Photos by Silja Magg
Words by Cassie Marketos

Charlotte Gainsbourg enters the room to a collective intake of breath. Towering and effortlessly composed, she seems built from elegant steel, an impression in no way belied by her polite, soft-spoken manner. Through numerous gritty film roles–her unhinged housewife in Antichrist still gives us nightmares–and high-profile musical collaborations (Air, Beck, Madonna), the 40-year-old daughter of French singer Serge Gainsbourg and English model Jane Birkin has carved her own creative path. Now, with Stage Whisper, a Beck-assisted double album of live and unreleased tracks, the distinction only sharpens.

Charlotte invites us onto the balcony–her hotel room at the Jane proving to be too crowded–and with privacy and a cup of tea, we settle in to talk life, music, pleasure and learning what it means to be worth it…

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