SEARCH en hu ro

Our News .

Hollywood Gossip, New Projects, First Looks.
in Interviews / 25.02.2022

Superwho? Interview with actor and Director Philippe Lacheau: “I like to have the power to treat sickness and heal people”

Philippe Lacheau was born on June 25, 1980 in Fontenay-sous-Bois, Val-de-Marne, France. He is an actor, writer and director, known for Babysitting (2014), Babysitting 2 (2015), Alibi.com (2017) and Nicky Larson (2019).

Superwho? / Super-Heros malgre lui is a name of the latest French action comedy directed by Philippe Lacheau who also co-wrote the screenplay with Julien Arruti, Pierre Dudan and Pierre Lacheau.

A struggling actor who seems doomed to lead the life of a loser. When finally gets a lead role as a superhero named Badman, he feels like everything is possible but fate strikes again… Rushing off the set in full costume, Cedric has a car accident, loses his memory, and wakes up convinced he really is a superhero on mission!

The film features Philippe Lacheau, Julien Arruti, Tarek Boudali and Élodie Fontan in lead roles, along with Alice Dufour, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Amr Waked and Chantal Ladesou in supporting roles.

This weekend, in Romania, Prorom and Ro Image will release the comedy Superwho? and we invite you to read an interview with the actor and director Philippe Lacheau.



As a screenwriter, director and actor, what do you specifically enjoy about mixing comedy and adventure?
I’m a fan of adventure comedies like The Goonies, Romancing the Stone, and of course the Indiana Jones saga, which has a lot of humor in it. They really influenced me as a kid. You get drawn in by the riveting action and you have a good laugh, too. In our films, I like the idea that we are drawing in audiences with the promise of comedy but offer them adventure like an unexpected bonus, a nice surprise. It’s primordial to us that people leave the movie feeling satisfied and say, "That was cool. I got my money’s worth."

What comic strips and superhero films did you like best as a kid?
Actually, I didn’t read comics very much when I was a kid. I didn’t really discover them until later. The  first movie superhero I was struck by as a kid was Superman, played by Christopher Reeve. Superman is so fascinating that you want to be like him more than any other character. He is strong, humble, kind and invincible. Which by the way makes it really frustrating to see him get pushed around when he is Clark Kent. You feel like shouting at him: "C’mon, tell them who you really are!" (laughs) When I read Marvel comics, I loved Thor, probably for his badass side, for the Scandinavian mythology and his magic hammer. As for movies, I really liked Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, for the way Christopher Nolan depicted that whole universe.

Did you ever want to do parodies of superheroes when you were still a kid? Did you ever do that in the amateur videos you shot with your parents’ video camera?
Yes. I remember a skit I videotaped with some buddies when I was about ten. We interviewed Superman while he was flying and said, "Oh, Superman, we’re really lucky we found you!", and he replied, "You sure are, because the sky is big!".

After adapting Nicky Larson, were you ever tempted to try to make a “real” superhero movie, about a character with superhuman powers living in the real world?
Of course that’s tempting. Just like we sometimes had the urge to make our Nicky Larson adaptation a pure action film, even though our goal was to keep it a comedy. To be honest, I’m not sure I would know how to conceptualize and film a real superhero movie, even if I think I would definitely have things I’d want to show. The problem is, it’s really hard to do that these days, because you have to compete with American productions with budgets near 250 million dollars.

So you set out to do a comedy from the very start?
Yes, but the real starting point for the screenplay was the idea of an actor who is shooting a film and loses his memory. The superhero theme came later. I’d been wanting to do a parody of the Jason Bourne saga for a long time, based on the concept of an actor shooting a spy movie who has an accident while driving a stunt car. Disoriented and in shock, he doesn’t know who he is anymore. When he opens up the trunk and finds traces of blood, gadgets, fake passports and guns, he thinks he is a real secret agent. But the dark side and hitman side of a spy thriller ended up being too heavy for us, so we ended up turning towards the more positive vibe of the world of superheroes. We decided to parody Batman, to stay within a certain logic, since Bruce Wayne has no superpowers and has to rely on gadgets and mastering fighting techniques. That’s when it got to be more fun for us and synched up with what we like most about creating new films: living out our childhood fantasies.

