Lara Pictet in new film Dakota / Picture Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Lara Pictet in new film Dakota / Picture Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Award-winning Swiss actress and producer, Lara Pictet, is going from strength to strength and starring across four exciting new film releases in 2022, including Dakota and Renegades.

Also slated for release in the coming months are the movies Muti and State of Consciousness, in which she'll share the screen with Morgan Freeman and Emile Hirsch, respectively.

We caught up with Lara to chat all about her time in the entertainment industry to-date, as well as some of the challenges she's faced due to her gender, and more.

As a woman in the film industry, what have been your most positive and negative experiences?

I've had some great experiences where I was on sets that made me feel safe, heard and entrusted which luckily has been most of my memories. Then there were two experiences that were less comfortable.

A bigger set where it was 98% male cast and crew and 2% female - and instead of coming directly to me, the crew would go to a man to come and explain it to me even though I was standing right in front of them.

When I was producing something and had hired a director I was told he was going behind my back to my colleagues and would change the schedule or vision of the script without telling me. When I would confront him about it, he'd refuse to talk to me unless another man was present and he'd communicate with him instead of speaking directly to me. That lack of respect was infuriating.

Having been on both sides of the camera would you say it's more challenging being accepted as a female producer?

Quite the contrary actually, so many incredible women have begun to pave the way by getting recognition from award-winning shows and films - people now are wanting a female's point of view and presence in the industry. My bad experience I mentioned was a few years back before the industry began shifting and luckily, it was my second producing job so it helped me strengthen my presence as a producer and figure out what kind of voice I wanted to have.

Do you think females in the industry have to work harder than their male counterparts for respect?

Yes definitely, I think that's everywhere though, not just in the entertainment industry sadly. Thankfully, women have been given a chance to show what powers we hold and people have understood, it's not about cutting men out, it's about being given equal respect, trust and time.

Working together to create something that can be relatable to everyone that both men and women will want to watch.

Paul Barber stars alongside Lara Pictet in new movie Renegades / Picture Credit: Shogun Films
Paul Barber stars alongside Lara Pictet in new movie Renegades / Picture Credit: Shogun Films

How did you get into acting and what is the first film you worked on?

I got into acting at the age of six while things were difficult at home. I found comfort in playing different characters in different worlds, it was a way of escape for me where I saw myself come to life. It started becoming a way for me to express myself too.

My first film, I was 12 and it was a beautiful story about growing up faster than a child should. I got to travel to Czech Republic for the first time and still to this day, I will remember everything about it.

You really throw yourself into your acting roles mentally and physically – some action roles are challenging and fitness is obviously important, how do you keep physically fit?

Keeping physically fit plays a huge part in my mental health too. In the hardest of times, the best thing I can do is get up and go work out, no matter how hard I find it. It's all about finding what works for you because each body is obviously different.

I've been doing Reformer Pilates six times a week for the past five years which has helped me get lean, tone and strong without bulking - and then I usually do boxing or platefit for cardio! Platefit is a whole body workout through the science of vibration - and of course having a healthy and nutritious diet helps.

Who is your hero or mentor in your industry?

There's so many people I admire in the industry. My acting coach plays a very important role as my mentor but also my group of friends, we motivate each other and help one another be the best we can be, so we all kind of mentor each other! It's a beautiful community and one that is important to have in a time like this.

Dakota is out now in the United States, and is set for release in the UK at the end of May/beginning of June 2022.

MORE FROM MOVIES: Amy Koppelman, director of A Mouthful of Air, talks about her personal attachment to the story

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