ByAnne Parsons, writer at
Anne Parsons

You'll finally get to see what all the hype is about. Part one of Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac hits theaters on March 21st, and you can see for yourself what all of your European counterparts have been banging on about.

I've already seen the movie, and it is really interesting - not so much a comment on female sexuality, as it is on sexual disorder, in my opinion. Definitely worth the watch, and I'm looking forward to seeing part two, which is supposed to be darker and a bit more challenging.

After seeing it, there's one thing you'll want to know: who is the girl who plays young Joe? The newcomer Stacy Martin is excellent - she plays a role that would be extremely difficult for any actress, in a very understated, unassuming way. And bizarrely, this von Trier movie is her very first film.

Stacy Martin
Stacy Martin

How she scored the part seems too weird to be true. Just two years ago, Martin was an unknown actress studying Media and Cultural Studies at the London College of Communications when she was discovered at a casting for a fashion campaign by Des Hamilton. Hamilton, who helped cast the provocative Danish auteur’s 2011 film Melancholia, was keeping an eye out for a young version of the character that Charlotte Gainsbourg had been cast as.

In a recent interview with W, Martin said that she suspects she was singled out by Hamilton because she could pass for a youthful version of Gainsbourg’s mother Jane Birkin.

“I thought it was a complete lie,” she said. “Like, ‘I’m here for a fashion campaign, and you’re talking about a Lars von Trier film? Plus, you’re crazy for thinking of me for the part.’”

Her life transformed once she got on a flight to Copenhagen. However, relatively little is known of Martin, which is undoubtedly going to change once the film hits American theaters this weekend.

Even though she has a crisp English accent, it turns out Martin is French. She was born in Paris. and understands why people get so confused by her accent. In a recent interview, she cleared things up, sort of:

"People get quite confused. They're like, "How can you be from Paris and speak so well in English?" I just cheat—I'm bilingual. I used to go to an international school, so my accent used to be much more Americanized that it actually is now. When I was in New York, I slipped back into the way I used to talk when I was a kid. I was like, "Oh! I feel like I'm 15 again."

Now 23, and based in London, it turns out Martin had a bit of an itinerant childhood, growing up in both Paris and Japan:

"My parents didn't have any kind of glamorous jobs or anything—it just happened. We moved a lot and wanted to go to Tokyo, so we did it. They were never afraid to give up on the present and move on."

It seems that all of this moving, and the necessity to constantly adapt, has set Martin up very well for her acting career.

It's quite nice to stay in one place. I keep moving around anyway—I did this film in Germany and then I came to New York—so it's nice to have a base. I'd like to move somewhere else to have a change in the next few years, but it's not really something I'm focusing on at the moment.

Since [Nymphomaniac: Volume I](movie:214201), Martin has finished a British film, Barking at Trees, which we can look forward to seeing this year. Later in the year, she'll begin filming the Terrence Malick-produced The Clown in Georgia. So out of absolute obscurity, Stacy Martin is on the rise.

(Sources: ONTD, contactmusic, wmagazine,, huffingtonpost,


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