The regulars of your troupe - Élodie Fontan, Tarek Boudali, & Julien Arruti - are all in the film. Does each one talk to you about new kinds of characters they’d like to play before you start writing a project?
We don’t necessarily talk about it beforehand, but since we’ve already shot several films together, we try to mix it up and play different characters each time, so that the audience doesn’t get bored. Sometimes the roles can be fairly similar, if it works in the story. In Superwho?, for example, Élodie plays a warrior, an action-taker, which is new for her. But the number one priority in casting these parts is to make it funny.

Isn’t entertaining audiences and making them forget their troubles, sometimes serious ones, a real superpower?
Absolutely. As a matter of fact, when people ask me who my favorite superhero is, I often answer Kylian Mbappé! (a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the France national team).  He inspires millions of people and fills them with extraordinary sensations. That’s also what counts the most to me and motivates me. Nothing makes me happier than when people thank me for that reason. It makes me feel great. At the risk of repeating myself, I got into this profession because I saw my parents laughing at the films of Francis Weber, when they were broadcast on TV.

What other superpower would you like to possess?
What I’d like more than anything else is to have the power to treat sickness and heal people. For my personal pleasure, I’d like to fly. That’s since I discovered the experience of parachuting while shooting Babysitting 2. Even if the sensations of flying are short-lived, they are extraordinarily intense.

Exploring the world of superheroes opened up new filmmaking possibilities for you.
Since it’s a parody, we can use what’s already been done and have fun twisting around the cinematography and directing style of those references to make them funny. Since the main character is an ordinary guy who thinks he’s a superhero, that makes the situations all the more ridiculous.

Did you include allusions to recent superhero films in the credit sequence to tell people who are superhero movie fans, “I’m a real fan of those films, too»?
Yes. It’s the same operating principle we used for Nicky Larson: the story and the main gags were made to entertain people who don’t know the 1980’s cartoon, but there was a second level of the story just for the fans, with very pointed allusions and inside jokes.
You can laugh watching Superwho? even if you don’t know anything at all about that whole world. But fans of Marvel and DC comics will recognize hidden gags almost everywhere, in the subtitles, the background scenery, the names and signs, etc.. The movie is filled with references, and when it comes out, we’ll see how fans react and find out which gags they’ve spotted and which ones they’ve missed!

What were the main artistic and technical challenges you had to overcome to make Superwho? into a film?
I worried about Badman’s costume, because the shoot was planned for summer and I was afraid of suffocating and being uncomfortable in it. That kind of costume is thick and takes a long time to get into, because as I had learned in preproduction, all American actors who play superheroes wear spandex jumpsuits with fake foam muscles underneath their suits. It’s crucial, because those elastic suits are very tight and compress your flesh and the volume of your real muscles. Luckily, the costume designers took very good care of me and slipped frozen shammy cloths beneath my suit to cool me down. That was really wonderful, because wearing a superhero costume all day long is a challenge. I also discovered the limitations of that kind of suit, because when you’re wearing fake muscles, a hood and a mask, it’s impossible to fight like you normally would: you can’t lift your arms up all the way or move your head up and down, and a lot of other kinds of movements become difficult.

Last question: How would you like superhero fans to react when they see your comedy?
Taking on the world of superheroes was new and exciting for us. Judging from the reactions of those who’ve seen it so far, they like the comedy and the way the action builds, and I think the last third of the movie works quite well.
There’s an effect similar to the movie Kick-Ass, in the way Cedric’s character ends up becoming a hero in real life, by fulfilling his dream. I hope comic book fans will laugh as much as we do when they discover this young man who thinks he’s a superhero and see how we’ve brought his misadventures to life.

Superwho? / Super-Heros malgre lui premieres on February 25 in cinemas across Romania, distributed by Prorom and Ro Image.




Read More
in Events / 24.02.2022

Superwho? – Now in cinemas!

The team that entertained us with the comedies Babysitting, Alibi.com, All Gone South and Nicky Larson, is now back in cinemas with a new laugh out loud comedy: Superwho?

Struggling actor Cedric seems doomed to lead the life of a loser. He's broke and his girlfriend has dumped him. Even his own father, sister and best buddies have lost faith in his ability to do anything worthwhile. Then finally, he gets a lead role: the superhero “Badman“. A chance to pull himself out of an endless downward spiral and gain his father's respect. But fate strikes again!

