While we went very noted for his character as Lieutenant Pascal Kharkiv from Philippe Focon, the super-talented Theo Cholby, actor and singer of the band Süeür, was preparing for the first time to climb the stairs to La Nuit de 12 Dominique Molla. We interviewed him on the UGC terrace and kept from this lively interview the belief that Theo Cholby is a person to be followed …
What is it like to be in Cannes and climb the stairs for the first time?
I am very proud and try to relieve the pressure. Yesterday I opened the Philip Focon film, Kharkiv. And tonight I’ll see Night at 12 be with the whole team. It’s also a bit of a return ten years later, because ten years ago I was supposed to present a short film at Critics’ Week, but I was kept filming. So I followed everything on social media while the team presented the film. So maybe I’m doubly happy to finally be here!
Tell us about Lieutenant Pascal in Les Harkis…
This is my first role as a man, as a man. This is a character full of responsibilities, but who still has the empathy of a young man. Otherwise, a person could not obey the authorities.
He is also a soldier of the 1950s. How do you feel about this aspect?
L.‘uniform, already, helps to resist. I’m also a musician, sometimes I’m a little carefree and animalistic, I’m always a little bit moving, sometimes a little too much for the set. There, on the contrary, I had to sit and train, just as I help and form helps.
The film is about a historical situation that is still painful. How did you work on that?
In fact, my mother is Algerian, even if she never wanted to come back. She does not like to talk about her childhood in Algeria, and all this… she still lived there for about fifteen years. Since she doesn’t like to talk there, I had to look for a secret about this country on my side. Before the casting, I watched a lot of documentaries. And I read The art of losingbecause there is a word that is often found when we talk about harkis, it is that they have all had the experience of loss.
The film is also about betrayal that endangers their lives.
Yes, there is a betrayal of the French state. And for some young people today, it sheds light on that past. When we talk about “harkis”, especially in rap lyrics, it is often synonymous with “traitor”. Buba, whom I love very much, sings: “If you are Kharkiv, you are the enemy.” Very quickly, in the city, we can say this for a traitor, as the word “chméta”. I hope the film fixes the shortcuts.
How does Philip Focon direct his actors?
He doesn’t like playing anything. L.the actor does not make decisions in his film. He asks us to erase all the tricks of language and acting intonation. He wants us to have the most natural tone. And acclimatization takes a week or two. Sometimes it seems to us that we are not playing, and this is really what drives him. There is an interesting conflict of intent here, which, in my opinion, leads to the purity of the game.
How was the shooting of Dominic Moll’s film?
He is the greatest director who brings together actors I knew. He is always in a very good mood, accurate to investigations and secrets. He knows how to create a fantastic climate, a bit like Twin Peaks. This is the antithesis of Philip Focon’s naturalism.
You work with very independent directors. It’s your choice?
When I started working in cinema, I felt very anti-TF1, anti-M6. I didn’t like movies that were made to make money, and I was very, very afraid of television. And when I did, I trusted Arte and some divisions of France TV. But when it’s done quickly, it’s written quickly, and if dialogue doesn’t prevail, I get depressed. At the moment, I am not as radical as Adele Enel, but I completely share her point of view.
You are also educated as a musician, cHow does this affect your game and vice versa?
I started with the piano, I arrived in Paris, continuing with the drums. My older brother Damien Saez is a singer, and I started working in film because I didn’t want to take a microphone either, although I was advised to do so for a while. I still wrote, and then in a moment without a movie, my musicians told me “sing anyway to see, say your lyrics to the microphone.” It happened very quickly with Rock en Seine. Then there was the Covid period, so there was no more stage. And I signed to RCA, which is a great label, thanks to what I’m showing on stage. Usually we plan a concert and the release of the album on October 7. Drums give rhythm to my body, which helped me a lot in the movies. In music, I always start with the lyrics, and then I read my lyrics in different styles of music until I find the right flow, and then I compose everything with the musicians. AND in cinema I like to live a different life than mine. This is what allows me to write my own lyrics for music
In your latest video “Faille” you went behind the camera…
Yes, I think my videos are non-fictional short films. Every time I put a lot of stories. I wanted to shoot Noah Abita, whom I knew from friends. She is perfect for the role, and she was expecting a baby during the filming. But apart from music he Maybe I should make my first short film.
Watching this video, realizing that you worked mostly with women directors, listening to your lyrics, the question arose: are you a feminist?
It would be extremely serious not to be a feminist in 2022. I think it’s crazy that we’re still asking questions. At the same time, the question is difficult, because for some men it is a definite job. In particular, I would like to have more women who play music and perform on stage. And yes, I believe that 70% of the directors I have worked with are women. Without deliberately deciding, I worked little with men.
c) Sylvain Lefebvre