« I like to choose the loser, in all sports »
Franck Dubosc was the guest of Dimanche Ouest-France, this week, on the occasion of the release of his second film as a director, « Rumba la vie », which is released this Wednesday August 24, 2022, in which he interprets a father who is passionate about dance to reconnect with his daughter. The Ouest-France sports editorial staff took advantage of his visit to discuss his relationship to sport.
The native of Petit-Quevilly (Seine Maritime)attended the meeting between Monaco and Rennes, in Ligue 1, on Saturday August 13. “I threw back the jersey of a Rennes supporter in the stands who had thrown it at me, and my sons were « escort kids » with the players », he slips on this subject. The actor tells many anecdotes which, since the beginning of his career, have attached him directly or indirectly to sport.
In the middle of all your activities, do you find the time or the desire to play sports?
I try to talk to myself, yes. There, with the holidays it’s a little more complicated, I have less rhythm, I let myself go a little more. But otherwise, within the year, yes.
What kind of physical activity?
I have a gym at my house. I don’t do bodybuilding either, but I maintain myself, especially in all things cardio. I try to do 1h15 a day. There, it doesn’t show too much since I’m back from vacation (laughs). But almost by obligation, at my age, it’s good to move at least half an hour a day. On the other hand, I do not practice a specific sport on a regular basis. Alas, since it is a fine discipline to have this appointment.
Have you practiced a particular sport in your life?
No. When I was young, I did judo, but afterwards I never had this regular appointment. I try padel, a little. But my date, now and every Saturday, is for football, even if I don’t play it: I watch it and my sons play.
Since a long time ?
The oldest, who is 12 years old, has been practicing since he was 4 or 5 years old. For the little one it’s the same, but he is 9 years old. They train in the summer with AS Monaco, which forms an elite team with several players from Paris, Turin… Otherwise, they play in the Paris region, at Olympique de Neuilly.
Returning to the lawn of the Stade de France was very, very impressive
Do they have this dream, like other children, of becoming professional athletes?
It’s not even a dream, it’s a reality in their minds: they want to be footballers. They do everything for it and are truly passionate. We’ll see…
Was it a dream that you, being young, were able to sketch?
No never. However, I had friends who played football, in Quevilly (he was born and raised in Petit-Quevilly, in Seine-Maritime). It was the great passion until the age of 14-15, then after that it can twist with adolescence, girls, going out… But me, no, I wasn’t really into it.
Later, you knew as a supporter the epic of Quevilly in the Coupe de France, when the club reached the final at the Stade de France against Lyon, in 2012. What memory do you keep?
I’m in the boxes, at the Stade de France, with important people from Olympique Lyonnais, and I believe that where I am, I’m the only one behind Quevilly! But there was a lot of tenderness on the Lyon side, because it’s the big and the small. It was a good moment, all the more moving when I imagine what is going on in the minds of these boys who are going to participate in a final. I imagine what a childhood dream come true it must be. It’s really Monsieur Toutlemonde who enters the field. It is very moving.
Is this the greatest sporting emotion you have experienced?
The biggest emotion, I think it is myself who enters the field. When we had done The Lords (film by Olivier Dahan, released in 2012), we kicked off France – Belarus. Returning to the lawn of the Stade de France was very, very impressive.
And then, when I see my boys play matches every Saturday, I am moved every time. My biggest sporting emotion, I actually think it was seeing my son with his jersey and his name on the back, at Clairefontaine. The first time I saw this, two years ago, it freaked me out. Suddenly I thought to myself: « He’s the one who has my name on his back, he’s the star »let’s say.
Seeing “Dubosc” written on a football shirt, is that funny?
It’s very weird, yes. I dare not imagine what it would be like if he was a professional player. I sometimes meet parents whose child wants to be an actor, and I therefore understand the difficulty of knowing whether to leave him in his passion or not. I won’t push more than that, but in a corner of my head, I would like to know this moment when it’s no longer my notoriety that eats him, but rather him who comes to eat me a little bit.