Rushing off the set in full costume, Cedric has a car accident, loses his memory, and wakes up convinced he really is a superhero on mission! Confronted with real-life adventure and danger, his true nature is put to the test.

Does he have what it takes to tackle the forces of evil, defend the weakest among us and beat the bad guys? But you can't just decide to be a hero, let alone a superhero... especially someone like Cedric!

Directed by Philippe Lacheau, Superwho? stars Philippe Lacheau, Julien Arruti, Tarek Boudali, Élodie Fontan, Alice Dufour and Chantal Ladesou.

“In Superwho?, there’s an effect similar to the movie Kick-Ass, in the way Cedric’s character ends up becoming a hero in real life, by fulfilling his dream. I hope comic book fans will laugh as much as we do when they discover this young man who thinks he’s a superhero and see how we’ve brought his misadventures to life.” sais director and actor Philippe Lacheau.

Superwho? premieres in Romanian cinemas on February 25, distributed by Prorom and Ro Image.

Foto ©Julien Panie.




Read More
in Interviews / 17.05.2019

Interview with Elodie Fontan: “I've been a fan of Nicky Larson since I was little”

Élodie Fontan was born on July 9, 1987 in Bondy, Seine-Saint-Denis, France. She is an actress who appeared in more than fifteen television and film productions since 1996.

Élodie Fontan started very young in French commercials for Nissan, Quick and Euro Disney. She gained notoriety in 2009 by playing Alyzée, Clem's best friend, in the Clem series, broadcast on TF1.

Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon (Nicky Larson and Cupid's Perfume) is a name of the latest French action comedy directed by Philippe Lacheau in wich Élodie Fontan appears alongside Philippe Lacheau, Tarek Boudali, Julien Arruti and Pamela Anderson.

It is an adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime series City Hunter (known as Nicky Larson in France) by Tsukasa Hojo.

Nicky Larson is the best bodyguard, an outstanding private investigator. He is called for a high-risk mission: to recover the Perfume of Cupid, a perfume that would make irresistible the one who uses it.

This weekend, in Romania, Prorom and Ro Image will release the comedy Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon, and we invite you to read an interview with the leading actress Élodie Fontan.

How did you feel when Philippe Lacheau came up with the idea of making a movie about Nicky Larson?
I remember that moment: I was on the train in a promotional tour for Babysitting 2. Like the boys, I've been a fan of Nicky Larson since I was little, and this idea seemed great to me, though none of us had any idea if we could get the rights. Especially because I did not know if I would have a role in the movie or not…

How did you imagine Laura?
I had a strong attachment to this character. The challenge was to make her realistic - which is not always easy with the manga characters, because of their gestures, while preserving the characteristics of his character. Laura is an impulsive girl, she has a very tough face, but at the same time she's very protective with Nicky, she's taking care of him. So she is very calm and she manages a lot of things, but she can also be crazy. Finally, it was nice to interpret all these different emotions. Besides, this is the first time I played such a character, and it was very dear to me.

Did you made some researched for this character?
Before I started the project, I rewatched most of the animated episodes and I never missed Laura's look: on stage, during lunch breaks or makeup. I was happy to go back to an episode every time to find the right tone or mimic of my character.


What instructions did Philippe Lacheau give you?
He wanted Laura to be faithful to the manga series, but to adapt her to me, so that she would remain credible. Because people who do not know Nicky Larson's world to appreciate it and understand her, she does not have to be too crazy. And Philippe and I made sure she never became annoying.

What she "borrowed" from you?
I gave her some gentleness. I wanted her to be very loving and very protective with Nicky, probably more than in the animated series. Actually, I think I softened her and made her more balanced.

Did you like the idea that she would bring emotion to the movie?
What I liked above all was to have a character in my hands that allowed me to use my all acting skills. Through her I could go from comedy to drama or anger, and that's a gift for an actor. I remember when I read the script, the scene where Laura understands that Nicky is sacrificing for her touched me a lot, and I can hardly wait to play it. But seeing it, I think it's actually a beautiful sequence that brings a lot of emotions and a different tone. The film is very rich, there is action, comedy, laughter, emotions, and that's also the memory I keep from the cartoon.

How did you prepare for action scenes?
I've been boxing for a long time, and I have always dreamed that this discipline would serve me in cinematography one day. That's why, when the guys wrote the script, I suggested that they include battle sequences with Laura.

