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Le Fils de L'epicier
Culture

Interview de Nicolas Cazalé - Le vent en poupe

By No author
13/04/2009

 

 

Le Fils de l’epicier

The Grocer's Son

Synopsis


Antoine, 30, (Nicolas Cazalé) arrives at the hospital where his father is slowly recovering from a stroke. It’s the first time he has seen his family since he left his village 10 years previously. Now that is father is out of action, his mother is going to have to run the family business by herself.

The Grocery Shop
The Grocery Shop

Reluctantly Antoine decides to returns to the South of France to help with the family’s mobile grocery shop whilst his father gets better. Claire, (Clothilde Hesme, Les amants réguliers / Regular Lovers) his neighbour, travels back home with him. He is in love with her but hasn’t told her yet. He has managed to convince her to travel to the countryside with him to find some peace and quiet to study for her upcoming exams. Thanks to Claire and her free spirit, Antoine gradually warms to his experience in the hills and his encounters with the villagers. These are mostly old people, highly dependent upon his regular visits. In the process, he rediscovers life… and love.

 

Our Review

The Grocer’s Son (Le fils de l’épicier is Eric Guirado’s second movie) is very evocative and captures beautifully the bucolic beauty of provincial France. It is a feel-good movie which exudes quirky humour and joie de vivre. It is guaranteed to warm your heart with its classic story of a man coming of age.
The film is particularly touching in its honesty. It shows the characters with an uncanny accuracy, describing perfectly the small battles of the villagers’ everyday life.
Through some shrewd plotting Guirado and Florence Vignon (his co-writer) manage to find a different route to love to the one which is usually expected.
The film, which sold almost 300,000 tickets during its limited summer release in France, is certain to please many more around the world. Nicola Cazaré was also nominated this year for the César for the best new comer for his part in the film.
The screenplay and the brilliant actors make 'Le fils de l’épicier' a delicious treat.
Highly recommended for a feel-good injection.
 

The Mobile Grocery Shop
The Mobile Grocery Shop

 

Interview with Nicola Cazalé

 

FranceInLondon

At the moment you seem to be one of the most sought after young French actors. Is this true?
 

Nicola Cazalé

That’s right. There is a lot happening at the moment. It’s going in all directions.
 

FIL

I understand you are filming at the moment.
 

NC

I have just finished one film in January and I start a new one in a few days’ time in China and in Thailand. It’s the story of a French jockey who leaves to go and work there. I know, not an easy part. I had to lose a lot of weight by eating less and playing a lot of sport. I also had to learn to ride.
 

FIL

What’s the title of the film?
 

NC

Sketch

FIL
What’s your English like? I am sure you have quite a lot of facility with languages.

NC
I have to a certain extent. For this film, I still had to improve my accent. So I have been working with a number of voice coaches. Even if I play a French guy, I still have to improve my accent so that’s it’s easier to understand.

FIL
What about the Grocer’s Son which is just about to come out on our London screens?
Why did you accept the part of Antoine?

Nicola Cazalé
First, because I really liked the scenario but mostly because I very much enjoyed my first meeting with Eric Guirado, the director. I had the feeling that he was a sensitive and fair man. I needed to feel that I could trust him and that he would be true to himself. I also thought he would make a very realistic movie, something that would be close to reality and to the people it portrayed.

FIL
You were not mistaken.

NC
No, I wasn’t. That’s exactly what I thought the film would be.
It’s a film which isn’t too sad or too funny, just well balanced and realistic. Just what life is about. He has managed to show people’s life the way it really is.

FIL
It was only Guirado’s second film.

NC
Yes, it was and even in his first film ‘ Quand tu descendras du ciel’ there was already that force and sensitivity. It was a film that really touched me. In his second film, there is such honesty. That’s what I like most about it.

FIL
He has managed to make us feel the atmosphere of the place and the tension between the different characters.
Each time he gets the best out of his leading actors. Why do you think this is?

NC
I think he is simply very good at understanding actors and getting their trust. As a result, he gets the best out of them.

FIL
Once more, you have been the son for the purpose of the film, like in ‘Le Grand Voyage’ where you leave for Mecca with your father. How different were the two parts from your point of view?

