Lebanese actress Razane Jammal has been going from strength to strength in the cinema industry over the past few years. She has worked with Olivier Assayas, Kanye West, Liam Neeson and most recently starred in Robert Guediguian’s “Une Histoire de Fou“, which was screened as part of this year’s Cannes Film Festival Official Selection and got a lengthy standing ovation for its efforts.

You were in Cannes this year for Une Histoire de Fou. Was it your first time at the festival? How did it feel to be there accompanying such a renowned director?

It was actually my third time there. I was there for the first time in 2011 at the premiere of Carlos by Oliver Assayas (that won at the Golden Globe the year after), and the second time in 2013, at the premiere of Kanye West’s Cruel Summer. It was wonderful accompanying Robert Guediguian and even better to have worked with him. This film was such an enriching experience to me and I was thrilled that it was received so well.

Tell us about your involvement with the film. The casting, shooting, etc.

I was in the middle of filming [the Egyptian TV show] Embratoreyet Meen last winter in Cairo when I was contacted by Sabine Sidawi, to come to Beirut and cast for the film. I casted once on tape and then again in front of Robert. I had to put on a heavier French accent to pull this off. The shooting took place in Paris, Marseille, and Beirut over the summer of 2014. In the movie, I play the role of Anahit, a soldier in the Liberation Army of Armenia who’s in charge of the newly recruited Aram.

What was it like working with Robert Guédiguian?

It was an honor working with a director like Robert who puts so much faith in his actors and allows us to make our own artistic choices. He’s also been using the same film crew for years, which felt a lot like I was working with a family. The setting was very favorable for actors which brought out the best in us.

Sabine Sidawi spoke to us about the events that occurred during filming in the Bekaa Valley. Were you involved? If so, could you tell us your perspective?

Yes, we were actually filming there in the midst of the conflict. However, when things got heated, everyone started to panic (including my parents). So we resumed filming in a new location (Laklouk) where we would start filming at 5am till 4pm to catch the sun. It was exhausting but it all paid off.

Did working with people like Kanye West, Liam Neeson accelerate your career at all? Could you shed light on what sort of projects you did with them?

While working on high profile projects adds credit to my resume, the result isn’t immediate as the films take time to come out. However, it does accelerate my growth as an actress and I always make sure to learn as much as I can. I worked with Kanye on Cruel Summer, A Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson as well as with Yousra and Kosai el Khauli on Saraya Abdeen and Hend Sabry in Embratoreyet Meen. I have tremendous respect for all these artists and I consider myself very fortunate to have crossed path with them.

What’s next for you?

I am currently reviewing my next projects both at home and abroad.