Did it take long before you found Laura's look?
No, it was pretty fast, it came naturally. The costume designers knew Nicky Larson's world very well, and we had the same ideas for Laura's character. We wanted to be as loyal as possible, giving her a touch of modernity. The capillary part was a little more delicate, it was necessary to find the right color, the good haircut, which was far from me! I knew hair was important for the character, but I think the bet was a winning one, since I was asked during the promotion tour if I really cut my hair…


This duo with Philippe has brought you closer to him?
Surely. We worked long before the shooting and I knew exactly the direction we wanted to take. Nicky Larson is the third collaboration between us, and from one movie to another, we are naturally more "closer" on the screen. The other actors were the same: we are all very close, we see each other a lot outside the set and the more we work together, the more the automatisms are triggered. But Philippe is quite efficient because he knows what he wants, how to pass on his ideas and how to take us where he wants.

What is the most beautiful memory from the shooting of the movie?
The scene in the factory where there is a general fight will be memorable. Very strict shooting times put us under great pressure, because we could not overcome them, and the filming program was so busy that sometimes wondered how we could shoot all the sequences in a single day. So we were a little tense, especially Philippe, but it's a beautiful sequence, worthy of an American action movie!

What was your reaction when you saw the movie?
I was very proud, because I can say that so far this is my best role and my best film. The bet was not obvious from the start, but it proved to be a success. Besides, I was amazed by the music, extremely well chosen, by the direction, by the editing ... Regarding the actors, we were all very happy to make this movie and I think that's is something that you see on the screen.

Interview by Clara Géliot.




Read More
in Interviews / 13.05.2019

Interview with actor and director Philippe Lacheau: “Nicky Larson was one of my favorite animated series”

Philippe Lacheau was born on June 25, 1980 in Fontenay-sous-Bois, Val-de-Marne, France. He is an actor, writer and director, known for Babysitting (2014), Babysitting 2 (2015) and Alibi.com (2017).

Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon (Nicky Larson and Cupid's Perfume) is a name of the latest French action comedy directed by Philippe Lacheau who also co-wrote the screenplay with Julien Arruti and Pierre Lacheau.

It is an adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime series City Hunter (known as Nicky Larson in France) by Tsukasa Hojo.

The film features Philippe Lacheau, Élodie Fontan, Tarek Boudali and Julien Arruti in lead roles, along with Didier Bourdon, Kamel Guenfoud, Sophie Mousel, Hélène Lamberti and Pamela Anderson in supporting roles.

Nicky Larson is the best bodyguard, an outstanding private investigator. He is called for a high-risk mission: to recover the Perfume of Cupid, a perfume that would make irresistible the one who uses it.

This weekend, in Romania, Prorom and Ro Image will release the comedy Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon and we invite you to read an interview with the actor and director Philippe Lacheau.

How did you come up with the idea of adapting Nicky Larson for the cinema?
I belong to the club generation Club Dorothée and Nicky Larson, who landed on French television in the 90s, was one of my favorite animated series because it was a real comedy. There was also action, police investigations, love stories, but it was especially funny. Nicky, beyond making me laugh, is the best in everything he undertakes: it's both a detective, a bodyguard, a lovelace... the James Bond of comedy in short. Unconsciously, it was therefore a kid's dream to embody the hero of my childhood in the cinema.

Have you acquired the rights easily?
Not at all! It was a very long process. We got some help from Stephane Huard, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment France, who through their American and Japanese studio affiliates has allowed us to meet manga creator Tsukasa Hojo. Prior to granting our rights, the Japanese author asked for a right to read the script. After eighteen months of writing, I went to meet him, with my manuscript under my arm, full of fears. After 48 hours, the verdict came: he liked it! I was very happy because he found that the script was loyal to his manga creations, and he made the most beautiful compliment I could ever get from him -- that he would have himself invented this original story.


How was the writing process?
In order to perfectly absorb the universe of Nicky Larson, Julien Arruti, my brother, Pierre Lacheau, Pierre Dudan and myself (the same team from Babysitting) we analyzed 144 episodes of the animated series that were broadcast in France and reread 37 numbers of manga. But I also saw the various adaptations that have been made abroad, including a Chinese movie with Jackie Chan. It was important to see everything to refresh our memories, we had to recover the tone to write. The most important thing was to keep the universe and the characters.
So I found the idea of a quest around Cupid's perfume, a perfume that has the power to make you irresistible. But the real challenge was to attract all the new generation that follows us from Babysitting, but who does not know Nicky Larson. This required a lot of rewriting.

