— How did you come to the project?
— I liked the script, it was very good. At the audition, I had to rehearse an intimate scene and did not know a couple of important facts. So, for example, the operator of the “Desperate Bride” Yegor Vetokhin is married to Anna Zaitseva. Therefore, it was funny and strange for me to kiss a stranger, realizing that her partner was in the room.
– Can you imagine yourself in the place of the heroine Anna Zaitseva? What would you do if you found out that you were third in someone’s relationship?
— If I was 25 years old and I was in France, then I would be quite indifferent, I am an open person. Now I am in a completely different position – I have two children and a beloved wife. Therefore, it is difficult for me to say how I would behave in the situation of the heroine Zaitseva. Most likely, I would get out of the love triangle, I would not want to hurt anyone.
— Do you feel the difference between acting schools in Russia and France? How did you find your acting self?
– Found him through pain. In France, the most important thing is to have a beautiful face and a hanging tongue, this is enough for a profession. In Russia, for the first two years you cannot be told, you are being trained like a soldier. Here, talent means a lot of work and dedication, but there it means being someone’s son. Now I think I don’t envy them. It is hard to live and work, realizing that all your successes are someone else’s legacy.
— Have you thought about returning to France?
— My story is long and complicated. I first studied in France at the Rouen Conservatory, then received a diploma at the Saratov Higher Theater School and returned to my homeland, having won a scholarship from the Higher Theater School of Bordeaux Aquiten. At the same time, I traveled to Algiers, where I worked as a volunteer assistant to an ophthalmologist and learned how to fly an airplane. The latter was important to me for two reasons: I wanted my son to see in me someone other than an actor, and I also wanted to have a “real” profession. In France, acting is not a profession, you will most likely not even be approved for a bank loan.
I remember how, after returning to France, I suffered greatly: I huddled in a small apartment in Montmartre of 15 square meters and thought about how to raise money to visit my son in Madagascar. I was waiting for my finest hour, I played in any movie, they often took on the role of Russians because of my knowledge of the language, but I was not offered the role of the French. So I moved to Russia, where my career took off. I bought a car, an apartment, a summer house, I fly to Madagascar twice a year – in France I could not afford it. I am not proud of all my projects, but there are those for which I am definitely not ashamed. I also really love my students at the Moscow Art Theater. The only thing I wish for the Russian theater and film industry is freedom. From criticism – I do not like the system of paid places in educational institutions, it destroys creativity. Talent cannot be measured in money.close 100% KION press office
— Tell us more about Algeria, why did you go there — and how did you end up in Russia?
– At the age of 19 – before the first theater school – I went to Algeria, to a city near the Sahara desert Tamanrasset. The return ticket was in 8 months, only 10 francs in my pocket, so I changed my name to Muhad Kasemi and began to integrate into the local society. After returning to France, he received an offer to go to Russia – to Saratov, to Anton Kuznetsov, a student of Lev Dodin. There were some struggles, but everything worked out in the end.
— Do you plan to leave Russia?
– No, I have agents everywhere: in France, England and Spain, but my base is here. If everyone leaves, then who will remain? I have two passports, it’s easier for me. I somehow left Russia, I wanted to relax and give myself to society.
I don’t like it when actors devote themselves only to themselves and their suffering. Together with a humanitarian mission, I flew to Senegal for a year, where I distributed glasses to visually impaired people. I remember very well how, with a professional ophthalmologist, I went around the villages and helped the old people to choose the right lenses. One grandmother, as soon as she put on glasses, burst into tears, took the Koran and began to read it for the first time in 10 years. I was a little ashamed that I acted as a “white” savior, but it’s better to do something than sit back.
— Do you have dreams?
– With age, ambitions have become less, it is enough for me to play Cyrano de Bergerac on the stage of the theater. There were once plans to open our own school in the same ten years, but we’ll see what happens. I dream that my son will see me in some good European movie on Netflix and say to his friends: “Look, this is my father!”