Meet French-Algerian Actor Lyna Khoudri, Star Of Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch
Born in Algeria’s capital Algiers, Lyna Khoudri, star of The French Dispatch, Wes Anderson’s latest film, fled to France with her family after her journalist father received death threats during the country’s civil war. Despite these challenges, and after moving to Germany and then back to France again, Khoudri was able to pursue her passion for acting.
Although not necessarily well known by mainstream audiences, Khoudri is already an award-winning indie film star.
Graduating from the Théâtre national de la Colline in Paris, she landed her first acting role in 2014, starring in the French TV series Josephine, Guardian Angel. Three years later, for her performance in the 2017 film Les Bienheureux, Khoudri won the Orizzonti Award for Best Actress at the 74th Venice International Film Festival. She was nominated for a César Award – France’s highest film honour – for Most Promising Actress.
Now, Wes Anderson has cast her to play the role of Juliette, a student activist, in his July release, The French Dispatch. Khoudri forms part of the film’s ensemble cast that includes acting heavyweights and familiar faces including Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Timothée Chalamet and Frances McDormand.
Wes Anderson is an auteur. His distinctive visual style has earned him seven Oscar nominations – an amazing feat considering Anderson has only directed ten feature films.
Over the years he has also helped launch the careers of big-name actors, including Jason Schwartzman and the brothers Luke and Owen Wilson.
It looks like Khoudri could be the next star pushed into the mainstream consciousness by Anderson.
In 2019, she appeared in the Canal+ miniseries Les Sauvages and, that same year, she starred as the lead in the Mounia Meddour-directed Papicha, a film about a rebellious fashion student during the Algerian Civil War.
“If I had lived in Algeria in the ’90s, I would have liked to have the strength and courage of my character,” Khoudri told French Marie Claire about her role in Papicha.
We look forward to Khoudri’s performance as an activist in The French Dispatch – and hopefully we’ll see her join Anderson’s repertory company of stars for more roles in his projects. We don’t think it’s premature to suggest that Khoudri could be a future household name.