Why is this movie a very personal one?
He sends me back to my childhood. Maybe that's why this is the movie that I'm the most proud of, because everything that comes to this moment of my life is sacred. I was fortunate enough to enjoy the moments when Dorothee (the one who made the Club Dorothee show in France in the '90s) was on our movie set, and I watched her with a child's eyes, reminding me of the show we enjoyed in our youth. It was as if I had met a friend I had not seen for many years. Moreover, it is personal because it brings together my friends, my parents, who appear in the movie, and the names of the characters are sometimes borrowed from relatives.

How did you prepare to become Nicky Larson?
I was so motivated that I exercise for eight months with diets and training, and  I put 8 kg of muscle. In parallel, I worked diligently for choreography of the action scenes, I learned how to shoot with a Magnum gun, machine guns and other heavy weapons, then I dyed my hair. I remember the day the costume handed me Nicky's outfit: seeing me in his blue coat, his red shirt and his black pants made me feel very excited.

Was it from the beginning the idea to work with the same team again?
This is a question I cannot answer. It was an incredible opportunity to work with my friends and, as long as the public follows us, we will continue. This is an incredible luxury and it's great to see that from one movie to another some actors such as Didier Bourdon, Chantal Ladesou and Gérard Jugnot follow us and the “band” grows.

Newcomers immediately joined Nicky Larson's world?
It was interesting because, unlike some "special guests" like Audrey Lamy, Raphaël Personnaz or Jarry, who knew the animated series, the others had not heard of him. But they immediately found him funny, and they followed me with the same enthusiasm. It is fortunate that all these actors have joined us for one or two days because the scenes in which they appear have a size much higher than the scenario indicated. For them it may not have been a lot, but to me it was a lot.

Did you direct your actors as in your other movies?
With my friends I did not change my way of doing things. But I was very afraid, for example, to give directorial directions to Pamela Anderson! When we created the character, we thought it would be great to have her in the movie, because like Nicky Larson, it was a representative image of the 1990s. It was a real surprise that he accepted! And suddenly I woke up under pressure: I speak English very badly, and I did not know how to direct an American star on a shooting set. Would she do all I ask? Would she have extravagant demands? Does he ask for anything in return? Soon I got answers to my questions because the meeting was great! He did not refuse anything, because he was amused to play with his glamorous image.

Where did you shoot?
A little in the South, a little in the Paris region. The original manga is happening in Tokyo, but the filming would have been too expensive and it would have been strange, because the characters speak all French. So we decided to move it to us, but without marking the place. Like Gotham City in Batman, Nicky lives in a city that does not exist, and cannot be located. We filmed in Paris in La Defense, Beaugrenelle, but we added 3D buildings, and we removed the Eiffel Tower from some pictures... The only place mentioned is Monaco.

What were your sources of inspiration?
In the pure comedy, I have a true French culture, because my models have always been Francis Veber - my absolute master - Alain Chabat, Les Nuls, Les Inconnus and Le Splendid.
Among the French comedies of recent years, the series of Taxi movies were probably the most successful. But let's not forget Belmondo, including Le Magnifique, by Philippe de Broca. But this time I have to confess that I was more inspired by the American comedies, because they are very bold. The first time that I saw There’s Something About Mary, by the Farrelly Brothers, was a real shock. And I grew up with American Pie, these genres of movies that pushed the limits! This is an example for me.


The budget was important. Did you have any extra pressure?
When we pictured such a movie, we were scared at first. But to be credible, it was necessary to have money. I did not have the means for a Mission: Impossible kind of movie, but when the idea is to make a James Bond with accent on comedy, the bar is up. That's why we wanted the budget to be appropriate. So we used the best professionals, technicians who worked with Luc Besson and who did a great job in scenes that needed explosions, chasings and very realistic fights.

In the end, the movie is like you want it to be?
I am very happy, yes, because my purpose was to make the most funny movie and to mix it with action and feelings. And, thanks to my great editor, I have the feeling that I have succeeded.

Interview by Clara Géliot.




Read More