Le Grand Voyage
Le Grand Voyage


NC
You’re right, once again I was a son in conflict with his father and trying to understand himself and finally his coming of age. I did not do it on purpose. My choices are purely instinctive.

FranceInLondon
Did you feel close to your character?

Nicolas Cazalé
Of course, for me it is very important to understand the relationship I have with my mother and my mother even if it’s with the help of a part I have to play. The relationship between a son and his parents is essential. They are the first pillars of someone’s life. It’s important therefore for them to be solid, and to be there and to be able to be relied on.
You have to be able to have some conflict at times and to be able to say who you are even if you are different. This is what enriches one’s life.

FIL
What sort of relationship did you have with your father?

NC
Our relationship was normal. Not always perfect and not always difficult. It’s the type of normal relationship you would expect between a child and his parents. I always tried to be who I really was even if sometimes this was not what people expected of me.

FIL
You say that and yet your father would have preferred if you had taken over the family business from him.

NC
Of course, my father would have liked me to. He had created something and he wanted to pass it onto me. I could have accepted it because this would have been the easy thing to do and it could have been something that would have interested me. In the meantime however, I discovered the theatre and the cinema and my life took a different turn. My parents did not try to stop me from leaving to go to Paris to try and become an actor.

FIL
Your parents must now be very happy for you.

NC
Absolutely. I left 12 or 13 years ago now. I succeeded in finding my place and they can see that so of course,  they are very happy for me when they see how fulfilled and contented I am both in my work and my private life.

FIL
You come from Pau, a beautiful region of the South West of France. Did you feel that in some ways you were going back to your roots whilst filming in the South.

NC
I have never really left my roots. Even if I live in Paris, I often go back. So, I haven’t really completely left. I mentioned the family being a pillar, the other one one is the countryside and the place I come from. It is important to know your roots and stay close to them. Filming in the middle of nature means that I was in my element.

FIL
How do you feel about having been voted “Most handsome guy of 2008”?

Nicolas Cazale
Nicolas Cazale


NC
I did not know about it but thank you for letting me know. (Very modest) I am of course very happy.

FIL
You have obviously become very popular and some describe you as a big softy. More like ‘I am a wolf but I can become a lamb’. Others have also said that you were a mix of Antonio Banderas and Olivier Martinez. What do you think of this image of yourself?

NC
I would prefer not to be compared to anyone because I am. But I am but I can understand that people have to find some point of comparison to help others understand who I am.

FIL
What was it like to find yourself opposite Clotilde Hesme?


NC
It was the first time I had met her.
Eric Guirado wanted someone like her to balance out the two characters (Antoine et Claire). Antoine being so dark, someone with a real spark was required.

Antoine et Claire
Antoine and cCaire


FIL
Which scenes did you prefer filming?

NC
Mostly those with the villagers who were not professionals and who had been recruited on the spot. It meant that we had to improvise a lot. All the scenes around the van are like that.

FIL
Did you try to pass a message about the small communities and their complete dependence on the mobile salesmen (butcher, baker…)?

NC
When I accept to take a part, I don’t think to myself that I am going to help pass a message. I simply take a part because it interests me.

FIL
On that basis, what type of role would like to have next ?

NC
I think I am relatively versatile and that I can play dramatic parts as well as comedies. I don’t have any specific ideas on the type of roles I would like to have. I am relatively open.

FIL
What about working abroad ?

NC
You know up until now, I have always had parts that made me travel. I haven’t really worked much in France. I am always offered parts which take me abroad. Which is great because I love travelling and discovering the world.

FIL
Will you be in London for the Launch of The Grocer’s Son on 22nd April

NC
No unfortunately, I will already be filming but, guess what, it’s my birthday on that day.


VITAL STATS:
Born: April 24, 1977
Nationality: French - Algerian
Filmography: "Under Another Sky" (2002), "L'Amour Dangereux" (2003), "The Clan" (2004), "Le Grand Voyage" (2004), "Saint-Jacques ... La Mecque" (2005), "Pars Vite et Reviens Tard" (2007), "UV" (2007), "The Grocer's Son" (2007), "Caotic Ana" (2007)

 

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