Vincent Lacoste: barely 30 years old, more than 30 films

Posted Dec 16 2022 at 6:04 am

How long does the youth of an actor last? In the early 2010s, Vincent Lacoste was the teenager, then the young man, essential to French cinema. From now on, he no longer counts his films precisely. ” Between 30 and 35 “, he launches laconically. What is certain is that The Green Perfume, which comes out on Wednesday, is the fourth since the start of the school year; and that in 2022, Vincent Lacoste turned 29.

The actor receives in the offices of his agent. On the wall are magazine covers and a whole generation on glossy paper: himself, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Tahar Rahim, Stacy Martin, Anais Demoustier … French cinema is a popular ball where everyone enters more or less noisily. His was deafening and precocious. During the summer of 2009, The handsome kids, Riad Sattouf’s first feature film, attracted 1 million spectators. The film describes the emotional and hormonal pangs of a complexed teenager, who manages to come out with the class bomb. Sattouf was looking for the first anti-youngster. By dint of dreaming of a pimply badly in his skin, he ends up discovering a kid from the place of Clichy, ” with a sucker mouth “, he will write in The young actorthe comic strip that retraces this shooting (Ed. Les Livres du futur).

Although the son of cinephiles, Vincent was mainly focused on action films. He presented himself to the casting without conviction or particular motivation, landed the leading role, then a nomination for the César and everything started. ” From the moment I entered the set of ‘Beaux gosses’, I ceased to be a teenager, he notes. Suddenly, I wasn’t 15 anymore. I never turned 15 again, my adolescence ended forever. From now on, I will evolve in a world of adults. This sums up the whole contradiction of the “young actor”: embodying in the cinema and in the eyes of the public a youth which he himself has renounced.

Between 2010 and 2014, Lacoste made ten feature films and passed a baccalaureate which he revised, between Malta and Hungary, on the set of Asterix and Obelix: At Her Majesty’s Service (2012). ” I played a lot of hesitant young men. Characters who don’t really know what to do with their lives, grope about in this hesitation that many young people go through… and some of which, moreover, never leave. These ‘coming of age’ movies don’t echo my own life. I immediately worked, earned my living and I left very early with my parents. »

Through his choices, Vincent will also have reversed the order of what is called “vocation”. He became interested in films while shooting them. It was through contact with today’s cinema that he came to see yesterday’s cinema and frequent arthouse cinemas. If he dabbled a bit in theatre, he defines himself purely as a film actor: ” When I see a good film, I want to make one. »

In Nicolas Pariser’s “Green Perfume”, Vissent Lacoste is Martin, a French actor who will seek to elucidate a murder… in Tinitn mode.©Bizibi

Tasty adventure and spy film, woven with influences ranging from Hitchcock to Philippe de Broca, The Green Perfume by Nicolas Pariser comes at the right time. Director of Alice and the Mayor, Pariser followed a path contrary to his actor. He started making films after he turned thirty and therefore had time to think and dream about the cinema he wanted to make, the actors he wanted to film. He is undoubtedly the most erudite French filmmaker of his generation, the spiritual child of Bertrand Tavernier, if not in his staging, at least in his close relationship to the history of his art. ” When Les Beaux gosses came out, I started shooting short films. Few young French actors appealed to me. There were a lot of very commercial comedies with actors you wouldn’t imagine in a more everyday world. Vincent was one of the few I saw coming out of this register. »

The filmmaker remembers that Alain Delon distinguished the “actors” who play their films from the “actors” who live them. ” The actors are the virtuosos, chameleons. Al Pacino is a comedian. He, we don’t know who he is at all. Vincent is an actor. Since ‘Les Beaux gosses’, we film what he is, his way of being in the world a little awkward or out of phase. He really is like that and that makes him touching and beautiful… Which didn’t prevent him from acquiring great technical mastery over time. On screen, with his pallor and his melancholy, Lacoste sometimes evokes the figures of the mute, the graceful awkward people à la Buster Keaton. The time of an hour at his side, we observe him as much as we listen to him and we seize the spark which seduces the camera so much. ” This Vincent Lacoste was an introvert, stiff and soft at the same time, writes Riad Sattouf in ‘The Young Actor. But his face was funny. »

His face changes constantly and without warning. It is very different in profile and from the front, the bottom contrasts strangely with the top. “Great actors always have a physical particularity, continues Nicolas Pariser. In this job, you don’t get by just by hard work or technique. You have to have something stranger. When Vincent arrives on screen, something special happens. That’s what a movie actor is. » When he stares at you, Lacoste looks sulky. His mouth drops and drags his gaze and his shoulders down. And suddenly everything becomes clear! It’s like living this moment when a player mechanically inserts a coin into an old pinball machine forgotten at the back of a bistro. Lacoste flashes, sparkles, sparkles, becomes a happy child again under a Christmas tree. His smile wrinkles his eyes mischievously, to announce the weather: the storm of thunderous laughter, which Sattouf translates by various onomatopoeias like “khahaha” Where “Pff chihihi”. Then the door closes just as quickly.

