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Gérard Lanvin: “I became a popular actor who marked an era and spanned the generations” – France

So, playing Gérard Lanvin in a comedy based on the duo, like at the time of “Boulet” and “Very Special Envoys”, is it exciting or stressful?

Exciting. I still play a role without revealing my private life too much. The story about the perks and hardships of fame dictated that I keep my name because I play a French actor who is shooting an American film. In the screenplay, Philippe Guillard and I wanted to show real things. Like, for example, when on a shoot, you are rented a four-bedroom shack with a swimming pool, when you are all alone and you prefer something simpler. Personally, I always get bored with stuff like this.

“I became a popular actor who marked an era and crossed the generations”.

Playing the role of yourself also requires a lot of humor and self-mockery…

Especially when you play an actor who has to support a fan like Artus, who is both annoying and endearing, I would say “endearing” even. He overflows with kindness, generosity but he does too much. Philippe Guillard made him a character that we love despite everything and that it is impossible to turn away, otherwise there would be no more film. There is this moving scene where his mother explains why he has been a fan of Gérard Lanvin since his childhood thanks to his father who took him to see all my films. “Le Boulet”, he knows all the scenes by heart. Today, there are many young people who ask me: “Would you like to sign an autograph for my mother? “It doesn’t bother me at all. On the contrary, it means that parents share my films with their children. With “Les Frères Pétard”, which is still running in theaters, “Le Boulet” and “Les Spécialistes”, I became a popular actor who marked an era and spanned the generations. With Artus, we reach the youngest, a new generation, and that’s good.

Artus comes across as some sort of alien with a sense of gag. A real discovery?

Ah yes, I met a wonderful boy, as a character and as an individual. He is a kind, happy guy who gives pleasure and happiness. I got along very well with him. I lived with him for two months in the same house, with Philippe Bertrand, who plays the Quebec director, and Philippe Guillard. It was really good.

How do you see this sticky fan?

He’s a child. Moreover, Philippe Guillard imagined him with a backpack, eating applesauce. We see him showing a book with press articles on my films and photos. So you say to yourself: “Ah yes, the guy is super connected to me thanks to his father”.

“I like duets because it allows me to date an actor for a few months and work with him. Don’t get the casting wrong.”

For an actor, what is the advantage of the duo?

The way to make people laugh by passing the ball around. Me, I like duos because it allows me to see an actor for a few months and work with him. Make no mistake about the casting. If we’re wrong, people say to themselves: what are these two doing? There really has to be a vibration to find the one who will allow you to be the white clown and him the Auguste, as with Franck Dubosc in “Camping”. With Artus, it’s another duo, generational.

You say you like working with women filmmakers. “The Favorite Son”, by Nicole Garcia, won you a César, and “Le goût des autres”, by Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, another César. What more do they have?

I believe they have a different look at the nature of my personality and manage to identify hidden feelings, to awaken emotions. They choose you not to make admissions but because they like you. I have a lot of friendship and respect for Nicole. The problem is to be able to meet again one day. But hey, you need a subject for that, of course.

In the wake of a deluxe collector’s edition of your first album, “Ici bas”, you sing at the Olympia on May 27 with your son Manu and then go on tour. The scene, the song, do you really care about it?

Yes, I’ve always liked that. There, it is a beautiful artistic collaboration between my son and me. I first went to the artist. He offered me this experience during confinement. We are almost Gold Record and, after the Olympia, we are going to do a summer tour with thirty dates, the festivals and the Francofolies de la Rochelle. We are eight on stage, two guitarists, Manu and Nico, a pianist, a bassist, a drummer and two singers. There is a lot of energy.

“I really like what you do” talks about fame and the relation to fans. Does it weigh on you sometimes or not at all?

If you don’t like fame when you’re an actor, you have to change jobs. We do it to be known and we have to keep good contact with the public. Me, I was fairground on the markets, I had no problem communicating with people and it lasts. They are nice, they never bother me. Before, you had to have a piece of paper, a photo and a pen to sign an autograph. Today, we take a selfie and everyone is happy. I owe it to all those fans who made me popular.


“I love what you do”, in theaters May 18.

New album “Ici bas” (Gel Productions), with duets (Johnny Gallagher, Dani, Abd Al Malik, Calvin Russel) and remixes from the electro scene.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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