On one side, Mehdi Djaadi, 36 years old. After a youth spent on the wire of delinquency, the native of Saint-Étienne, a Muslim convert, made his Coming out Christian a single-in-stage hit still played. A funny and delicate piece spotted across the Atlantic by the New York Times himself. On the other side, Reynold de Guenyveau, 30 years old. Like Baudouin, Catholic in a raised collar polo shirt and boat shoes that Djaadi caricatures without malice in Coming out, Reynold was – well – born in Versailles. Last of a family of five children, passed through scouting and the service of the liturgy. “Classic”, Reynold smiles. But despite the sailor sweater with three buttons on the shoulder that he was wearing on the day of our interview, the comparison with Baudouin stops there.
How lucky were the two men to meet one day? On paper, none. Except that the Good Lord comes to put his two cents in it. And let the theater come on stage. Without Djaadi the prolo, Reynold the aristo would never have put on the clergyman of Father Benjamin, the ecclesiastic “hero” of Monsieur the priest is having a fita piece taken from the eponymous novel written by journalist Jean Mercier (1). “I wasn’t sure I wanted to take part in a Christian project”, explains the young actor, aware of the dangers that the Catholic label can pose to a beginner artistic career. But the presence of Djaadi, director of the project, and his notoriety outside confessional spheres convinced Guenyveau. He auditions for the play. And is retained.
It took time for the young man, married and father of a little boy (“an oddity among the actors I meet”), to recognize in him what “need to take the light and express yourself on stage”. Barely two years of CDI in the marketing department of a car manufacturer that already Reynold feels that he is going in circles and anguish in front of the specter of a career traced in advance. In 2016, a friend challenges his gloom: “And if we took acting lessons? » The buddy in question will back off; Guenyveau ends up knocking on the door of actors who have become teachers. These, to his great surprise, did not discourage him from advancing in the art of comedy. On the contrary. “Having worked with many priests since my childhood helped me to understand the role”resumes Reynold about the piece, before adding: “Dressing in their clothes is weird; as if a foreign body enveloped me. »
When he mimes a confession on stage, the young man finds the gestures made by his own spiritual father who has become a friend over the years. In contact with him, the actor continues to “developing one’s relationship with God”. In the skin of Father Benjamin, he can wonder about the ﬁgure of the priest. “We live in difficult times”whispers the Catholic. “As faithful, we feel a bit like in a company when things aren’t going very well with the management. » And to launch an appeal for reciprocal benevolence: “Faithful, watch out for our priests: they are not robots. And priests, don’t fall asleep: the world is moving! »
(1) All dates and reservations on the site premierepartiemusic.com.