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Jean-Pascal Zadi: “Actor? I didn’t even know what it was”


This may be the film that saved us from confinement: “Simply Black”, a hilarious comedy released in July 2020, about a clumsy actor who seeks to unite black personalities for a big march against racism. Crowned with the César for best male hope for his role in this feature film which he himself wrote and co-directed, Jean-Pascal Zadi, 41, continues to chart his course, favoring auteur cinema.

After interpreting a zealous composer in “Cut! », by Michel Hazanavicius, and presented in Cannes « Smoking makes you cough », by Quentin Dupieux, he is on the bill of « the Year of the Shark », by Zoran and Ludovic Boukherma: a singular object which navigates between tracking killer animal and poetic chronicle of the daily life of a community in a Gironde seaside resort. Hyperactive, father of four children, Zadi is also in the middle of editing the series “En place”, for Netflix, with Eric Judor and Marina Foïs.

When we meet him in a café in the beautiful districts of Paris, he shows himself as his double on screen: endearing, funny, relaxed. And, under a nonchalant, eminently political allure.

Where did you grow up ?

I was born in 1980 in Bondy, in Seine-Saint-Denis, but my family very quickly moved to Ifs, a small town close to Caen. We lived in a house, like Bouygues. It wasn’t very small, but we were really a lot given that we are a sibling of nine children, and that on top of that, we welcome

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