Polisse will be rebroadcast on Sunday on TF1 Séries Films. Rediscover for the occasion our interview with the actor-rapper when the film is released.
Update of September 25, 2021: Extraordinary in Police, the rapper turned actor spoke of his new film career in First in 2011. On the occasion of the replay of the film this Sunday, we republish its long interview.
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Interview of October 24, 2011: JoeyStarr no longer fucks the police, he does them honor in Police, from Maywenn, where he plays a bigmouthed cop from the juvenile protection squad with his heart on the trigger. Already in The actresses’ ball, Maïwenn had known how to film him like a daddy hen with the voice of an ogre heckled by the children. With Police, Joeystarr takes more rank and eats the screen, equally at ease in the comic, dramatic or even romantic register.
By Stéphanie Lamome
First: What did you know about the brigade for the protection of minors before Police ?
Joeystarr : Not much. I knew the various facts, like anyone who was a little addicted to the news. When we followed the course with the police officers of the brigade, they made us watch a lot of reports to get us in the bath. Images that circulated internally or that had been broadcast on TV …
What did this internship consist of? It was quite academic. Every day, around 8-9 am, we met in a large room where the police explained the psychology of their investigations to us with their jargon, their postures. At the beginning, we had our heads in our ass … But afterwards, you have a little light that comes on because you understand that to be in this branch, you don’t have to be a careerist. In the hierarchy of police services, the minors’ brigade is the red lantern. They are not considered, they are taken for stash. They are not cowboys, they are not the Crim nor the BAC (anti-crime brigade). They are real investigators who have a lot of humor despite the lot of misery they see pass before their eyes. I have always been fascinated by people who dedicate their lives to others. I am proud enough to tell myself that these men and women in the shadows have been brought to light.
Was the fact that you play a cop well received by the brigade? They had two consultants on the set. When they said to their colleagues: “There is Joeystarr who’s gonna play a cop ”, obviously, that made everyone laugh. They all took me for a nag without an ounce of psychology. Apparently they were quite surprised. Despite myself, there were a lot of things that were familiar to me because of my “prison background”. Police raids, there have been some in my house, I know how it works. For once, it was useful to me!
Cannes 2011: Polisse, the “first slap of the festival”
Have you learned your text more that on The actresses’ ball ? The script was no more written. I know Maïwenn claims the opposite, but my feelings are different. What makes the strength of improvisation, of freewheeling, is the group. When you have locomotives like Karin (Viard) or Jeremiah (Elkaïm), it starts by itself. Everyone was great at throwing bullshit all the time because we were still a team of bloody assholes. Me, I’m just learning what it’s like to tell stories with your body and people around, I have no bottle. I’m just starting to feel like an “actress”. So, for me, it’s a team effort. The scene where Karin and Marina (Times) take their heads in the office, I was in the theater but also on the stage, both spectator and protagonist. Normally, you think about when to intervene, you wait for the right timing to be in sync, but with these two, don’t bother, they carry you with them.
What inspires you to have made all Cannes cry with this scene where you cry while consoling a child in tears? All of this, I repeat, is a team effort. The kid really started to cry. He understood very well the stakes of the scene but, at one point, we asked ourselves so many questions he was screaming. I have kids and I hate to let them cry. If you’re insensitive to that, you’re a rock, go live underwater. He got us, he got us in the mouth. At one point, Maïwenn said: “Cut”, but since there were three cameras, she must have winked at the third one, like: “You, you do not cut”, and she continued filming the time to go find the mother of the kid, who still does not calm down. I have a confused memory of it because it was a very strong moment for me, I had my head in the handlebars. When you shoot a scene like that and you come home at night, you tell yourself you’ve done something with your day. It is thanks to moments like this that I feel at my place in cinema and that I really want to continue doing so.
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When you see yourself on the screen, do you make yourself cry? I might have meowed when I saw this scene, yeah. I also meowed during the sequence of the girl giving birth to a stillborn child from rape.
Maïwenn wrote the film for you. Did that put extra pressure on your shoulders? No because I must have forgotten it! I remember calling my manager and asking him, “Why is there only me left on the set?” “And he replied:” Because you have the leading role, potato! I had never thought about it. After that, I understood better why Maïwenn sometimes had anger against me!
