“Hi, how are you? I’m super happy.” He talks like a Parisian (but is definitely not one), he loves to play, he loves stage and his audience. He repeats himself: “I’m very happy.” L’comedian Maxime Gasteuil plays at the municipal theater of Bastia this Wednesday evening and on October 27, then on the 28th at Palatine at Ajaccio. And he’s very happy…
Maxime Gasteuil is a very energetic brown that you can see the head close-up on Instagram. Since confinement, it has gone viral.
His recipe? his vantage point: he lived in Paris for 10 years after growing up in Saint-Emilion, a small village in southwestern France with 1,800 inhabitants. According to him, “there was not much to give a damn” in Saint-Emilion. Like his audience, he does not understand all the social changes that come with modernity. So he makes fun of influencers, Parisians, and the fashion world (among others). After his first show “Maxime Gasteuil arrives in town”, he presents his newborn, “Retour aux sources”. The logical continuation for him since “when you’re young, you want everything you don’t have, and there’s a moment when you come back because you’re sure that where you’re good is where you come from”.
In the middle of a busy diary, he tells Corse-Morningover a familiarity that has become communicative, his link with Corsica, with his father and above all with his profession.
You already came to Corsica last year, you are coming back this year with three dates, two of which are in Bastia… Is it a choice or dates like the others?
No, it’s a choice. The turners I work with in Corsica are sweethearts, there is Marion, Michel and… Ange, all of them are angels. They made me discover many places where I had never been. In addition, last year, I did a show at the Palatinu, in Ajaccio, and honestly it was madness; as for Bastia, I dreamed of doing the theatre. During my previous visit, I did Borgo. The room is great but it’s a sports complex so, technically, you play between a basketball hoop and a football goal. It is special (laugh), but it went really well, people were happy. This time, I wanted to offer them an evening with the corresponding place, on two dates, to have the same reception capacity as a year ago.
Apart from these services, what is the link with Corsica?
I am already linked to Corsica through my girlfriend who is from the island. Every summer, I am in Cape Town, below Centuri…
And what do you think of the Corsican public?
I rediscovered the warmth of my family, my education, generosity and friendliness. In fact, when people come and buy you a ticket, they trust you. Then it’s just a matter of not taking them for idiots. Which doesn’t prevent me – and, without having a big head, I know I’m good at it – from slaughtering them. And they make me feel good!
The myth of the Corsican public “not very receptive”, so you didn’t feel it at all?
Oh no, not at all ! Wherever I go, I have no a priori, but here even less than elsewhere. From Ajaccio to Nantes via Angers, I tell our lives, which generally affects people.
Exactly, don’t you have the impression that your audience looks like you? That they are essentially provincials?
The show really revolves around the most essential values. Which also refers to the way people live in Corsica. If that resonates, it’s because I talk to them about what they go through every day. We often say: “In Corsica, you find what you bring there.” Me, I bring pleasure and that’s what I get in return.
Does your audience still have a particular profile?
No. At the time, when I started, there were a lot of girls. Now, I have spectators who are my age and others who are my parents’ age, so it’s a fairly large audience, but in any case benevolent and relaxed. In my image, what…
On the networks and on stage, do you think you are dealing with different audiences?
Not really, I started with the stage and I’m stronger there than on Instagram. In fact, Instagram is my playlist, people can see who I am and what I say. But where I hook them above all is with my work.
Which medium do you prefer?
The scene of course. Instagram is the aperitif, and the show is the main course.
What is the main advantage of social networks for you?
Advertising I think, and being able to do whatever you want. Today, TV, you take a long time to get there, for your content to be accepted. On social networks, you get up in the morning, you have an idea, you start. And when you have a lot of people following you, you promoted yourself, with your own TV channel.
Is Instagram a source of creativity for you?
Sure. All my videos were born thanks to… What do you call them? The fads?
It would rather be “i baulli”…
Ah beh, i baulli from Instagram.
And if not, do you write with someone?
Yes, with my producer, whose name is Benjamin Demay, and my director, Édouard Pluvieux: PLUVIEUX.
Like a Sunday?
So ! He’s funny, huh, but he has a somewhat sad last name.
And how does co-writing work?
It starts with me and then we work around the subject. In this show, for example, my father is the source of inspiration. So, we talked about my father and my mother, my father and money, my father on vacation…
Does your humor come from him?
Yes… I do all this thanks to and because of him.
Why did you leave home? And why did you come here?
I left because I wanted to succeed. I said to myself : “I will at least make my parents proud with what I know how to do best, which is to say the con…”
Impossible to access this success if you stayed at home?
Yes, and then I had to move. I have Corsican friends who have experienced the same situation. They are very attached to their island, they are very involved at home, but they tell you: there was a time when we had to leave. What’s crazy is that when you’re young, you want everything you don’t have; and there is a moment when you come back because you are sure that where you are good is where you come from. Today, I went around, I met lots of people I work with… But, since the confinement, I realized that I could work from anywhere. Now, when I go on tour, I leave Bordeaux and no longer Paris.
Did the creativity you developed come from the fact that there was not much to do in your village?
Yes. What did I do when I left? I told what I had done before. We tried to fill the time with few things, with nonsense that made us happy.
It is very important to know where we come from and who we are. In the end, what you bring when you go somewhere is what you experienced before… My father told me “go, go, you’ll see”… And then, you see, I came back.
A favorite character among those you play?
No, frankly, I love them all. But I don’t cling to them for years, it’s fleeting.
You weren’t even haunted by Jean Castex’s “counting” (reference to a series of videos made by Maxime Gasteuil, based on the speeches of the former Prime Minister during the health crisis, editor’s note)?
Yes, but it’s the same, we did a lot of things with that. In the street, I heard yelling “Castex”… So, we still made an impression. This prime minister has done me a favor.
When you speak, you take care to split Corsica and France. Why ?
Because I know it’s not the same thing.
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INTERVIEW. Comedian Maxime Gasteuil invites himself to Corsica for three dates this week
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