Fourmi (France 2) - François Damiens: "I was very afraid to play the alcoholic guy"

Fourmi (France 2) – François Damiens: “I was very afraid to play the alcoholic guy”

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Like Kirikou, Théo is small, but he is valiant. On a football field, despite his size which earned him the affectionate nickname of Ant, he is a giant. The kid is the pride of his teammates, his trainer and, above all, that of his father, Laurent, an unemployed worker, in full decline, who sinks into alcoholism a little more each day. So, when a recruiter from the English club Arsenal is passing through, everyone imagines that Ant will catch his eye. And this perspective restores the desire to live in his father. Exit the bottle. Bad luck, despite Theo’s talent, Arsenal did not recruit him: too small. With the help of his friends, Théo decides to hide the news from his father: there’s no question of cutting him off in his unexpected comeback. For his second film, adapted from the graphic novel DreamTeam, by Laperla and Torrecillas, Julien Rappeneau tells us this beautiful story, simple and generous. That of an unconditional love, of an overwhelming father-son relationship.

Rappeneau immediately thought of François Damiens, for the humanity he exudes and his over-the-top sensitivity. They serve his character perfectly, whose cracks allow the light to shine through, according to Michel Audiard’s formula. “This role, Damiens explained to us, in 2019, I took it as a challenge. That of approaching serious subjects, such as the crisis, alcoholism, separation, job loss, with lightness. We had to make the film both moving and funny. Ant is a human comedy, like Julien Rappeneau. He is a delicate man, very kind. Kindness is the most beautiful quality. “Maleaume Paquin, alias Fourmi, could not dream of a better partner to play his movie dad. Chosen from a hundred 12-year-old boys, Maleaume, who had already played opposite Daniel Auteuil in Remi without familyin 2018, proved to be a formidable playmaker. In addition to being a born actor, he is passionate about football, which he has been playing in a club since he was 7 years old.

Coach Dussollier

Upon their meeting, François made Maleaume laugh and Maleaume made him laugh “, remembers the director. The more stressed of the two was not the less capped. Damiens admits: “I was very afraid to play the alcoholic guy, you can do too much very quickly. I tried to play it as sincerely as possible, not to judge it, or push it down. As in all good comedies, the supporting roles are not neglected. Around Maleaume, the filmmaker has recruited a trio of promising young shoots. But we will especially remember the services of Lætitia Dosch, a slightly perched social worker, who reaches out to Laurent to help him get back to the penalty area. A generous and solar score. In tune with emotion without melodrama, André Dussollier, with a laughing eye, excels as a dad-style coach. For this football fan, this role was a gift. ” On the set, the director remembers, André behaved a little with the young people as their trainer. Between two scenes, he even went to play football with them and continued to coach them. ! »

Ant: Sunday July 3 at 9:10 p.m. on France 2

Julien Barcilon

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