When Acting Doesn’t Quit On The Actor by Arnaud Valois and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart

Film Courage:  How did this film find the two of you?

Nahuel Pérez Biscayart:  In a very classic way, through my agent, the casting director they contacted my agent.  I got the script, I read it, I met Robin (Campillo) at a café, we talked and then we started to audition for the film and that’s when I met Arnaud. Was that the question?

Film Courage:  Yes…that was the question!

Arnaud Valois:  Very good answer.

Film Courage:  It was a very good answer.

Nahuel Pérez Biscayart:  I’m sorry, maybe…because there was nothing extraordinary about it, so I prefer that we talk maybe further about other things because it was very classical. Like agent, script, then you read it, then you meet the director…nothing really happened.  I wish I could say “Oh, I found Robin drunk in the streets and then he was like…”  No. He was nothing like that unfortunately.

Film Courage:  Arnaud, I believe you have a different story? You were a masseuse? 

Arnaud Valois: Yeah…a special one. Yes, I was a masseuse when I got the call from the casting director who I used to work with like 10 years ago. And she said to me over the phone “Are you still an actor?” And I said “Nope.” And she said “Do you want to try an audition for me? Do you want to have an audition?” I said “No.  Not at all. I’m not an actor, so why?” And she said “Okay, listen the script is really interesting.  It’s about AIDS in the 90’s, in Paris, gay community, the political aspect and everything.” And I said “For a movie like that, why not give it a try?” And maybe, eventually get back to the business.

Photo courtesy BPM Film/The Orchard

Film Courage:  So many questions with this…you had been auditioning? You were in Paris before? And then you decided to move and become a masseuse?

Arnaud Valois:  I was an actor doing films in Paris for about 5 to 6 years. And it didn’t go exactly the way I was expecting. Waiting for calls, having parts but very small ones, getting auditions but at the very end “No. It’s not you. You are the second or the third [choice].”

And before being really angry or depressed or anything like that, I said “Okay, you’re 25, 26.  You can do something else with your life.  You can realize your self in another way. Let’s find out what?  Let’s do it.”

So I did several jobs in Paris and then I went to Thailand and to Bangkok first. And I learned Thai massage there at the beginning not to have fun but to have an experience. And it became serious.  I liked it and after two months of training sessions, I went back to Paris with my diploma.  One month after, I got the call from the casting director.

Film Courage:  That’s fascinating.

Nahuel Pérez Biscayart:  That’s great.  When you decide to do something else you know? The past comes and just grabs you.

Arnaud Valois:  I think sometimes when you want something too much, you’re not attractive.  So you have to see around what…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Photo courtesy BPM Film/The Orchard

In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough.

 

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