The “faultless” acting performance that inspired Mia Goth’s career
(Credit: Netflix)


The "faultless" acting performance that inspired Mia Goth's career

With Mia Goth quickly becoming one of the most iconic actors of her generation, defining herself as a face of a new set of Hollywood legends, there is more and more focus on the career she may have. Considering the roles she has already established, including a pivotal role in X, which is now on Netflix, Goth’s star looks set to rise even further. However, the inspiration for her entire career can be tracked back to one performance.

Goth’s career began as wild as it has continued to go on. While some actors might begin with a small role as an extra or dip their toes in with a calm comedy, Goth dove in head first. Beyond the deep end, Goth was thrown straight into the choppy and harsh waters of arthouse, working with one of the most ambitious and provocative directors around, Lars Von Trier. 

As if being a new name isn’t hard enough, Goth’s film debut was in Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac series, a harrowing and full-frontal take on sexual trauma. Nymphomaniac is not for the faint-hearted, as the wildly explicit movie pushes the characters to their emotional limits. The actors were too, but Goth was a triumph as she more than rose to the occasion.

Despite being a daunting and controversial first role, it set the standard that Goth always seeks to maintain. It seemed to be a personal triumph as the actor revealed a long-held admiration for the director and his work. In particular, she highlights his 2000 musical melodrama Dancer in the Dark as a major source of inspiration.

“A performance that left a lasting impression on me as an actor, I would say, is Björk in Lars Von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark,” she told Cultured. With music from the Icelandic singer, Björk also plays the lead role of a mother with a degenerative eye disease trying to save money to save her son from the same painful condition. To escape her stress, she daydreams about her world as a musical. 

The film was received well, with Björk especially gaining praise. But for Goth, it was masterful, stating, “I think that’s a perfect performance, and I think it’s faultless.”

But her praise goes beyond Björk or this film and into a wider pool of her peers. “Really, I think all female performances in Lars Von Trier’s movies are just so perfectly flawed and human and vulnerable and honest and brave,” Goth states. Throughout his career, the director has cast huge names like Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman and more, demanding heavily emotive performances from them all. 

Each one has proved deeply influential to Mia Goth, who continues, “I watch those movies, and it’s something that I strive for in my own work and if I could ever come anywhere near to something that a Björk does or a Charlotte Gainsbourg does, I would be very proud of myself.”

Having played a major role in Von Trier’s artistic world, proving herself to be a challenging and equal scene partner to Gainsbourg, Goth hopefully feels that sense of pride.

Watch Mia Goth in X on Netflix now.