Morgane Polanski does bi-continental better than you

by Joe Wong

“[Artistically], I’ll never be full. I’m not at all close to anything. I never will be, in my head.”
Morgane Polanski has been enchanted with storytelling since childhood, which may explain why, although she strives to live in the moment, she often gets lost inside her own head. “I believe my mind is my greatest achiever and also my greatest destructor,“ she tells me, opening our conversation by describing her desire to channel intellectual noise into creative fuel. “I try to let things happen, but, for me, it’s natural to always wonder what’s next—when I just surrender, beautiful moments happen.” And, make no mistake, it’s the beautiful moments, and the wonder, she is looking for.

Years of formal dramatic study sharpened her technique as an actress but obscured her connection to her gut instinct, and it was during this period that trips to Los Angeles proved most vital. Polanski, [daughter of director, Roman, and actor, Emmanuel Seigner] first arrived at age 14 and immediately fell in love with the sense of escape. “I went to high school in Paris,” she explains. “And I was quite unhappy with the closed-mindedness there. L.A. was literally the opposite in every way. You land in L.A., and everyone knows you’re playing a game; it’s so appealing. It’s less exhausting as a human to do stuff. The fruit is already cut for you.”

The sunny veneer and convenience of the City of Angels make it easier for her to focus on artistic pursuits, but her appreciation of the prepackaged has limitations. I ask if a particular culture has more influence over her aesthetic sensibility. “I’m drawn to natural beauty—personality, charm, charisma. It’s an aura and sex appeal. This is a Parisian attitude. I hate plastic surgery.” It’s perhaps fair to say that the last thing Polanski appreciates is façade, of any kind. “Unless you listen to your gut, you won’t actually know your true essence,” she asserts, and it’s undoubtedly difficult for anyone to become truly comfortable with their own voice. But is it especially burdensome when your parents’ artistic contributions are monumental? Polanski assures me that she views her pedigree as a constructive challenge. Although her first on-screen appearances were in her father’s films, after studying at Drama Centre London she booked the role of Gisela on Vikings; now coming up on its fifth season.

Her raison d’etre—telling stories about humankind—is satiated, albeit temporarily: “[Artistically], I’ll never be full. I’m not at all close to anything. I never will be, in my head.”

Photographer: Bella Howard for Six Seven Photographic Agency.

Stylist: Francesca Turner.

Talent: Morgane Polanski for Next Management, Paris.

Hair: Stefano Mazzoleni for Emma Davies Agency using Leonor Greyl.

Makeup: Nicola Moores-Brittin for Coffin-Inc.