“I feel like I'm sending text messages to Montpellier, the city of my heart, but she never replied to me”: Artus regrets the lack of support in his early days

“I feel like I'm sending text messages to Montpellier, the city of my heart, but she never replied to me”: Artus regrets the lack of support in his early days

Artus, habillé en touriste allemand dans son film Un P'tit truc en plus. – Cine Nomine

The actor and humorist releases his first film on May 1: A Little Extra Thing. A comedy with Clovis Cornillac, Alice Belaïdi, and himself, but above all people with a mental disability. Artus talks about the importance of this film for him and the little support he received from Montpellier and the region when he started in the profession. For him, the relationship with Montpellier is broken.

For your first filmA little something extra you have chosen to tell the story of two robbers on the run who find themselves in a colony with adults with mental disabilities. It seemed like an obvious subject for comedy ?

It seemed obvious to me to want to make a comedy with people who were a little different, actors that we don't see often enough for me in the cinema.

“I feel like I'm sending text messages to Montpellier, the city of my heart, but she never replied to me”: Artus regrets the lack of support in his early days

We see very different individuals on the screen, between those with Down syndrome, one who has no filter, another who mimes Nicolas Sarkozy. You have carried out a rigorous casting ?

I cast them before finishing writing the film. I wanted to write about them and for them. I didn't want to create characters for them. All the worlds that spectators will discover in the film are really them. Stanislas who speaks like a politician, that’s his way of speaking. Boris who disguises himself throughout the film, these are his disguises. I wanted it to fit their personalities so they didn't have to act. I didn't want actors. I was looking for different worlds and colors. I hope that we have succeeded in a somewhat choral film where everyone in their place.

They never had to compose?

I wasn't looking for actors. There are actors with disabilities in quite a few theater groups. I really wanted people who had never played. Arnaud who is a Dalida fan, if he had been a curling fan, I would have taken this. It’s a way of protecting myself. If today someone said to me "you're not afraid that a character with Down syndrome, a fan of Dalida, would be a lot", I would say no, because’ rsquo;he really is like that. We didn’cheat in this film.

Your character has to pretend to be disabled, but he is immediately spotted.

I didn't want us to laugh at them but to laugh together. I found it interesting that they burned me quite quickly. The only ones we take for idiots throughout are the able-bodied.

There is comedy, we laugh with the characters, but there is also a sentimental score. The robbers will soften.

Especially the character of Clovis, because we feel that mine is not a bad guy and that he wants to be a bad guy. something else.

You also chose two extremes: the harshness of Clovis Cornillac and the joy of Alice Belaïdi.

Clovis is a nag and doesn't really know what to do. He is not good at human relationships. He is hard. The goal was to show that he could break through his shell thanks to others.

It was easy to edit this film with people with disabilities ?

Financing was very complicated. There are people who clearly told us that the public did not want to see 10 disabled people on the screen for an hour and a half. Mentalities still need to change.

You spent your adolescence in Lavérune, going to La Colline high school in Montpellier. How was it?

It’s a cool memory, of the village, of relaxing, of cycling and going to the stadium to play rugby every weekend in Saint-Jean-de-Védas. It was sunny. It’s nice. I loved spending my youth there. It’s funny because I’ve always been very attached to Montpellier and I admit that what I criticize a little about the city and the region is that it doesn’t ;rsquo;not attached to its artists. When I arrived in Paris, I had all my friends who were artists from Lille, and the city was behind them. We know that Toulouse artists are from Toulouse, because Toulouse is behind them. Me, I never felt carried by the city and the region.

Personalities like Audrey Lamy or Julien Doré return to the region whenever they have the opportunity. But we didn't see you at the film premieres.

There were 240 rooms at the same time, the same evening. It was complicated to divide myself. And really, when I started this job, I often said, "I come from Montpellier". I thought there would be fervor, but it’s not that kind of city at all. So, we detach ourselves from it a little. Montpellier, apart from athletes, it’s complicated to name someone from here, because there’s no enthusiasm like there is in Montpellier; other cities.

The relationship with the region is lost ?

Yes. I felt like I was texting Montpellier, which was my favorite city, but she never responded. I said to myself too bad, she doesn't want me.

A Little Extra Thing, film by Artus with Artus, Clovis Cornillac, Alice Belaïdi. National release May 1, 2024. I subscribe to read more

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