For the fourth time, Gérard Lanvin has reunited with his friend Philippe Guillard, the scriptwriter of Camping, with whom he shares a passion for rugby. Together, they concocted I really like what you do, a comedy that pits Gérard Lanvin himself against a basic fan, the comedian Artus who knows his films by heart and is going to give him a hard time. In these roles of white clown and Auguste, everyone passes the buck and we laugh without asking too many questions. A former showman who fell by chance on the band of Splendid and Coluche, Gérard Lanvin pursues a fine career between cinema and, today, song. At 72, this southerner who loves the heat and the sun lives in Morocco. “There, he says, where he found kindness, a smile, simplicity”, far from Parisian society life.

Le Point: What goes through Gérard Lanvin’s head when he plays Gérard Lanvin?

Gérard Lanvin: I have fun while following the role written for me by Philippe Guillard, whom I know well having already filmed with him 3 Zeros, Le Fils à Jo, Papi-Sitter in duet with Olivier Marchal, without forgetting Camping and Camping 2, for which he wrote the screenplay. We placed more personal things in the story, about the life of an actor and his relationship with the fans.

Especially when he’s clingy, “endearing”, in your opinion, like Artus who doesn’t make your life easier?

It’s really a cannonball, moreover, it’s one of his favorite films of which he knows all the scenes by heart thanks to his father who was my first fan. He’s someone you can’t hate because he’s nice, generous, always ready to help. Finally, I can’t separate myself from it, and our duet makes all the salt of the film.

This fan story that sticks with you is part of an adventure that really happened to you, right?

Yes. I was leaving Stade France after a rugby match and I couldn’t find a taxi. A cop recognized me and stopped the first car to take me back to Paris. I ran into three nice guys from the suburbs who recognized me: “It’s Le Boulet!” That’s crazy ! They couldn’t believe it, as if I had taken Jean-Paul Belmondo in my car. So, not to pass for mythos, they strolled me all evening to introduce me to their friends. There was a lot of kindness and friendship in their attitude. The idea of ​​I really like what you do started from there.

You who are rather secretive, you are obliged to expose yourself, to reveal yourself a little. Complicated ?

Yes, but it’s Gérard Lanvin playing a character called Gérard Lanvin. I have nothing to hide.

The duets, you know well. With Benoît Poelvoorde in LeBoulet, Gérard Jugnot in Very Special Envoys, Bernard Giraudeau in Specialists. What’s new with Artus?

His youth, his vitality, his art of improvisation. He’s a phenomenon, a happy guy who spreads a lot of happiness around him. He represents the youngest. It’s a generational duo. We got along very well.

Does fame weigh on you a bit or not at all?

Not at all ! You have to accept that it supposes some constraints and obligations of behavior with the public. Many people approach you on the street out of kindness. I walk around with no problem. They say to me, “Hi Gerard! And we take a selfie. I’m lucky to be popular. Jean-Paul Belmondo, whom I loved a lot and with whom I spent a lot of time, is an example for me: spontaneous, natural, uncomplicated. People naturally came to him and he was adorable with them. And it took a lot of courage to be diminished after playing the invincible heroes.

In forty years of career, you have played everything: comedy, whodunnit, drama. How do you choose your roles?

I was lucky that I was often offered to play well-constructed characters. In any case, I tried to choose well, but I don’t regret any film I’ve made, even Angélique, which was widely criticized. No problem. Me, I disguised myself. I had a hat, a feather, a sword. I arrived on horseback. I had a young woman to seduce. There is a moment, you should not regret your choices, even if the films are not good.

In France, there are two genres of cinema: the Parisian and the other.

You say, “I’m an actor who doesn’t work a lot. ” Really ? Too big a mouth?

No no. See with Philippe Guillard, we have known each other for 23 years. I told him why don’t you make movies for yourself? I would do them for you. It’s true that the Parisian cinema doesn’t think of me. Me, I would like to work with the Toledano-Nakache tandem. Lately, Albert Dupontel wanted to hire me this summer in his next film, but I will be in concert with my son Manu. Shame. I would have loved to work with him.

Apart from blockbusters, cinema admission figures, particularly in France, have been falling for several months. What do you think ?

In France, there are two genres of cinema: the Parisian and the other. As in the United States, there is New York cinema and Hollywood cinema. So you have to be part of one team or the other, and you’re not supposed to please everyone. For me, French cinema is like the Cesars and their social events. People are there out of self-interest; on the other hand, obligation. I do not participate in it because it is not my nature. Caesars are useless.

