‘Coleridge was my favorite Romantic’
Final Fantasy XIII (and then some) star Claire “Lightning” Farron made headlines last week when the she became one of the new faces of prestigious fashion designer Louis Vuitton, for whom she will model the spring-summer 2016 collection.
In an interview with the fashion section of Telegraph, a real article you can find right at this link, Lightning talked about how she’s, “proud to be chosen” as part of the Louis Vuitton “family.”
In our interview, I tried to shy away from the ad campaign to try and get to the bottom of this enigmatic star.
ME: You’ve starred in more Final Fantasy games than most; is there some kind of equivalent to the club for hosting SNL multiple times where you all sit around and laugh at Zidane because no one gives a shit about Final Fantasy IX, or what?
LIGHTNING: [Laughs] No, there’s nothing like that. I don’t really have that much connection with any of the prior cast just because, you know, it’s a fresh story every time around. I crossed paths with a few of them on Dissidia, but even then schedules are crazy and people are booked for different times.
ME: Are you aware of your status among series fans as, well, a less than ideal ambassador to the series?
LIGHTNING: I know I upset a lot of people, yeah. I mean, I am doing my job, doing what I love to do, I don’t want to apologize for it–
ME: No, I mean, you shouldn’t have to, but why do you think you set people off so much? I get a Kristen Stewart thing where you become the face of a popular, but critically panned thing and people just freak out, or think that’s all there is to you — and you have that same kind of aloofness that can be seen as standoffish or wooden.
LIGHTNING: Maybe modeling designer wear like an ice queen doesn’t help [laughs]. Look, people are going to heap their discomfort on the easiest target, and a lot of fans didn’t like the direction of the series that I starred in so I’m an easy punching bag, I get it. And I can’t complain too much, because look where it’s gotten me, right? I mean, 5-6 years ago I was a nobody, and now I’m part of a Louis Vuitton campaign and getting interviewed by Destructoid. I’m very blessed.
ME: How do you feel about ISIS?
LIGHTNING: What? ISIS? Oh, they’re bad.
LIGHTING: They’re good?
ME: No, I mean good you think they’re bad.
LIGHTNING: Oh, ok, yeah, they’re bad.
ME: Nothing. So, I noticed you’re a fan of the classics. I read that you spent downtime on the set of Final Fantasy XIII trying to memorize “Rime of the Ancient Mariner?”
LIGHTING: [Laughs] Well, I tried. Coleridge was my favorite Romantic. It’s a long poem, though.
ME: Did you ever get the whole thing down pat?
LIGHTNING: It is an ancient Mariner, and he stoppeth one of three. [Laughs] I didn’t get the whole thing, no.
ME: Where does that particular passion show up in your work?
LIGHTNING: Well, it doesn’t much, I guess. I mean, when you’re an actor serving someone else’s vision [as with the Final Fantasy XIII series], you’re limited in your expression. Hopefully you can bring something unique, but they have a tone and style they’re going for. I don’t know. One of my obsessions right now is Fritz Lang. Have you seen The Big Heat?
LIGHTNING: It has to be Lee Marvin’s best role. I mean, Lang basically invented film noir. His dark surrealism–like, all this started for me when I saw a still from The Testament of Dr. Mabuse and Rudolf Klein-Rogge’s eyes just piercing the screen. The rawness, the darkness, I was drawn to it. And so I started exploring Lang beyond Metropolis. Sorry, did I answer the question?
ME: Yeah, no, yeah. So, well, that segues into my next question. Which — it doesn’t seem like your interests are lined up with the direction of gaming. Do you think the industry is healthy, moving in the right direction? I mean, what the hell are they doing over at Square Enix?
LIGHTNING: Square was so good to me. There are a lot of talented people working over there. I think, maybe [pause]. I don’t know, I don’t know enough about how things come from on high, or how things work over there. [Final Fantasy designer Tetsuya Nomura] is a bit much. Generally I think we’re in a healthy space, yeah, but I would like to see more of reality — and different realities, you know, other peoples’ realities’ — reflected in games, in stories.
ME: So do you feel at home here in Paris, where we’re talking for this interview, at this Louis Vuitton party?
LIGHTNING: God no! [Laughs] I mean, everyone’s nice, the spotlight, you know, I’m used to that by now. And I like the clothes, I really do. They’re cool, they look great. I prefer my day to day social outings to me a little more lowkey, though. I don’t like champagne, but I’ll grab a beer.
ME: Who’s your favorite member of Jurassic 5?
LIGHTNING: [Chali] 2na! His voice is amazing.
ME: Right? [Laughs] You answered that way too quickly. Most interviewees I ask that are really confused and then I just talk about Jurassic 5 at them for a few minutes while I think of other questions. Ok. Uhm. Would you go back in time and kill baby Hitler?
LIGHTNING: Well, I’ve already learned time travel isn’t something you want to mess with [laughs].
ME: Come on.
ME: Don’t do that.
ME: The cutesy question dodge. Would you or would you not kill baby Hitler?
LIGHTNING: I mean, I don’t really want to answer that.
ME: I’ll take that as a no.
LIGHTNING: I didn’t say that!
ME: So you would?
LIGHTNING: [Pause] Do you have any other questions?
ME: Will you go on a date with me? We can go to the Louvre or whatever’s around here, in Paris, where we are.
LIGHTNING: Of course! Fuck, I’ve been waiting all interview for you to ask me. You are so beautiful, understanding, and intelligent. And not to mention funny. I’m actually a huge fan of yours, I was nervous when I heard you were going to be interviewing me!