“What I like about acting is letting things out that you don’t totally control. And these little pieces you let out form a character that you hadn’t even fully defined.”
Surrounded by her director grandfather Maurice Garrel, her director father Philippe Garrel, her actress-director mother Brigitte Sy, and her actor-director brother Louis Garrel, Esther Garrel was raised in the world of cinema.
She first appeared at age 8 in Gérard Courant’s short film Zanzibar in Saint-Sulpice (1999), then was enlisted by her father two years later for Wild Innocence. In 2008, she appeared in the short film My Friends, her brother’s directorial debut, then proceeded to act alongside him in Christophe Honoré’s The Beautiful Person.
Following her role in Sophie Fillières’ Pardon My French, Bertrand Bonello chose her to play a young prostitute in House of Tolerance. She next appeared in Noémie Lvovsky’s Camille Rewinds (2012) and nabbed the lead role in Justine Malle’s Youth (2013). She went on to be directed by Valérie Donzelli and by her mother, while her father offered her one of the lead roles in Lover for a Day; that same year, she was part of the international ensemble in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name.
Appearing in the OCS series Twenty-Five last fall, she will next be seen in Caroline Fourest’s first narrative feature film Sisters in Arms, scheduled for release next fall.