However, you have been Caesarized twice, for The Favorite Son by Nicole Garcia and The Taste of Others by Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri. Not fun anymore?

It’s always nice that the profession proves its friendship to you, but hey. Seeing everyone biting their nails hoping their name would come out… Not for me! Even the words Caesar of the best… what does that mean? We’re in a competition here! Me, I don’t compete, I take this job more calmly and I consider it an opportunity, that’s all.

In your first album of songs, Ici bas, published in collector’s edition, there is a virulent song against the Internet “This imposed world”. Why ?

Because I wonder how to live and love in this imposed world? And how to live and dream in this connected world? We see the dramas that it causes… Me, I don’t frequent the networks or anything. My son Manu has created an official Gérard Lanvin website to avoid fakes. There. But I don’t care. I don’t even know how it works… I’m not interested. I’m part of a generation that did everything chatting, writing, on paper. When we send a screenplay, we don’t send it to me on a computer that I don’t have elsewhere. Me, I need to read while turning the pages, that’s all!

Hard to do without technology, though, right?

No doubt, but that doesn’t excite me, even if it does a lot of service. Sometimes I can’t even turn on the TV, it’s boring all those buttons!

What about social media?

A disaster ! It allows the losers to shine. It’s annoying. It would be better if it allowed smart people to make us smarter. And there, they are idiots who shit on you for nothing.

You wrote another song: “Entre le dire et le faire” in which you rally Presidents Sarkozy, Hollande, the Macron couple. Why ? Disappointed with politics?

I think it’s their attitudes that are wrong. Before, we had presidents to respect because these men had a respectable attitude. Which is not really the case today. They work on Twitter and try to attract as many voters as possible. There, for example, I saw Jean-Luc Mélenchon insult a guy who wanted to take a selfie. It’s distressing to have this behavior, even if it’s someone he doesn’t like. Today, the people have invaded everything, even politics.

Nostalgic for the years of your café theater years with the Splendid band?

No, you don’t have to be nostalgic. I think you have to be lucky enough to have experienced them. It’s an extraordinary adventure that the Café de la Gare, the Point-Virgule that we built, the Splendid. A time when everything was simpler. You could eat with 20 bullets. Today, we just have a coffee and nothing else. But, you can’t be nostalgic, otherwise you’d be crying all the time. It’s true, life was much easier. Building a café-théâtre today must be very, very complicated: the rent, the standards, and all the mess. We were a little open bar.

You will sing at the Olympia on May 27 with seven musicians, including your son Manu on guitar. You go from the cinema to the stage. Caught in the game?

It is an extraordinary adventure. I wish it to all fathers: to be able to play and sing with their son. We are eight on stage. With Manu, we have a real artistic collaboration. I didn’t think the success would be there; we are almost Gold Record with my first album, Here below. After the Olympia, we toured France at the blues festivals and the Francofolies de La Rochelle. Thirty dates have been scheduled.

You are very committed to the fight against violence against women, feminicides. Why does this scourge particularly affect you?

It just pisses me off. Look at the guy recently who gouged out his wife’s eyes and stabbed her seventeen times. You can’t even imagine so much violence! I love women, they gave birth to us. I was brought up with my sisters and I can’t allow anyone to even push them around. I became aware of this horror the day my friend Marie Trintignant died, massacred. Unfortunately, there are a lot of feminicides, and I think we have to let people know about it.

In May 2021, you publicly supported the police during a demonstration in tribute to Éric Masson shot dead in Avignon during a check. We see few or no artists supporting the police. Why you ?

I was tired of talking all day long about police violence. It had to stop. Me, I am a man of reality, close to the police officers of the Raid that I frequented on the shootings and who chose me as godfather. Elite cop or peacekeeper, I admire their courage and dedication. Police violence has become an issue exploited by politicians and by speaking in front of 45,000 cops, I wanted to say thank you to them and give them my support. Everyone has to make their own choices.

What makes you dream today?

Like everyone, peace. I would like chaos not to exist. I’m afraid to see a nut who can mess up the whole earth with his bombs. Before, there was the Cold War, it was more defined; today, it’s nonsense, you have a dingo who says to you: my plane, it’s called the apocalypse, my nuclear weapon, it’s Satan. I have a torpedo that can cause a ground swell 500 meters high. One wave, and there will be more from England! But the guy is in his delirium. I tell you: the dingoes are out!

I really like what you are doing, in theaters, May 18