22.05.2024 UNIFRANCE, CANNES #cinema


New faces of French cinema – Souheila Yacoub

Meet the new faces of French cinema. Unifrance’s 10 to Watch were selected by international journalists after making a name for themselves at major international festivals in 2023 before breaking out on screens around the world in 2024. Rebecca Leffler met them in Cannes to learn WHO they are and WHAT they’re up to in Cannes and beyond.


Souheila Yacoub was born in Switzerland and started off as an Olympic gymnast before jumping into an acting career. She has starred in a slew of French films like Savages, The Salt of Tears, Before We Collapse, Rise, Making Of and Climax, has made the César academy’s prestigious list of Révélations and is now an international star just seen in Dune: Part Two. She stars in Noémie Merlant’s The Balconettes, that just premiered as a Midnight Screening in Cannes and will soon star in Aude Léa Rapin’s female-driven sci-fi adventure film Planet B.

“That’s the kind of role I’m looking for as an actress – something completely absurd, yet complex and unexpected”

WHO are you?

Souheila Yacoub:

I’m Souheila Yacoub, but everybody calls me Sou. I’m Swiss, but I’ve been Parisian for 10 years now.

WHAT are you doing in Cannes?

Souheila Yacoub:

I came for a movie – Noémie Merlant’s The Balconettes, co-written by Céline Sciamma.  And of course here with Unifrance for the 10 to Watch.

WHO inspires you?

Souheila Yacoub:

Eva Longoria was memorable. We did a TV show – C A Vous – and Eva Longoria was also a guest. When I ran into her again, she remembered us. It was amazing, especially since I just rewatched every season of Desperate Housewives just four days ago. She is so friendly, kind and humble. I feel like we’re best friends now.

WHO do you dream of meeting in Cannes?

Souheila Yacoub:

I’d love to meet and listen to a conversation between security guards in Cannes after they’ve accompanied stars with enormous pieces of jewelry worth hundreds of thousands of Euros and have to protect them.

This is the first time I had the opportunity to wear Boucheron haute joaillerie on the red carpet and I was more stressed all night about the jewelry than I was to present the film.

WHAT is your best Cannes memory?

Souheila Yacoub:

Coming in 2018 for Gaspard Noé’s Climax. That was wild. There were so many actors and dancers. It was three days of partying and dancing on red carpets. The Balconettes was also amazing. We premiered it at midnight so it was more festive. It was like being at a football match with people clapping.

WHAT are you shooting next?

Souheila Yacoub:

I’m shooting a horror movie about the childhood of Jesus with Nicolas Cage this summer somewhere in Europe. Then I’m starring in a sci-fi film with Adèle Exarchopolous called Planet B.

WHAT is your favorite film of all time?

Souheila Yacoub:

Any movie with Dustin Hoffman, like Rain Man for example.

WHAT is your favorite French film of the year?

Souheila Yacoub:

Yannick. I’d love to film with Quentin Dupieux one day. It is the type of role I’m looking for as an actress – something completely absurd, complex and unexpected.

Interview by Rebecca Leffler

Photos by Paul Blind for SAY WHO

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