StEphane Debac

Exploring the Journey of a Versatile Actor

Conducted by Guillaume Jean Lefebvre

1. Can you share some insights into your experience working on Claude Zidi Jr's film, "Retirement Home 2," and what drew you to this project?

Hello, first of all thank you for this interview. The role of Claude Masson was offered to me by the Producer Elisa Soussan and Claude Zidi Jr the director, with whom I already worked on the film Tenor. I know this whole team so well that I said yes straight away because I know they have confidence and will give me freedom to create this character in my own way. And that’s such a real luxury.

2. Currently shooting in the series "Extra" for OCS, could you tell us about your character and how this role challenges you as an actor?

I am very proud to have filmed this TV Show. The rigor of the writing (the amazing writers/directors Mathieu Bernard & Jonathan Hazan), the subjects covered around sexuality of desabled and this kind of acid humor, that's everything I love! Roles ? Well, they do not change me, but they contribute to my knowledge of the human soul.

3. Having the main male role in "Extra," what aspects of the character resonate with you personally, and how do you approach bringing this character to life on screen?

I don't like the hierarchy between actors. I don't consider myself to have "the male lead". The character is quite ungrateful to play, that is what I like, I mean to be far away from myself. He is a spineless man, eager for success who seeks to belong to "high society" without having the style to do so. I tried to bring out what is most touching and most ridiculous in his attitudes. Make him exist and forget myself. For this, working with Anne Girouard and Nicolas Lumbreras was absolutely brilliant.

In the spotlight is a versatile French actor whose journey in the world of cinema and television continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Renowned for his dynamic roles and profound performances, he graciously shares his insights and experiences in an exclusive interview. From his recent collaboration with Jean Réno and Kev Adams in Claude Zidi Jr's film, 'La Maison De Retraite 2' (Retirement Home 2), to his upcoming endeavors in the TV series 'Extra' and Season 2 of 'Les Bracelets Rouges,' this actor embraces the challenges of diverse roles with finesse. Join us as we delve into the artistic mind of this exceptional talent, exploring his reflections on past projects, aspirations for the future, and the wisdom he imparts to his younger self. Welcome to an intimate conversation with a true maestro of the screen.

Portrait Of The Month

( March 2024)


4. Looking ahead, you'll be in season 2 of "Les Bracelets Rouges" for TF1. Can you provide a glimpse into what viewers can expect from your character and the overall storyline?

What interested me in this final season is precisely that, my character, the Doctor Andra is humanized, this season reveals a lot about his personal life... There are many surprises and notably a young actress for whom it was the first steps in front of a camera, Chaïli Souffir !

5. As an actor, how do you balance the diverse roles you take on, such as those in films and series? Do you find one format more challenging or rewarding than the other?

A camera remains a camera, whether it is used to film for TV, cinema or a platform, ultimately what counts is the script, the inspiration of the director and of course the role to bring into existence. I don't have preference, one thing is certain, I like to work quickly with smart and well educated people.

6. What projects, either past or upcoming, are particularly meaningful to you, and why?

I started decades ago with very small roles with Claude Chabrol. I will never forget his greed for actors and his consideration towards me when I really had very small roles. Then working with Raoul Peck was decisive... And Eric Valette with “The Prey” was such a twist too. Soon I will start filming "Green Pantheres", an intelligent and kind of militant comedy for cinema. I really appreciate the approach of director Julie Manoukian. The character she entrusts to me is completely improbable.

7. If you could collaborate with any director or fellow actor, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

Deceased ? Billy Wilder, Claude Sautet, Edouard Molinaro for their intelligence and elegance of filming actors and tell stories. Alive ? Tom Ford for the same reasons.

8. Looking at your career so far, what ambitions or goals do you still hope to achieve as an actor in the coming years?

Keep on funkin’ and work with great people. I like polite and smart people.

9. With 2024 ahead of us, what are your aspirations for the year, both professionally and personally?

Professionally, filming more outside France, I hate flying, but I’d like to go elsewhere. I remember loving shooting Jeremy Leven's "Girl On A Bicycle" at Babelsberg Studio, few years ago.. Personnally good health for the people I love.

10. If you could offer advice to your younger self at the beginning of your acting career, what would it be, and is there any specific lesson or insight you've gained that you wish you knew earlier?

Nothing. I won't change or give any advice to this young eighties shy boy, because it's all his inner fantasy and sensibility that brought him to who I am today. All I can say now is “thank you mom for this incredible freedom.

11. Considering your busy schedule, how do you manage to find balance and maintain a connection with your audience, and what message would you like to convey to your fans in 2024?

My fans ?? Ahahah I'm not in this kind of delirium at all. But I will say to people who appreciate my work, "thank you, congratulation for your good taste." (laugh) About 2024, wish you all, less horrors and more serenity.

Talent: Stéphane Debac - @stephanedebac
Photographer : Guillaume Plas - @guillaume_plas
Agency : Agence French Lights - @agencefrenchlights

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