INTERVIEW – In Julien Leclercq’s Braqueurs film, which comes out on our screens on May 4, the rapper Kaaris made his big screen debut. A (very) wicked role alongside Sami Bouajila, Guillaume Gouix and Youssef Hajdi. Encounter.
How does one pass from rapper to actor in a film like Braqueurs?
Julien Leclercq, the director, had made the video for my song Gucci Mane. It is on this shoot that we met. The feeling passed and he asked me to be on his next feature film. But I had to go through a casting, do readings. I am a fighter, I really wanted to participate.
Did you have a little “pressure”?
At first I felt the pressure, because it is another trade. But I was in front of the right people. I felt it at first especially since I never took acting classes. I had never thought I would be an actor, but I went there like this, with my guts, telling myself that it would work. I could not miss this opportunity.
Last year, you told us that the film was shot partly at home, in Sevran … How was the shoot?
Partly, yes. We shot ten days in Sevran. It was great. You grow up in a neighborhood and one day you come back with movie cameras for a movie. Cameras that are not reportage cameras. I’m proud of that. Everyone participated in the filming. People around me make up the numbers.
What are the common grounds between your profession as a rapper and that of an actor?
Rhythm. There is a rhythm in the cinema. We need to say the replicas when you need to be fair. The difference with rapper my profession is that the cinema is a difficult job: how to enter the character, the wait between shots. In film, you have to play a role created by someone else. It’s more complicated. In music, you write what comes to mind.
In this film, you give the reply to Sami Bouajila … Impressed?
It’s a size. This guy exudes sympathy. He has incredible charisma … On the set, I could not look him in the eyes as I am fighting the c ******* normally. There is something powerful that emanates from him. It mesmerizes. This is the class to infinity. It is so simple and true. I saw all his films but “Omar m’a tuer ” really stood.
What did you find most difficult in this job?
The face-to-face with Sami Bouajila. I had to be up to it. He was very generous and kind to me.
Do you mind if it is said that you are playing the actor?
It is thanks to him that I did not pass for a rapper who makes movies. It scares me because if I do something, I want to do well. On this film, I want to be talked about as an actor.
Did it help you on the set?
Of course. I was trying to mimic what he was doing. When you see me as calm, serene and I act, it is that I imitate Sami Bouajila. He was leading me without speaking to me, with eyes. His aura emanates from his benevolence.
You interpret a not easy dealer … Is it a real character who inspired you?
Not at all. I followed the line imposed by Julien Leclercq. He created a character, Salif, and he asked me to embody the best.
How did you build this character, precisely?
I do not know if I want to give my secret (laughs). I watched The Wire … It’s Marlo Stanfield who inspired me. He is THE villain.
Personally, what did you learn on this shoot?
Lots of stuff. Fittings, for example. This is what makes the scene longer. It was less the issue on the clips. The field-cons also. I did not know.
Since the end of filming of Braqueurs, have you received other proposals for the cinema?
I shot an American film by Pierre Morel, called Overdrive. I shot it a month ago with Simon Abkarian and Scott Eastwood, son of Clint Eastwood. I play the role of a villain, but a different villain from the role of Braqueurs. I have a role of liquidator nothing to do with the role of Salif, a city guy, dark.
What role would you interpret ideally?
James Bond. But it must be English. Or the role of an African president, Félix Eboué kind. But he would have to have a long beard and a very large skull (laughs).
INTERVIEW BY AMANDINE REBOURG