Farid Elouardi, Actor, Paris, Interview with the man on his way to becoming a mainstay of French cinema, part 1 of 2
With his strikingly handsome face, charisma and confidence, Paris-based Farid Elouardi is not someone to who is easily overlooked – a fact that makes even more sense when you know he is an actor.
Though not yet a household name, Farid Elouardi is well on his way to becoming a mainstay of French cinema, with roles in a range of major box office and TV hits, from the multi award-winning A Prophet, directed by the legendary Jacques Audiard, Transporter 3, written by another French cinema legend, Luc Besson, From Paris With Love (another Luc Besson penned movie) which starred John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Carlos the Jackal (starring Golden Globe nominated Édgar Ramírez), Braquo, starring César winner Jean-Hughes Anglade, and the hugely popular Strike Back – with an all star international cast too long to mention here.
Farid’s latest film, Nesma – which recently screened at the Dubai International Film Festival – sees him playing a lead role that shatters all ideas of him being a movie tough guy . Impressed yet? Creative Mapping was – which is why we met up with the refreshingly direct and honest Mr Elouardi, and over tea and cakes at the plush and fabulous Park Hyatt in Paris, talked more about what inspired him to become an actor, the challenges of finding an agent – and advice for those young actors following in his footsteps –
CM: Did a film inspire you to start acting?
No, I just started by doing theatre when I was at school and so on. I started to take acting classes. (Originally) I was at school doing something completely different – accounting – at the International Trade School in Paris and after two years I just decided to quit and start acting. Then I guess it all happened by meeting people… like with my agent, we just met (through friends).
CM: With so many actors out there, is it a challenge to get an agent?
It’s super, super difficult for everyone. This job is not easy, at all!
CM: What was your first breakthrough?
I had an agent, but I was too young, I think and not very focused on acting. I was travelling, enjoying life and so on. I left for Brazil one year for New Years Eve (laughs) another coincidence – I was staying at my friend’s place and she said let’s have dinner with this French guy I met in Paris. When we had dinner, this guy arrives and a second (guy) was with him – he was a young agent… and he tells me I’m just starting up my company, and I told him I’m an actor starting out – and we just started to work together.
CM: What the difference between acting on stage and in film?
There is no ‘cut’ in theatre, also the text (script), when it’s super-long, you better have a great memory! It’s memory training.
CM: What advice would you give to a young actor starting out?
Believe in what you want…. It’s been 20 years trying and waiting (for me), so it may take 20 years – are you strong enough to take those 20 years? It’s difficult for your head.
CM: Does Paris inspire you creatively?
If you’re an actor your everyday life inspires you. You get little things here and there.