He is all life and light, and his rise is dazzling. Before he played a broken soldier for Tchin, Didier Barcelo embarked Benjamin Voisin in the Marina Fos galley for a forced but delicious journey.
luck alone cannot explain the phenomenal rise of Benjamin Voisin. Admittedly, for a first film, it is rather unexpected to find yourself on the bill between Catherine Deneuve and Grard Depardieu (good apple). The charisma of this young mechanic employee of the garage installed opposite the bar-restaurant of the great Catherine must have caught the eye of the professionals since from his second adventure, he evolved under the lens of the great Rupert Everett for The happy prince, twilight film about Oscar Wilde’s end of life in Paris.
The rocket was launched and the one who, even before illuminating the dark rooms, had proposed his own staging and vision of the Dom Juan of Molire at the Festival d’Avignon, began to string together the outstanding roles. Manly and toxic model of a softer little brother in A real manthen a young boy with a funny power who takes the place of a dead man in this marvelous tribute by Lo Karmann to the films of Spielberg or Zemeckis The Last Life of Simon.
is a treat
full of charm
After Ozon (t 85), Mlanie Laurent (The Fools’ Ball) and Xavier Giannoli (lost illusions), it was Andr Tchin who fell in love with the intensity of the man who, at the age of 25, has already received the Csar for Best Male Newcomer (Rubempr in lost illusions was indeed exceptional). In Feet on the ground of the one who directed Catherine Deneuve eight times, he will be David Faber, a young soldier who returned injured and amnesic from Mali, whom his sister (Nomie Merlant) wants to find.
But before that, from Wednesday June 29, Benjamin is giving Marina Fos the response in the very successful first feature film by Didier Barcelo. She plays Louise, a nurse whom her husband has just dumped for his best friend and who, victim of a psychosis, ends up in a hotel parking lot where a young boy holds her up for his car. Paul wants to go to Cap-Ferret to kill the lawyer possibly responsible for his brother’s death.
Along the way, they will discover each other, make unlikely (and often funny) encounters, change their respective lives, their musical tastes and, finally, understand each other.
Freewheeling is a perfectly mastered comedy whether in terms of script, direction or interpretation. There’s never a dull moment and it’s an absolute treat, full of charm, to see Marina Fos and Benjamin Voisin evolve together. An interview with the young actor is always an intense moment. He puts curiosity, involvement, energy into it: life, what!
What was the biggest difficulty of the role?
There weren’t too many of them, but we wondered if the public wouldn’t be pissed off spending an hour and a half with two people in a car. So it was necessary to make the lines sinuous, to change direction often, to confuse their bond: for Paul, is she a kind of mom? A possible lover? We had to sow doubt. And then we must salute the work of Didier and the chief cameraman who always managed to vary the angles. Otherwise, I don’t find it complicated to shoot in a car, it’s pleasant for an actor to be under duress. Whereas if we tell him, you have 150m, do what you want, he is quickly lost. When there are shackles, we play more intensely, I really liked having to subtract the work of the body from the game for a whole part of the film.
What does Paul have in common with Benjamin?
Ooh! It’s not easy, it’s often unconscious, I see what I had to get out of myself, what I worked on. I would say the somewhat bloody side, in the sense that she leaves quickly, and then, above all, a curiosity about the other. Wherever I go, there’s always someone interesting to meet.
If you steered a car on a whim, where would it be to go?
Already, we struggle a lot more than before to rob a cash register today: the two sons, it no longer exists. But if I ever find a crate, I leave it for someone who doesn’t have one. Otherwise, I would go… Wait… To Spain, why not?
Louise listens to Vronique Sanson whom Paul does not know. Could you give me three songs by Vronique Sanson?
Absolutely not (he’s laughing). As much as there are things that I had to compose, as much as there, I stuck to the character.
A few months ago, I asked Marina Fos if it was pleasant to spend several weeks in the car with you. I am going to read her answer to you and ask you to react: “Benjamin is pleasant in the car, out of the car, on a sofa, at the café. 25 years old, he is fascinating, ultra-smart, very funny and moreover, he is handsome. I very much hope to play with him again. I looked at all his takes, I did not find any only one that isn’t interesting.”
It’s nice as anything. There are stories like we could relate to love. During filming, I got up every morning with the desire to spend seven hours with her in the car. And if I really wanted to make this film, it was also to work with her, she is one of those who manages to navigate the most subtly between comedy and drama. I consider myself still studying, so watching someone like Marina is invaluable.
Do you ever have moments of withdrawal, like Louise, when you don’t want to see anyone?
No, because I have a huge chance, anxiety does not await me. And when she can show the tip of her nose, I see her coming, I feel the thing. I find that the movement, the fact of leaving, of discovering, is a perfect therapy. There is always a journey to be made, and it is not primarily the point of departure or the place of arrival that counts, but the journey itself. It’s something I feel deeply.
When you smoke in a movie, can it possibly be real weed?
Ah! Ah! It’s a funny question. Yes, everything is possible, but personally, I don’t like to smoke while working or work while smoking.
What did you learn with Andr Tchin that you didn’t know yet?
That an actor made a big mistake when he was preparing for a role just before filming. André conceives construction through digestion. The actor must document himself, work on the voice, the role, learn perfectly and then abandon everything to jump into life. It is undoubtedly how Depardieu became such an actor. When you have filled yourself with life, and the preparation is forgotten but present in you, on the set, there will be both the character, the actor and the man.
You’ve been doing this job for seven or eight years. Do you feel it changes you, and how?
No, it doesn’t change me, but I’m really aware that I’m extraordinarily lucky. This job allows me to live my life in the best possible way. To completely close, I had to do what I do: meet characters, discover places where I might never have set foot, meet new faces, work and then in the end also trust my instincts: c is extraordinary.
Since the film is called Freewheeling, I have a few freewheeling questions for you. I say a word to you and you tell me what comes to mind without thinking.
Ah! interests me. Go ahead!
Sine qua non.
When you want.
Coasting, 1h29. Theatrical release Wednesday, June 29, 2022.