Nicolas Bedos sums up his OSS 117: “Exotism. Adventure. Transgression”

OSS 117: Red Alert in Black Africa will be released tomorrow at the cinema. The director told us about it exclusively, in January.

Interview taken from number 514 of Première, with Jean Dujardin on the cover (and the 117 films that will make 2021 at the cinema), available on newsstands and on our online store.

Incredibly neat and smart, crossing the clear line and Blake Edwards, OSS 117: Cairo, nest of spies in 2006 exploded the counters of French comedy and impressed by its coherence, its style and its comic springs full of nuances. The film brought out of formalin a local James Bond born in the 60s, restored faith in laughter made in France and definitely imposed the Duj as the supreme actor (in one shot, he played the fearless man of action AND the professional moron). Released three years later, OSS 117: Rio no longer responds put all the meters in the red. The satire overturned everything in its insolent passage and the game of massacre no longer made a quarter … The tandem Michel Hazanavicius and Jean Dujardin then decided to take the field. Fifteen years have passed since the first episode, and it’s Nicolas Bedos who is now taking up the torch.

The choice might seem strange, it is basically well calculated: his two previous films (conceptual madeleines) had revealed a formidable sense of irony (never preventing affection for his characters) and a talent in the art of revive an era or a moment. So we should be good at the design as well as the attention paid to the character. But then, what is this third OSS 117 will he speak? The pitch ofRed alert in black Africa is currently held in secrecy. We just know that the plot takes place in the years 1970-80 – in postcolonial Françafrique -, that Jean-François Halin is still in charge of the screenplay and that Jean Dujardin has taken over the costume of Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath. He will give the answer to Pierre Niney (alias OSS 1001) and we will find there for the last time on the big screen the brilliant Wladimir Yordanoff, who died last November. With such a promise and such a cast, it is bound to be one of the film events of 2021.

Something is wrong in OSS 117 3 [critique]

How would you define the character of OSS 117?

He’s a jerk. A great jerk.

In your film, he is also a hero of the sixties lost in the France of the 80s. So, what is the relevance of Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath in 2021?

Hubert’s relevance? There are not any! (Laughs.) But the relevance of doing an OSS in 2021 is in my opinion very great. We see every day that political correctness is wreaking havoc, more than ever. In addition to being a pure comedy, the film is an act of resistance.

In two films, you have imposed a unique world of filmmaker. How was it to integrate a saga and make the third episode?

It is a parenthesis in my life. I put myself at the service of the frankness and the dialogues of Jean-François [Halin, le scénariste historique]. But in the staging, the transitions, the rhythm and the movements, there are many aspects of my previous films.

The last time we spoke, you told us that you were looking for your Margot Robbie (for your female character). Have you found it?

Yes ! I finally found the ideal actress of Masquerade, my next movie. She is incredibly… everything!

You have signed all the music for your films so far. Is this still the case with OSS?

Always. I can’t imagine the staging without the musical composition.

Well, to finish and in three words, what will look like Red alert in black Africa ?

Exoticism. Adventure. Transgression.

Masquerade: After OSS 117 3, the new film by Nicolas Bedos with Pierre Niney in the cast

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