We no longer present Jean Reno: The Visitors, The Big Blue, Léon, Da Vinci Code. The 73-year-old French actor, still very talkative, is becoming rarer on the small screen. However, almost ten years after the series Joehere he is embarked on three new series including A private affair, a Spanish creation in official competition at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Always showing Who killed Sara? on Netflix, we will also see Jean Reno in the cast of All those things we didn’t say to each otheran adaptation of a novel by Marc Levy which should soon arrive on Canal+
You hadn’t appeared in a series since 2013 and there you are doing three projects. Why this return?
I was born in Morocco, I am of Spanish origin but I am French and I realized this thanks to Johnny Hallyday. We were on vacation together and he told me he wanted to be buried in Saint Barth. And there, I ask myself the question of knowing where I want to be buried, it didn’t scare me, it’s a definition of the story: I want to be buried in France. I learned French at the age of 5 but my first language is Spanish. So I wanted to shoot in Spanish and this project in Galicia, A private affair, happened during the first lockdown. It seemed like a good time to do a series in Spanish. In the aftermath, Marc Levy called me to adapt his book into a series and then the project on Sarah too… It’s really a coincidence to shoot three series in a row. It is not a desire on my part to return to the series because I am very attached to the cinema.
In the series based on Marc Levy’s book, you have an android doppelganger who can travel to the past with the ability to change it. Would you like to be able to change things from your past?
I am against going back to modify life. Life has passed, we are not going to remove our scars. I like the idea that I am perfectible and the android, who is my double in the Marc Levy series, is perfect, he has perfect erections, no wrinkles and I don’t like it (laughs). I don’t want to be prettier than I am. Finally, the person I look at the least is me and I don’t want to have an android.
Can a TV series or movie change a life?
Financially, yes (laughs). But to answer the question, no, it can only change the way I look at the world, at my friends. It’s people that change me, not my job. A film is not therapy for me. Playing partners can also change you, it happened to me when I worked with Javier Bardem, Tom Hanks, Robert de Niro, Gérard Depardieu. I take a part of them every time.
Can we impress the public with a TV series character as we do with a movie character?
Probably, but I don’t believe it anyway. In A private matter, there is a very famous Spanish actor in his country and we feel that he marked a whole generation in Spain. Someone like Mimie Mathy, who marked people with Josephine, is important to many viewers. But it scares me a bit to tag people because it’s a quick shortcut to bighead. Alain Delon talks about himself in the third person, I’ll call you back (laughs).
During the first round of the Presidential, your film was broadcast on TF1 and a movement on social networks gained momentum because the start of the film was delayed due to election night. How do you live with the fact that the younger generation, which was not necessarily born in 1992 when it was released in theaters, is very excited at the idea of discovering the film?
My grandson saw the film recently and he told me on the phone, he liked it, it made me feel weird because I don’t want to be aware of the impact of the film. I prefer not to look at the past because we cannot be satisfied with a balance sheet even if it is pleasant. I think I’m afraid of not having freshness for the future if I’m satisfied with what I’ve done. I love this job and I don’t want to stop so I’m wary of self-satisfaction even if you have to love yourself too (laughs).