That it is no longer the « son of » Franck Dubosc, but that you become the « father of »…
That’s it. I would like to become the father of my son. That’s a good title! (laughs)
I like to choose the loser, in all sports
In your relationship to sport, you seem more attracted by emotion than by performance.
It’s funny, but yes. I’m not a big spectator of the Olympic Games, or this kind of competition, but if I have to watch, it’s for the emotion and not for the performance. In football – except when it’s PSG, because my children are for PSG – I’m often for the smaller team. For the emotion of victory that it can represent for them. I like to choose the loser, in all sports.
It is also the background of the history of lordswhose small club of Molène (Finistère), although helped by stars, manages to achieve an epic in the Coupe de France like that of Quevilly, during this same year 2012…
This is the story of these small clubs, a bit like En Avant Guingamp, which suddenly took center stage. That’s what I tell my children, who necessarily dream of being Mbappé. I tell them that there are also very good stories in more modest clubs.
Did the shooting of this football-focused film require greater sports preparation?
Not really. We had a little practice to choreograph things, but not much. I had a young boy who overtook me, I don’t remember where he played… Probably a Breton club, since we had filmed in Brest.
Your character, a bit precious and too neat, was he inspired by a player?
Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo. Not physically, of course, but in the somewhat fashionable side. An inspiration desired by the director, I had only interpreted.
When you go to the stadium, are you more of a spectator or a supporter?
By necessity, I support PSG. But I can be so moved by a goal from the opposing team, I’m not surly. I’m really in the spirit: “May the best win”. I was still talking about it on Saturday during Monaco – Rennes with Youri Djorkaeff, football is really very much linked to emotion. As much when 50,000 people applaud as when they whistle. We are at the show, and I think that the sportsman, beyond his performance, is an actor.
Play a sportsman, why not, but more for his life than for his sport
To return to the lords, there is a scene where I miss a penalty that we shot at the Parc des Princes, with 400 extras. They are all opposite me, as the camera is facing me, we didn’t need to have the whole stadium. And I felt how just 400 screaming people made a huge noise. The sound of a stadium is galvanizing, more than anything I’ve experienced on stage. When it is negative, it is comparable to thunder. In any sport, like the Tour de France, athletes are even more effective when there are people around. It is not for nothing that good supporters help performance.
Do you go to the Parc des Princes a bit? Do you hang out with a few players?
Yes, I come here a lot. I mostly know the former players, less the current ones. There are many foreign players at Paris Saint-Germain. When we see them with the children, we greet each other, we know each other, but I’m not particularly a friend of a footballer.
Are you interested in sport in cinema, or in fiction?
I find that sport in the cinema is very difficult. First, because sport is already very filmed, in a sporting way, and as soon as we start filming it in another way, we no longer have the same interest. For The Lords, it was very difficult to film football. There are a lot of films about football, it’s not easy to see it filmed in another way. When a sport is used in the cinema, it is more the emotion than the performance that will mark. There is therefore no need to show the sport, through a match. It’s more the human than the group. But it’s generally very difficult, sports films that work are quite rare.
You have not been marked by a work related to sport?
More by the story itself. If we take Billy Elliot, it’s sport, dance, and we are more marked by history than the dance itself. Sports films, without mentioning them, have always disappointed me a little. Because sport is sport, cinema is cinema. Then there is boxing, with films like Rocky. But because he’s the man, it’s not the matches that we remember the most.
Would you see yourself, as a result, embodying an athlete on the screen?
In one of my next films, I’m going to play an athlete who missed his career, a freediver, who we won’t see doing his sport. Play a sportsman, why not, but more for his life than for his sport.
Recently, you also sponsored a medal-winning boat at the Olympic Games (Camille Lecointre and Aloïse Retornaz won bronze in women’s doubles over 470 in Tokyo in 2021). How did this reconciliation come about?
These are the girls who called me, via my agent. I immediately said yes, because I found the idea very nice. I even signed him, his name was « Patrick » (in reference to Patrick Chirac, his character in the Camping trilogy). But at the Olympics, they didn’t want a name on the boat and they took my signature off! We went to Brest to baptize him, it was a nice request that I couldn’t refuse.