rules. It gave me the opportunity to watch fantastic movies which don’t involve nudity or sex. It was actually quite refreshing and – way before the Weinstein scandal exploded – made me realize the prevalence of sex is in the Western film industry, and what it implies for the perception of women. Whenever I watch a movie, I now ask myself if a sex scene should or should not be in it. If I feel like it was added solely for the sake of distribution, I regret it. If, on the other hand, a movie backs away from an important sex scene to reach a wider audience, I regret it too!

  1. How do you use Social Media to impact others around you?

Since I am becoming an actress, people will want to look at my following. The more I think about what growing in popularity implies, the more I realize that what matters to me is having a following of people who like what I do, feel entertained, empowered or even changed by my work: in other words, the opposite from addictive following behavior. Therefore I am trying to focus more on things that matter to me. I am trying to be more of myself basically.

We are shifting towards celebrities bringing positive changes in the world. I think people are tired of seeing the plastic & glitter but there is a new trend – which I am a part of – where we are looking for honesty and more generosity. At the same time you don’t want to overdo it and get people depressed by putting drama and political issues in their face all the time! Everyone is multi-dimensional.

  1. With experiencing both sides of being in academics and now acting, what advice will you give to others?

I would answer to this in two parts. First and foremost: Follow your dreams, do what you want to do. Second: Don’t rush it. Whatever has to come to you will come to you. I spent years feeling quite low and self-depreciating for not doing what I loved, for not having an impact. But maybe I just wasn’t ready. You need courage to go up against things you are taught and that is fine. I feel like the parents’ pressure to become a lawyer or an engineer is now becoming the peer’s pressure to find a passion, break all the rules. Yes, that is great when you feel solid enough and have the shoulders to do it, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Try to follow your dreams but don’t forget to live life and take the time you need. Don’t feel bad for not doing everything in one day.

  1. For aspiring actors/actresses, how would they proceed?

First and foremost: they should study acting, and try to act as much as they can. Before acting, I didn’t realize how much I had to learn & now that I started learning and I am getting better at it, I realize that I need to work more on everything. Talent is one thing but acting can be done in such different ways that you need to learn and act more and more in order to know what truly works best for you.

Also, act because you need to and not for the fame. Or rather, if it is for the celebrity status, please don’t call it acting!

  1. Any other comments for our readers?

Thank you for reading this. If readers have comments or questions, I’d be more than happy to respond. Also, congratulations on your website’s work at sharing valuable information and promoting all types of series and artists.

  1. How can our readers and others get in touch with you?

Through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & I have a website. I also have a newsletter which is mostly a pick of international movies. I’m happy to help people diversify their horizons through amazing movies from around the world. The newsletter is sent out once a month so there is no spam. You’ll also get updates about my projects, but the main part is about the movies.

  1. On a side note, how do you think sports & other activities incorporate in your life seeing that you have quite a vast interest in them?

They give me grounding, there is a direct correlation in being active and in my acting and creating new projects. If I do sports I am motivated and efficient and when I stop I become a blob. Fun fact: I was absolutely not a sports person before.

  1. Thank you for joining us.

Thank you for having me!