In 2016, in “Victoria” by Justine Triet, with Virginie Efira, Vincent Lacoste is an ex-dealer.

In 2016, in “Victoria” by Justine Triet, with Virginie Efira, Vincent Lacoste is an ex-dealer.©The pact

This elastic side of Vincent Lacoste has perhaps often associated him with drawing. He began in the adaptation of a comic strip, before becoming himself a character drawn under the pencil of Riad Sattouf. We saw it in Goudurix in Asterix, Loloby Julie Delpy opened with a credits where he appeared in a cartoon… The Green Perfume, which takes place partly in Brussels, throws him back into the world of comics and especially Hergé. Colors that perhaps link him to childhood, from which he moved away in the second half of the 2010s. There are four or five films that represented a turning point. Roles that led me to different registers. I think of ‘Hippocrates’ where for the first time I had a job. »

In 2014, in the credits of the film by Thomas Lilti , he is still clumsy, lost in the corridors of the hospital, jostled by the rushing carts. In the laundry room, he asks for a blouse. We find him a too big one. Symbolically, he will have to rise to the occasion. ” And then there was ‘Victoria’continues the actor, which opened me up to sometimes more attractive characters. ” In the film by Justine Triet , in 2016, he plays a former tidy car dealer who moves in with his overwhelmed lawyer to act as babysitter and handyman. We can precisely locate the thirty seconds that will close a chapter in his career. He fixes his partner, in silence, approaches, kisses her and undresses her. Delicately, without shaking or hesitating. And when she falls on the pillow, at that moment of cinema, Vincent Lacoste ceases to be a “young actor”, in the arms of Virginie Efira.

The passer-by of the Sully bridge

Today, he has enough films behind him to have written more than one era: “I’m discovering what it’s like to have made films that have a past. Even if ‘Les Beaux gosses’ has always been a bit timeless, we wouldn’t do it again today in the same way. This youth no longer exists, I’m thinking of their relationship to the computer, to texting… It was not so long ago, in a bygone world. » In 2018, Vincent Lacoste plays in the first French post-attack film, the heartbreaking Amandaby Mikhaël Hers . When his sister is killed by terrorists he must support his orphan niece. ” ‘Amanda’ describes this period of general mourning, from which we are barely emerging. It will have a completely different echo in ten years. It’s a 2010s movie, a pre-covid movie. Recently, I shot in ‘Le Lycéen’ by Christophe Honoré. He wanted to film masked faces to set the story during the pandemic. Thus, all these films are part of the moment they tell. »

Over the years, the cinema has also tattooed its silhouette on the facades of Paris. “It’s my city, I’ve always lived there and I love it very much. I may go somewhere else one day, but I will always come back. » Instinctively, the animal that is the camera smelled that in him. ” Today I find streets, squares, places where I filmed, in various costumes and various characters. The most astonishing thing is the Sully bridge. I shot at least four or five films there, sometimes in a row. In ‘My Days of Glory’, I jump off the Pont de Sully to kill myself. In ‘To please, to love and to run fast’, it is a place of homosexual flirting where we are seen flirting. In ‘Amanda’ there is a long walk in Paris with the little girl and we stop to look at the boats. In ‘Le Parfum Vert’ I am at the Café Le Sully, opposite the bridge, when I learn that I am wanted by the police… »

Like his characters, we meet him in cinemas, bars, parks or along the quays. More than Parisian, he is Parisian “, nuances Pariser. Even in his way of speaking, Vincent is one of the last of this race, competed by the clan of sores. Listening to it, one thinks of the verses of Baudelaire, the greatest of Parisian poets: I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old. » « My first kiss was a movie kiss, on the ‘Beaux Gosses’ set. Then, almost everything that happened to me in life had already happened to me in the cinema. In the movies, I also experienced things that I will never experience in my life. For example, I was all sorts of students, hardworking or lazy… but I didn’t study. And this is also, perhaps, adulthood: understanding that our choices have traced a one-way path.

Of course, sometimes I regret not having learned all these things. He pauses. A long time. Then concludes: Finally yes, I sometimes regret lives that I did not have. And at the same time, what do you want, I love mine! Next summer, Vincent Lacoste will be 30 years old, and all that time ahead of him.

Regular meetings

2009, “The Beautiful Kids”, Riad Sattouf

After their first film, Riad Sattouf and Vincent Lacoste will meet again to Jacky in Girls’ Kingdom (2014) and comics The young actor (2021).

2011, “The skylab”, Julie Delpy

Julie Delpy will again call on Vincent Lacoste to Lolo (2015).

2014, “Hippocrates”, Thomas Lilti

Thomas Lilti will find Vincent Lacoste in “First year” (2018) and “A serious job” (released in 2023).

2016, “Saint-Amour”, Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern.

The Groland duo is once again filming Vincent Lacoste in Clear history (2020).

2018, “To please, to love and to run fast”, Christophe Honoré

Honoré finds Vincent Lacoste for Room 212 (2019) and The high school student (currently in theaters).

Vincent Lacoste: barely 30 years old, more than 30 films