Alban Lenoir, Action-man: “Perseverance and talent! »

2023-04-27 12:14:43

Good-looking, the build of a mover, Alban Lenoir, 42, has become the strong man French cinema, whether he distributes trumpets or turns in small indie films. WhileAKA coming soon to Netflix, he lowers his guard to Technikart.

Cover photo caption: ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD_ Discovered in Un Français, signed Diasteme, Alban Lenoir became a Netflix star by playing Lino, the little mechanical genius in Lost Ball and its sequel. He returns in AKA, a festival of fights and action scenes.

You come from Dijon. Tell us about your youth.
Alban Lenoir: My mother raised me alone, my father didn’t recognize me and never took care of me. I discovered Bloodsport at nine, and I wanted to be Van Damme. I took up martial arts, and I made little short films with friends. My school career has been more than chaotic. I already wanted to be an actor. At fifteen, no college in Côte-d’Or wanted me anymore and I found myself in an apprentice training center to pass a CAP. I had the chance to work two years on a work-study program in my video club. I watched movies over and over and discussed movies with customers. I then discovered films other than the Van Damme… I did a BEP and I was fired after three days. My mother told me “ You won ! » and she sent me to Paris.

What did you do ?
Cours Florent, but I didn’t like it at all. Besides, it cost an arm and a leg. I did figuration intensively, with my bike. I must have made 300 stamps of fig’ from 18 to 25 years old, until Alexandre Astier, whom I knew from Dijon, gave me a small role in Kaamelott. I remain convinced that it is my perseverance that made me get there, more than my talent. I did not know anyone ! Person ! Then Jean-Pierre Jeunet took me under wing to pass the casting ofAmelie Poulain, but my mother fell ill and I returned to Dijon for a year. Twenty years later he remembered me and he turned me into BigBugthe story is beautiful.

you played in Taken.
What a pleasure, it was decisive for me. I had two days of shooting, with a month and a half interval between the two. I had two lines with Liam Neeson (68th minute, “Your name, sir?” I’m sorry, you’re not on the list”) and he smokes me in an elevator. The first day, I go up in the elevator. A month and a half later, he lattes me. That morning, he greets me by my first name, asks me how I’m doing, we talked for thirty minutes. He was caring and professional. I often think about it.


Your big break is A Frenchof Diastema, where you play a skinhead.
When I read the script, I said to myself that I wouldn’t get the role, but that if by luck I got it, my career would be launched. During all my struggling years, I studied the careers of other actors. I realized that Romper Stomper had launched Russell Crowe, same thing for Ryan Gosling with Danny Balint, Tim Roth and Made in EnglandEdward Norton in American History X… I thought it was my turn, and that’s what happened. Very few people saw the film, but overnight the profession knew who I was.

So you have to play a skin to break into the cinema?
In any case, it helped me, as well as my martial journey. I immediately thought it would be the best role of my life and for now, I still think so. My other chance is that after A FrenchI immediately continued with Antigangalongside Jean Reno.

Do you remember the kidswith Max Boubil and Alain Chabat, where you masturbated on a photo of Sandrine Kiberlain?
Yes yes (laughter). I had sympathized with Max on a series, The pawn, with Faudel, yes, I know, I have come a long way, then with the director, Anthony Marciano, who lets me choose between two roles. A role with a fortnight of filming, and this small role you are talking about. I chose the most striking one and it worked because people always talk to me about it.

Alban has a more than provided filmography with more than 80 films and series in twenty years. Where he alternates action films and auteur films.

We now see you as THE specialist in action films, while you have not done just that, I am thinking in particular of the formidable Glitter prawns.
The same year, I can do Lost bullet, Angel Face et The shrimp. Thank you to life and to the directors who trusted me. I’m lucky, but also scared, because right now I’m doing action movies and I don’t want to be definitively cataloged in theactioner. I passed on the message that I dreamed of shooting in a romantic comedy. My luck is that all the directors I work with call me back to work. I’m crossing my fingers for the rest.

In France, we don’t have many actors who have the build for this very physical cinema.
It’s not that there aren’t a lot of us, it’s that there aren’t any films… For years, we didn’t manage to get funding Lost bullet, before having the agreement of Netflix. And this film has allowed many others to exist. We have a lot of talent in France, actors, stuntmen, they are coming…

With your films, it’s the pleasure of action cinema from Van Damme to Schwarzy, via Mad Max and Jackie Chan that you find?
That’s completely it. I was crazy about the action cinema of the 1990s: Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Seagal, Van Damme, Jet Li, Jackie Chan… It was this old-school love that we wanted with Guillaume Pierret to rediscover with Lost bullet, with zero VFX. I love this cinema and I try to keep its spirit, its essence. And so that the spectator is in total immersion, I refuse doubles, because that takes me out of the film as a spectator.

In the cinema, do you really like to beat yourself up or drive at 200 km/h?
To be honest, I liked to beat myself up, but as I get older, it starts to sting… As for driving, I love driving on a circuit, it’s an absolute blast, because I only put my life in danger . On a film set, I’m terrified of the idea that things will go wrong.

On AKA where you play an undercover agent, are you the boss?
No way. I wrote this film, which is a very old project, with the director, Morgan Dalibert. We were able to set up this project following the success of Lost bullet and producer Rémi Leautier. And Netflix followed me. I’m very present on the film, but there’s a producer who does his job a thousand times better than I ever would, and a director much more talented than me. I already had enough work with the handling of firearms and my weight gain.

But yes, what happened on this film? You look like the Hulk with muscles all over.
I went from size M to XL, even XXL at the end! They wanted me to be dangerous, therefore more massive. It is also impossible for Netflix viewers to have the impression of seeing Lino again six months later in another story.

How did it go with Éric Cantona, the film’s big bad?
Really, it was a joy. He’s pro, humble, he’s a great partner. Whether the camera is on him or not, he sends! He amazed me every day.

Does the Indonesian film The Raid was a source of inspiration?
It’s not the idea at all but now, as soon as you have a character who goes up three floors, you think of The Raid (laughter). I was also told about A Beautiful Day, with Joaquin Phoenix, but I hadn’t thought of that either.

you turned AKA in how many days?
Below 38.

You are 42 years old and already more than 80 films and series to your credit.
It seems like a lot to me, there must be my stuntman fees, micro-roles. But it’s true that fromA FrenchI tried not to waste too much time…

The future for you is the United States?
It was my dream. They made me some offers afterwards. Lost bullet, thanks to the strike force of Netflix around the world. Of the huge projects that I refused because ofAKA. But I no longer dream of that at all, my only dream is to make good films in France. I would like to have a career like Jon Bernthal: he carries the series Punisherbut he also plays in Le Mans 66, Fury where he is demented, in The wolf of Wall Street by Martin Scorsese… That’s my dream.

AKAon Netflix April 28

Interview Marc Godin
Photos H. Lawson-Body

#Alban #Lenoir #Actionman #Perseverance #talent

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