Maïwenn criticizes the actors of Polisse: “They demonized me, excluded, pointed out”
Do you like being the muse of a filmmaker? I’m not looking for this. I make music, it is cinema that came to me. I barely arrive and I am nominated for the Césars (as best supporting role for “Le Bal des actrices”), I go up the steps in Cannes, while in music, I have never won chocolate medals. I’m 44 years old and I tell myself that rap is still a prepubescent sport, so if someone calls me elsewhere, so much the better. On the other hand, I need to be directed. If you feel like you’re gonna be afraid to talk to me, I’m gonna fuck myself. I want to be a free electron in a film, but if someone puts a universe around me.
Maïwenn: “From Polisse, Emmanuelle Bercot began to haunt me”
We were talking about you for an interpretation award at Cannes. Would that have made you happy? To my mother, yes! No, I’m kidding, too. Yes of course. At the same time, it’s good not to get everything too early. In fact, I do cinema because my partner-manager, Sébastien Farran, told me for twenty years that I should be an actor. To which people replied: “No, you’re crazy, he’s unmanageable.” Except if I’m doing something I’m interested in, I’m not that unmanageable. I had barely been out of prison for two months, doing my market at 9 am, when he called me to tell me that I was nominated for the Caesars. I laughed and hung up. He recalled: “But I’m not kidding you! “And me:” Go ahead, stop, it’s too early, call back during working hours. I didn’t realize what it was, I had never watched a Caesars ceremony in my life. I went there, to the Châtelet theater. It hit me in the face, I saw the light, I went home. I’m too lazy to be open but I’m curious. Luckily I had a very flexible suit, if you know what I mean … What the fuck was that long! My ass hurt, my feet hurt, I was all in my Sunday best. I prayed that I wouldn’t win because I couldn’t see myself getting on the platform at all and spilling out. I would have liquefied in front of everyone.
Why do you mostly shoot comedies outside of Maïwenn’s films? It’s a register that I love. Since I was little, I’ve been watching Audiards and Lautners. I like the characters who have leisurely, the color of Chabrol. There on The Lords, the movieOlivier Dahan that I just shot, I approached Marielle, and I can’t get over it. I can stop the cinema tomorrow. Note, I said the same for music when I met Isaac Hayes… At the same time, there, I’m going to sign for a super technical thriller, a rather dark cop story. I am not trying to be the next Kad Merad, I assure you.
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However, The Lords is a big comedy with José Garcia, Gad Elmaleh, Franck Dubosc… And Omar Sy, and Ramzy Bedia. Who would say no to Olivier Dahan ? Who wouldn’t want to play with José Garcia in a comedy, frankly? And Elmaleh? It was good for me to rub shoulders with these people. I like the challenge: they thought of me, well let’s take a look. I think I have a very different tongue-in-cheek humor than theirs, so let’s see what that comes down to. So far, I have done a lot of films where I was surrounded by women. I felt a bit of an “actress”. There, I felt more like an actor, even if I have hints of femininity …
And the Beigbeder, Love lasts three yearss, that you also shot this year? I kiss my first guy at the cinema! Obviously, Beigbeder started by making me shoot that scene to gauge me. She wasn’t in the script, he added her. One day, my manager – always him – calls me: “You’re not going to be happy … There is something that has changed in the script, you have to pack a guy. “I answer:” Well that’s good, OK. – How’s that good? – But as I tell you. – But what do I tell them? – You say it’s good. »I got a little rolled in the flour with this kiss, but with my physique, it had to happen to me one day … (To laugh.)
At one point, you said you didn’t like the “Solex cinema”. You were talking about an arthouse cinema at the Dardenne? No, they’re still fine, even if I confess that I prefer the Coen brothers. The Coppola girl, for example, apart Translate thing, I find that boring, it’s too bobo for me. No, in fact for a long time I was the Padawan of a Jedi master named Beatrice Dalle. She would take me to see a lot of auteur films, and I would say to her: “Okay, when are we having fun?” Or when do we really cry? She replied that I was irrecoverable, that I didn’t know anything about it. One day, we even went to see Adolphe (by Benoît Jacquot), and I fell asleep. I snored like a big asshole. I shamed him one of those disgraces! Do you see what I’m capable of? (He wakes up.) Alright, hi. Don’t be stupid, I have a monopoly, I train hard.