“I’m a little tired of being funny all the time. My true self is more nostalgic”

4:28 p.m. Jan 19 2022 Edited at 4:28 p.m. Jan 19 2022

In his second feature film as actor and director, Frank Dubusque plays Tony: an old boy determined to reconnect with his daughter (Louna Espinosa) whom he abandoned at birth. To achieve his goal, he decided to enroll in a dance class led by his descendants in order to learn rumba and try to regain it. A sensitive film, where humor never interferes with emotion, and it has a few surprises, notably the delicious look of Michelle Welbeck as the cardiologist.

How did the idea for this movie come about?
It comes from me. I feel so guilty for abandoning my kids all the time for my work. For example, after Alpe d’Huez, I will travel to Canada to shoot the next Reem Kherici movie with Philippe Lacheau. In short, I often tell myself that one day my children might scold me for my absence. It all started from there and then extrapolated. Like in my previous movie, everyone stand up With Alexandra Lamy, it’s all about lying and redemption. I love these poor people, I find in them interest and humanity, I make unsympathetic people sympathetic to them.

With this new movie, you seem to prefer emotion…
I didn’t want to avoid laughing at all costs, systematic comic spring. I’m a little tired of being funny all the time. My true self is more nostalgic. When I was a little kid, I used to write poems, not drawings. Life meant that, for the sake of existence, I made myself a bit funny, sometimes a bit cliched, and a bit backward too. I claim it, I’m not denying anything, but this was the real misuse. Over time, I want to be more and more honest with myself.

I’m thinking of turning around without playing

You are a director and an actor. This double hat isn’t too heavy to carry around?
The hardest part is the other actors. When they play, they have the director in front of them and not the character. In my next film, I will remain a director and an actor. But I’m thinking of walking around without playing. In both the films I have, I have had the great pleasure of not being in front of the camera.

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One of the surprises of the film is the appearance of Michel Welbeck in the role of a cardiologist. How did this meeting happen?
His agent called my agent to tell him that Michel Welbeck loved my job and wanted to shoot with me. Of course I was surprised. I texted him, he liked it and invited me to meet. I went to his office where he writes his books, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. The sofa of his bed was open and he said to me, “Lie down, I’ll sit next to it, so we’ll be in a doctor’s and patient’s condition.” He lit his cigarette and read. I was a bit nervous even if his character was already written. In the end, he changed an innocent sentence.

Michel Welbeck? Don’t trust his image as a somewhat indifferent and indifferent writer

Do you know his work?
No, but I read three of his books after filming. I love his dark but terribly clear vision of existence. This kind of visceral unity and this need of others with this conviction: “They don’t need me.” It’s a feeling I feel close to, I find in my life. I am a separate entity, but others are indispensable to me. Trapped alone, Michel Welbeck lives not isolated in the countryside, but in a tower in the heart of Paris.

How did Michel Welbeck direct in a photo session?
“He’s an involuntary comedian,” his agent told me. In fact, he is very stubborn and knows very well what he is doing. He’s a clown, and he has an incredible sense of humor. He is terribly happy to play and especially to play with his image. I loved his grade in The kidnapping of Michel Welbeck Written by Guillaume Nicklo (2013, editor’s note). Don’t be fooled by his image as a somewhat careless and indifferent writer. He is a very good and hardworking student. He arrived on set knowing his script perfectly and when I made small mistakes in French he corrected me like Master Cabello. We had to adapt to his rhythm, which is not necessarily mine, but everything went well. He would often tell me, “It’s tiring to be an actor.” In between, he would occasionally sleep, and take short naps, but he could hear it all. As soon as we said “we’re shooting,” the eye opened.

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