Manal Issa


missaManal Issa has been hailed as a rising star in France and appears in the movie Nocturama (2016).


Nationality: French/Lebanese

Famous for: Actress



Manal Issa trained as an engineer at the Institute of Science and Technology of Angers (ISTIA).

She was contacted by Danielle Arbid, at the age of 23, through LinkedIn who sought a natural person to embody a Lebanese girl recently arrived in France for his movie Parisienne (Peur De Rien in France).  Manal played the role of a young lebanese girl called Lina who arrives in Paris during the 90’s looking for freedom.  Just before filming Manal completed her internship for her engineering degree and also went on to work for an engineering company during the post-production phase of the film. The movie was released in 2015.

In February 2016 Manal Issa appeared on French TV show Le grand journal de Canal+.

In 2016 Manal starred in the movie Nocturama, by French director Bertrand Bonello who imagined Paris in a state of apocalypse and a plot which will tells the journey of young terrorists who plans to plant bombs in the capital.

Manal Issa loves video games and she married her husband through this mutual passion.

Manal is signed with agency Elizabeth Simpson.


Photo Gallery

*Photo credits provided in references section below where possible.  View a list of photographers here.



Why have you been chosen in your opinion?   The director Danielle Arbid saw a picture of me on the net and, as everyone believes to say that we are physically resembles Danielle and I think it’s part of. Then there is a strong similarity between Lina, my character, and me. Like me, Lina left Lebanon after the war to come to France and find his way. She wanted someone who resente being torn between two countries and in my case.

In an interview, Danille Arbid said that your family had objected to the fact that you make the film because it is censored in Lebanon. How did you experience?   This question bothers me a bit and I want to explain myself on that. I did not want people to think “ah, the poor family is against it, yada yada yada.” My father withheld nothing from me at all and I do not resented. Actually me if my father told me “You’re not allowed to go out,” deep down I think “Fuck you, I go out.” I’m that kind of person. My father, when I told him I’m going to a party, he said, “Take care of yourself!”. There is the same. He wanted to protect me. If Danielle spoke of this anecdote is more to say that my father did not want me to go on the set, and I came anyway. I was motivated boosted. And that’s what’s important to remember. When someone tells me “Do not” be aware that, inevitably, I will do. (Laughs).

As we said, you share a lot in common with the character Lina, is that suddenly you’re left you go to improvisation, because in addition you’re not an actress at the base?   No, I knew the script by heart (laughs). I have never taken my life in theater, and suddenly, I preferred the text to learn more resentir emotions. All that the character lives, I experienced: the love stories, the fact that I studied art … All this, I really lived! I could have Lina’s life by making other choices.

You give the reply to actors like Paul Hamy, Vincent Lacoste, Dominique Blanc … What you feel when you discovered cinema and you work with actors known as?   Then Dominique Blanc, I learned a lot from it, it’s such a sweet woman, modest kind. Later, I want to be like her! I watched all the time on the set, she inspired me tremendously. She inspires me! Vincent Lacoste, it is super smart, he follows the right path movie is a bit of a role model for me, I would have her career. But anyway, I’m not one to be intimidated or be in awe and say “Wow, you did this or that, it’s so cool.” I am kind, I take people as they are and you learn to discover.
But if I knew them by sight and name, I had never heard of Orelsan. Now he plays in the film, he knew who I was. One day, as I watched a film screening with Danielle, a guy came to sit beside me. It was him but I do not know. Here he comes to me: “Hello!”. I answered live “okay, you got a problem?”. When I heard, I obviously apologized but it was to be six months later … (laughs).