Device converter



Classified ads

Put an ad on this website

Recently added

articles > Culture events

The Measure of a man

Encounter with Vincent Lindon: between pride and humility

By Manon Variol

Vincent Lindon, 56, was named Best Actor both in Cannes and at the César in 2015 for his role in The Measure of a Man, by Stéphane Brizet. The film will finally be released in the UK on 3rd June. I met Vincent Lindon, who explain how it felt for him to have received an award from two of the most prestigious juries in the world of cinema.

Today, Vincent Lindon, humble and discreet behind his thick beard, is talking to me about his latest film: the story of Thierry, an unemployed man struggling to make ends meet. Ironically, the encounter takes place in a very luxurious hotel in London, surrounded by crystal glasses and polished silverware.

I want to place my own print on the character

The Measure of a Man is not like any other film, it was shot in only 21 days. Vincent Lindon is the only artist to promote it, and the reason is quite simple: he was the only professional actor on set. Stéphane Brizet wanted to make a realistic film. The main character finds a job in a grocery store. All the other actors are real sales assistants, earning the minimum wage. It was a way for the director to “inject some reality into the film.” Reality is precisely what persuaded Vincent Lindon when he read the script. “Stéphane told me that he wanted to deal with work, and how far we are prepared to go to have a decent life, where is the ethical limit to refuse a job”, the actor recalls. “I liked it and said: I want to be Thierry.” 

Vincent Lindon grows a beard to play Auguste Rodin
Vincent Lindon grows a beard to play Auguste Rodin

To play the role, he refused to draw on the experience of  unemployed people. He was keen to give his own interpretation of the character. “My goal was to ensure that when people think of an unemployed man, they imagine Thierry with his moustache. This is cinema : giving my own print to a character, like Gerard Depardieu did with Cyrano de Bergerac.” The French actor is preparing a new role as Auguste Rodin. This explains the beard, which is the only common physical characteristics between him and the sculptor. For the rest, he tries to imagine how the artist lived.

Crowned Best Actor in Cannes and at the César

Vincent Lindon was named Best Actor in Cannes in 2015 and at the César in 2016. Two extremely prestigious prizes, but the first one was a particularly moving moment for him. It was the first time that he had won a Best Actor prize, and it felt  like taking Poppers (a psychoactive drug), as he said. “It was like a shot“, the comedian confesses, staring into space. “When I think about it, I still cannot register it happened. I would give a billion euros to repeat that experience…

The jury loved by the way the film was shot, in a documentary style. No frills, no music except the music which the character can hear and the camera never leaves Thierry, as if the audience is living the action with him. One year after the Cannes film festival, Vincent Lindon is still extremely enthusiastic: “The Coen brothers told me they were amazed because the truth was filmed as if there were no camera. They said : “We don’t know how to make a film like this. Only the French have the know-how!” This film is anti-cinematic : it is written as a TV report, but it is fiction.”

Even though he has received internationally recognised awards prizes, Vincent Lindon keeps his feet firmly on the ground. He knows life can be disappointing and choses to see it in a different way. He does not want to dream about incredible things that could potentially happen. “When people ask me who I want to work with, I say that I do not think about this. Because I would be wasting time dreaming about it,” Vincent Lindon explains. “We spend too much time trying to change things and regret that things happened or do not happen.”

Watch the trailer of The Measure of a Man, in British cinemas from 3 June:


04/06/2016 - bourgdenis said :

As an ex-unemployed person, the dialogue is spot on. As realistic as reality itself.

Ps: X private chef/ freelance photographer/ author of "Le chef a sérieusement les boules"


Comments are moderated. They are displayed after an administrator validation.


You can reload the captcha by clicking on it