“To take a decisive step in controlling the pandemic, without any hesitation, we are committed to getting vaccinated as soon as possible.” At the origin of this call launched on December 29 and published this Thursday in the Parisian with the signing of 200 artists and actors from the culture and entertainment sector (Zabou Breitman, François Berléand, Grand Corps Malade, etc.), the director of the Strasbourg National Theater, Stanislas Nordey. The actor and director of The 54-year-old does not want to convince the 58% of French people hostile to the Covid vaccine, but simply to make them understand that they also have a role to play in getting out of the health crisis.
Where did you get the idea to launch this call to get vaccinated?
This comes mainly from the fact that we were in my opinion in controversies that were going a little in circles, where everyone accused or defended the government by wondering if Olivier Véran was a good minister or not, if Macron was doing things well or no, This brought me to the fact that ultimately we ourselves were the main actors as citizens. It’s up to us to get hold of all of this and not wait for it to fall from the sky. Afterwards, this obviously crossed with my personal experience, due to the fact that I work in the Grand Est which was very affected by the pandemic, that I had the Covid, and that I have relatives who have died from it. . But it was above all for me a way of saying: “there is enough to wonder if the policies are doing well or not, it is now up to us to take charge and commit ourselves”.
Actors, writers, producers and singers have agreed to put their signatures. Are you the one who convinced them?
I spent my New Years texting and contacting them! This kind of thing you have to do yourself, even if it’s time consuming. Well, obviously things got a little carried away afterwards and there were relays, as there still are. The list which has so far been published constitutes the first 200 signatories, but there will be more. Regarding the choice of signatories, even if many famous names came out, it was important for me to also choose anonymous. The list goes from Gérard Jugnot to Alain Françon via Wajdi Mouawad, Laurent Gaudé, Philippe Faucon or Grand Corps Malade. It was important for me that there was not just one sector of culture put forward.
Do you think the role of an artist is to lead by example?
In any case, I think that artists have a mission to be at the forefront of a number of things and that they are supposed to be scouts, so we might as well continue to be so in another way. But these people of the culture are above all men and women, so when they signed it was certainly as an artist, but also as a citizen.
What do you expect from this call?
This appeal is not an injunction. Nothing in it says “get vaccinated”, we just wanted to say: we’re like you, we probably have the same questions, see the same fears, but we’re going because for the moment it’s the only way out of this mess. We just hope that it will make people think and participate in the debate. This kind of call is addressed especially to people who are still undecided, we know very well that the diehards, who in any case have never been vaccinated, will not be affected by the call and will not do so. Tomorrow, in the polls, there will not be 85% of people who will be vaccinated following our call. It is a call that is fully aware of the modesty of what it can bring. And politicians should do the same, just tell people they’re going to do it.
Do you not want to express your dissatisfaction to the government by showing it that you are taking matters into your own hands?
No. It’s super easy to say it’s the government’s fault. Yet I am a very politicized person, but right now if there was another government it would also do bullshit and good things, although it might not be the same. So this appeal serves above all to say: let’s not expect everything from politicians. Before Christmas, the stores in Strasbourg, for example, were crowded, but they were not crowded because of the policies, they were crowded because the citizens did not yet have sufficient collective responsibility. So it’s good for all of us to look at each other in the mirror and start acting.
Have you ever received reviews?
There are always criticisms as soon as we take a public initiative, it is logical and we know it. But it’s always better to take a stand than to do nothing in my opinion. And then our appeal is not used to make people feel guilty who don’t want to be vaccinated or to force others, so I don’t really see any reason to be criticized.
Do you think you will carry out other actions like this in the future?
This takes lots of time. At the same time, I am very involved in meetings with the Ministry of Culture to move things forward and find solutions during the health crisis, but my real pleasure is rather to be on theaters rather than to try non-stop to mobilize people. So if others take over, I’ll be delighted!