on 1 Jan, 1970
from EFE / by Florencia Maldjian
In which way is this film more personal that what you’ve done before?
Because there is a lot of myself into the characters. I put a lot of myself because some of the scenes in the film are some of the scenes that I’ve lived as a human being, or I saw those scenes in my friends’ life and so it’s, yeah, it’s quite close to me, very personal to me.
I’ve heard it’s a very good film but some people say that it’s very long. Why did you make the decision of not cutting more?
Because the film is like this and it was really difficult to cut more than this. It needed this time. When you see it, you’ll understand.
How do you feel directing your best friends?
It’s complicated. Sometimes it’s really nice because it helps you to be understood, to say exactly what you want and because they know me very well and they know exactly what I wanted to say, what I wanted to express. But at the same time it’s really difficult because it has allowed them to say things that they won’t say to a director and the same for me. If they joke around on the set and have fun I want them to be focused. I would tell Gilles “shut up!” and he would be like “What? How are you talking to me? I’m your actor!”. So it changed a little bit the relationship.
So you got mad at them for being playful…
It must be very hard, actually, you can’t be playful…
No, I can’t. I can’t be part of it, I have to get the bad role.
How do you handle working with yuor partner as well? It’s spending all the time with the same person, at work and at home.
Yeah (he smiles). For me that was good, for me that was ok, because I was really focused on my films. But for her, I’m sure it was more complicated because when you come back home from work. I mean, for her, I imagine that she wants a break and to be able to talk about something else, but for me I was still focused on my film, on the dailies, watching the dailies, thinking about the scene of the day after so there was no pause.
But I suppose that at least she could be some kind of help to you.
Yes, but it’s difficult for her. When you wanna get some rest at night, you know, you don’t wanna have all the problems of the director.
So basically it’s easier to act with her than to direct her. Because I’ve seen you joking around in the footage of ‘Le Dernier Vol’.
Yeah, that’s easier for sure.
What do you like best? To direct or to act?
I really like both. I think that now that time is passing I prefer directing but I really need to work as an actor too because if I were only a director it would be too frustrating for me. I need to express myself phisically and not only being a director, psichologically, you know.
So, do you have any…? Apart from parenthood – he smiles, bows his head, I think this is super nice – which… I think you are gonna be great parents, the both of you… (N/A: I seriously needed to say this)
(Smiles) Thank you.
What other projects have you got?
I have a film that I wrote with James Grey that I wannadirect next year. And I have a film that I’m gonna shoot in september about Jappeloup. I don’t know if you know, It’s about a horse and a horse rider that won the Olympic games in 88 so it’s a story about horses. And I have some other project that I’m working on as a director.
Any international projects?
Well, I have “Last Night”.
I’ve seen you in Last Night.
Did you like it?
Yes, I thought it was quite good.
We speak a bit more, nothing important. He eats his chips, we laugh, we take a picture and that’s that. A nice guy, Guillaume Canet.