– You have done several previews. How does the public receive the film?
“We are living an incredible moment. It’s strange to have so many positive feedback around the film. I have a little trouble taking the measure of what is happening as long as the film is not released. We put a lot of us in it. To see that it works, including in places or details that we ourselves wondered if people would see, is a very strange feeling. »
– What is your relationship with Ahmed Sylla?
“If we hadn’t agreed, this tour, we wouldn’t have done it. It must be hell living with someone you don’t like. This main role, we offered it to Ahmed because he is the only one in France who can carry it. He has a popular base which means that producers and distributors will agree to launch a film with him. On the other hand, my role, several actors in France would have been able to do it. And when we told him that we were thinking of me, he said yes directly. It gave me a kind of strength and confidence. In that, I owe him a lot. »
– And touring with Gérard Jugnot, is that special?
“It went really well and I don’t realize it yet. It is this bizarre moment when Jugnot becomes Gérard. The Bronzed, The chorists, we are talking about a monument of French cinema. On the set you realize that they are adorable people, who support you. The little pride is that he himself really liked the film. To say to yourself that you have honored one of your peers is a very strong feeling. »
– What attracted you to the screenplay?
“I liked the fairly rapid evolution between a selling pitch and a demanding dramaturgy. We could have confined ourselves to a story of difference in skin color. Very quickly in the scenario, it is elegantly avoided, we slide more towards equal opportunities and fraternity. The film starts very quickly and ends very slowly, on another color. I think the viewer walks away with more of what they came to see. »
– Would you say it’s a film about racism? On parentage?
“Each time, the people in the room tell us that it speaks to them in a different way. In any case, more than conveying a message, the film provokes a state, an impression. In general, people who go out will call the family members they did not come with. It’s written and I was able to play it like the stages of mourning: denial, anger, then acceptance, renunciation. Everyone sees what they want to see, but we stay on this family theme. »
– Who is the figure that influenced you?
“As a director, I find that Olivier Nakache always strikes a great balance between emotion and comedy. Édouard Baer has an absolutely unclassifiable side. I had discovered it on Canal +, it presented the weather forecast, it was nonsense. I thought he had an absurd side, showing up on TV, disheveled, poised. He has a form of freedom that I admire and covet a lot. For my part, I try in my jokes to remain scratchy but legally unassailable. »
How is your stay on the Côte d’Opale going?
“Good, but one question bothers me: is there a Welsh vegetarian? »
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