Jérôme Niel’s first show
You may have known him 10 years ago when he was doing music reviews on the MTV channel, before joining “Le Grand Journal” on Canal +.
Jérôme Niel has always imposed his humor, and his touch. A limitless personality who sometimes made you jump with his rudeness in the mini-series “The Tutorials” where he plays Camille, a crazy, disturbed man, who offers tutorials in all sobriety…
Over the years, cinema has entered his life and drives him today.
A month before the release of Quentin Dupieux’s film “Smoking makes you cough” where Jérôme Niel completes the posterAlouette became interested in his new show called “Jerome Niel”. The comedian is performing this Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Angers convention center.
What state of mind have you been in since your first tour date?
I am in a very good state of mind. I started in November in Paris where I had around fifty dates to get warmed up for the tour. It’s a new experience where it’s an hour and a quarter of live. Me, I come more from video where you can edit everything, redo everything. There, we can’t redo everything, it’s one shot for one evening. So it’s really a new challenge at this level with direct feedback from people. There, these are no longer comments under a video. Regarding the tour, it’s still a step above since I go from rooms in Paris where I played in front of 350 people, there, it’s more between 1,000 and 1,500 people. So inevitably, there is still a lot more energy to give and it’s exhilarating, in fact.
What did you want to tell in this first show?
It’s a bit complicated because I like to cultivate mystery. So you absolutely have to come and see me on stage. But, if people who follow me can see that I share things from time to time where it goes all over the place, let’s say it’s like me, it goes all over the place. It’s a sight no one will have seen before.
Is it a little bit what you do, finally, on social networks?
Exactly ! It’s the same DNA. Which means that’s not what I do on social media, and at the same time, that’s what I do.
The show was directed by Edouard Pluvieux who works, in particular, with Kev Adams and Maxime Gasteuil. Does that mean that we will find similarities and influences in the way of telling your show?
No, not at all (laughs). When I arrived, I already knew what I wanted. Edouard is a director who knew how to adapt perfectly to me. Because I think that’s also what a good director is, someone who understands the artist. So we work together. Me, I already had a lot of ideas and he adapted, he proposed new ones that I accepted and new ones that I didn’t accept because it wasn’t really my thing. He knows how to adapt and, together, we built the staging that is more like me. So it’s very different from Kev and Max.
Are there comedians who have inspired you?
No, I’m not inspired by comedians. I’m inspired by movies and it shows in my show. They’re movies, they’re cartoons, they’re fights… But I haven’t actually watched a show 1,000 times. When I watch a show, I don’t have more inspiration. When you see me on stage, you can think of certain artists, but my references are more films with Van Damme or American comedies.
How is a show prepared? Were you surprised by the difficulty of the exercise?
Yes, because there is a lot of fear, first of all. Because regardless of the community that you have been able to accumulate and who come to see you in the room, there is still the challenge of putting on a good show behind it. As you have a community, it’s not too complicated to fill a room at the beginning, but afterwards, there has to be a good show otherwise people will leave. So, I did seven full months at the Théâtre de l’Européen and my challenge was to try to put on a good show, that people understand the doss’ so that they can talk about it and that people come back. This is what happened but, yes, it is necessarily the fear of transforming the test. For now, the bet is fulfilled.
How did the audience feel? Are people surprised by the show?
People are surprised because there is an hour and a quarter of a show, so it’s not the same. And at the same time, they are not surprised because, if you already follow me on Instagram, you know it’s going to be a mess. Suddenly, we find this mess on stage.
Regarding the casting of Quentin Dupieux’s future comedy, Smoking makes you cough, there are many renowned actresses and actors. Is it, for you, a form of consecration to play with such actors?
It’s already a form of consecration for me to work with such a director. Because he’s someone I’ve been listening to since high school, since he’s someone who also makes music under the name Mr. Oizo. So I listened to his music, then I watched all his movies, I love what he does. So, when he offered me this role, I was really in heaven. For me, it was really a checkpoint in my checklist. So working with him was amazing and the actors, of course, great. Quentin works just as much with confirmed actors as with “beginner” actors or guys from the net. It has no borders, it has no barriers and that’s fine.
Interview transcribed by Mikaël Le Gac
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Jérôme Niel’s first show this Sunday in Angers
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