Revealed by Patients and seen recently in Lupine, the comedian finds his first role in the headliner in Low Floor and tells his story
How do you get on From low floor ?
Soufiane Guerrab: In all his courts, Yassine (Qnia) used to work only with non-professionals. But, for his first feature, he wanted to change his method. And so I received a call from her casting director Christel Baras who explained to me that Yassine wanted to meet me to offer me a role. So I went to the meeting. And what is crazy is that I have a brother who is not in the cinema at all, who has never shared any of his favorites with me… except once. For Crunch… Which I learn by discussing with Yassine that he is the director! The coincidence was too huge! And in this first exchange with Yassine, I discovered him humanely before he told me about his project, listening to him tell me about his journey. I immediately felt in him a lot of benevolence, his love for actors, an incredible sweetness. Then I read his screenplay and I liked the story of this little thug in his thirties who gradually collapses. And Yassine was able to find the right words to explain to me why he saw me in this character. He told me that he saw me, from my previous films, as a bouncing ball (laughs). And that he wanted me to become… a pétanque ball! So the reverse. He didn’t want me to move, to be anchored to the ground. It was the trigger for me. This is a job that I wanted to try
It’s also your first headlining role …
And that helps with this anchoring to the ground that Yassine wanted. It changes everything ! It is fascinating to build and accompany a character over the length, in his privacy. Yassine managed to get the viewer into the head of this character, whose world is slowly collapsing.
LOW FLOOR: THE REVELATION OF A CINEIST [CRITIQUE]
What made you want to do this job?
I would never have imagined what is happening to me. At best the best, to make the figuration, out of focus, in the background, in an advertisement. It would have been my moment of glory! (laughs) I realize how lucky I am to be able to do this job and to flourish in it for 15 years. I have had ups, downs, I learn more every day and I try to move forward. Slowly but surely. It all started with a bit of daring. Even if there is a vocation in me that I was probably not able to apprehend at the beginning. Since I was little, I’ve been writing, making music, squatting in recording studios day and night. But cinema has always seemed like another world to me. Besides, the first time I approached a movie set, I must have been around ten years old, a security guard immediately came to me to tell me that I had nothing to do there and that if I wanted to see the film, I just had to wait for it to go to the cinema! (laughs) And I thought that was normal.
But how did your encounter with the cinema come about?
One night, to shelter myself from the rain, in Paris, I find myself by chance in front of a scene being turned. It is 3 o’clock in the morning and I begin to take the scene down in detail to my neighbor who, laughing, asks me if I am an actor. I tell him no! He kiffs my energy, asks me if that would interest me. He explains to me that he is an agent and he tells me about a casting where the director was looking for my profile. He asks me if that tells me to go. And I don’t hesitate for a second. I don’t know anything about it but I’m caught and this guy becomes my first agent! I am 17 years old. And there I discovered a world where I was taken care of, where I was given a little importance. And I have the feeling to find who I was.
And among the great meetings of your career, which ones have marked you and were decisive in your eyes?
Lots of casting directors. Their support is essential in times of less well. Some have followed me since I was 17! Otherwise, of course, for me there was a turning point in the meeting with Grand Corps Malade and Medhi Idir. They took me out of my usual job by giving me roles bursting with humanity in two beautiful films, Patients and Student services office. They know what they are talking about. They know where they are going. For Student services office, they even wrote me the role of the math teacher, without ever telling me about it before giving it to me to read. Mehdi and him remain for me THE meeting point of my career. The one that allows that of Yassine and to find myself in From low floor. And I repeat. I measure my luck which is mine.