We met Gad Elmaleh for Rest a little – Exit Mag

Gad Elmaleh tells us about the genesis of his latest film, Stay a bit, witty comedy in the form of a family self-portrait. And reveals his debut at the theater at the TNP in Villeurbanne and his first one man show at the Labor Exchange. Encounter.

Stay a bit, is it a title addressed to your parents? You wanted to make the film for them?

Gad Elmaleh : ‘I wanted to make this film to talk about religion and I obviously had some apprehension. It’s tense to talk about religion in France, delicate, even taboo. I hadn’t imagined to what extent during the previews that I presented the film would release a word on the faith that makes people engage on this subject which they perhaps did not have not the opportunity to speak, at least not through a comedy, and often through unexpected paths. But I first made this film for myself, and indeed for my parents. The title is quite modest and melancholy. I say “stay a bit”, what my mother often tells me, but I would like them to stay a lot longer… It’s a declaration of love to my parents, but without any taboos. It is also a family comedy about what we have the right or not to do or say to each other as a family, with what we are imposed and given to us at birth. I am able to assume the consequences of my actions at 51 (laughs), in terms of religion and family, even if I am well aware that this is not a new theme. In any case, I am more capable of it today. I was not afraid, but I had doubts. Faith is doubt!

“I wanted to keep the homemade side of a small film, but this is my big film, even if it’s a very small budget! »


Precisely, your film remains a self-portrait but built in the form of comedy, with situations, gags and characters in addition to the spiritual path…

Yes, it’s largely an autobiographical story, but I wrote it with Benjamin Charby, a great screenwriter who notably worked on North ferry. We wanted to keep the homemade side of a “little movie”, but for me it is my “great movie” in the sense of the subject and the approach, so I really wanted to work on it as such. We wrote everything, the situations, the gags, the characters, but the dialogues are said with the words of the people when they are real. It’s the case for Delphine Horvilleur when she makes an analysis of the actor that I am and the Jew that I will remain. I discover it when she tells me, as I discover my mother’s line: “If you want to change God, change parents, get adopted.” These are his words! That’s why there was only me to be able to shoot such a personal, intimate story, but I wanted to keep it open by this construction of comedy, as I wanted to keep a neat image with beautiful lights and so on. I feel like it’s my first film! It’s vital for me, even if it’s a very small budget, I say it very gently… Too small a budget! (laughs) It reminds me of my beginnings and my history with Lyon…

“It was at the TNP with Roger Planchon that I had my first professional acting contract. I was very happy ! And it was at the Labor Exchange that I recorded the first show that made me famous. »


What is your story with Lyon?

The show that made me famous was filmed here, at the Labor Exchange (Offsets, note). And I started my career as an actor at the TNP with Roger Planchon. It was my first payslip, my first professional engagement. I was holding a candlestick as an extra, alongside Stephane Freiss and Isabelle Gelinas (in The Libertines in 1994, note). I discovered the city and the artists. I was very happy ! I had also done a residency at the small Rideau Rouge theater that I love on the Croix-Rousse plateau to prepare for my new show, and the Halle Tony Garnier, regularly. But my favorite room is the Bourse du travail, there is a really special closeness to the public.”

Stay a bit by and with Gad Elmaleh (Fr, 1h30) with Régine, David and Judith Elmaleh, Delphine Horvilleur, Pierre-Henry Salfati…

Gad Elmaleh on the set of Stay a bit with his parents. (photos Laura Gilli)

We met Gad Elmaleh for Rest a little – Exit Mag