Comedian, actor and director, Jean

What we notice first, in Jean-Pascal Zadi, what bursts the screen, are his eyes, laughing and falsely candid. Two mocking balls that the actor and director poses on the world in general and France in particular. Two magnifying glasses which, in a mise en abyme, observe these people who look at him and stop their judgment on the surface of things, on his unusual face and his skin color. Revolver eyes, in short, in which society can admire itself while laughing, mischievous eyepieces through which to spy on prejudices and shortcomings by holding one’s ribs. Elementary principle of the comic spring of making funny with not funny.

Jean-Pascal Zadi is also distinguished by his large size (1.93 meters), not easy to maneuver when your name is not Michael Jordan or Paul Pogba. Or, possibly, Charles de Gaulle, if you take the whim of following in his footsteps and becoming President of the Republic. This is what happens to the character he plays in In place, broadcast on Netflix from January 20 (with in particular Benoît Poelvoorde, Eric Judor and Marina Foïs in the role of an eco-feminist candidate named Corinne Douanier, whom all spectators will relate to Sandrine Rousseau). In this series produced with François Uzan, Jean-Pascal Zadi plays a suburban social worker who, not feeling represented by any candidate, launches an assault on the Elysée Palace and finds himself confronted in turn with harshness and the hypocrisy of the political fight.

Some still put forward as the signature of the actor his bad teeth. According to them, this mouth disorder is, like Samson’s hair, the seat of his strength. snags “which look like sugar cubes”, to use the formula used by humorist Claudia Tagbo to describe him in simply black, the film whose success, in 2020 (nearly 800,000 admissions), propelled the owner of these prominent ratiches to center stage. This mockumentary, this great moment of self-mockery where all the actors, mainly of African or West Indian origin, play their own role and caricature themselves with jubilation, had for lineament one could not be more serious the black condition in France. He won Jean-Pascal Zadi the César for best male hope in 2021.

“Too big, too black, too many teeth… My difference has become my strength. »Jean-Pascal Zadi

Of this physique ” atypical “, as they say in casting agencies, its inhabitant made a weapon. The choice or the destiny of humor is assumed in adolescence. “Little, my goal in life was to be like the others, he explains. But I was tall, I was black and I had protruding teeth. I had nothing like the others. I was complexed. When I arrive at college and I realize that all you need to do is make girls laugh a little to be accepted, I say: “OK, since the head is not crazy, I’m going to make you laugh. ” » He insists, Jean-Pascal Zadi, flagellates himself: “Too big, too black, too many teeth. »

You have 90.34% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Comedian, actor and director, Jean-Pascal Zadi, not just funny