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He is still only 26, but Vincent Lacoste is already a Cannes veteran. He tells Lise Pedersen about his love of cinema, the directors who inspire him and his upcoming work

Oozing that boy-next-door charm that has made him the rising star of French cinema, Vincent Lacoste greets me warmly in the Salon Rouge of the Manoir Savoie hotel in Les Arcs. He is here for the premiere of his tragicomedy Mes jours de gloire, part of the line-up at the famous French ski resort’s annual international film festival.

“Let’s not exaggerate,” he smiles when I suggest that he is already a veteran of the Cannes festival down on the coast. “I guess I have already been six or seven times. It’s wild. I love that festival. I’m a fan of cinema, so I’ve always gone to see all the films in competition in Cannes. It’s a unique opportunity to shine the light on those films, and you get to meet people from all over the world.”

Spotted in his school canteen by a casting agent, Lacoste began his acting career in Riad Sattouf’s Les beaux gosses (2009), which earned him a Lumières prize for most promising newcomer. He has gone on to make more than 25 films alongside the likes of Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu (Astérix et Obélix: au service de Sa Majesté, 2012), and has received several acting awards and César nominations.

Besides being a prolific actor, he is also a movie buff. “I was just 14 when I started acting,” he says. “I’ve always been a movie-lover because my parents introduced me to films at a young age. I was just eight years old when they showed me my first David Lynch film!”

Screen Idol

Asked which American directors have made an impression on him, Lacoste says there is one in particular he would love to work with.

“I am a big fan of Martin Scorsese. I loved his latest film, The Irishman. The New Hollywood period is my favourite, and he is my idol. There is such incredible continuity in his cinema. I watch Casino at least once a year. What I like best about Scorsese is his love of cinema: he helps restore films and transmits his passion to a new generation. It’s thanks to him that I’ve watched films by Truffaut, Godard and Rohmer… And his movies are very entertaining, even when they’re three hours long, like The Wolf of Wall Street. He rarely gets it wrong. I would love to meet him some time.”

Dark Humour

Also high on the list of people he would like to work with is Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, because, he says, he loves the work of RW Fassbinder.

“He was considered an outsider, even in German cinema, and I love the aesthetic of his films. With his dark sense of humour, Aki Kaurismäki could have been his brother. And his choice of music is also very interesting. Take the two films about the fictional rock band Leningrad Cowboys. They have a strong Eastern European vibe, with cold but vivid colours. His films are a feast for the eye and also tell stories about ordinary tragedy − they have a Russian feel.

“I really enjoy Russian literature,” he continues. “I love Nikolai Gogol’s
The Overcoat, for example. It’s about this guy who is teased by his work colleagues because of his ugly old coat. He decides to impress them and buys himself a really expensive coat, he even takes out a loan. But on his way home it gets stolen, and he dies of cold. It’s a tragedy of course, but it’s also a satire. It perfectly echoes the spirit of Kaurismäki’s work.”

Vincent Lacoste is faithful to the directors he enjoys working with, and both Riad Sattouf and Christophe Honoré have a special place in his heart.

“Riad is a like a brother to me. I’d make another film with him any day. Without him, I would never have become an actor!

“As for Christophe, he’s an exceptional director. The last film we did together, Chambre 212 (2019), was an awful lot of fun. It was all done in a studio. We were always lounging around in bed; it was very pleasant,” he says with a big grin.

“I love making films with Christophe because he treats his actors with a lot of consideration, like demi-gods. We don’t have to worry about anything. He tells us, ‘you’re great, you’re wonderful’, and we’re like, ‘yes, we are wonderful aren’t we?’,” he concludes, with a great burst of laughter.

From France Today magazine

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