We talk to actor Omar Sy and director Olivier Nakache about Samba
When filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano came up with the premise for their fourth feature, 2011s The Intouchables, they probably didn’t realize the unlikely pairing of a wealthy quadriplegic with a poor guy from the projects would become as big a hit as it was. $426 million later and it was the highest-grossing French movie of all time with $166 million of that from France alone. More importantly, the movie made an international star out of Omar Sy, who went on to appear in Hollywood blockbusters like X-Men: Days of Future Past (playing Bishop) and this year’s global champ Jurassic World.
When it came time to do their follow-up, Samba, a more poignant film about a Sengalese illegal immigrant trying to keep from being deported, they once again called upon their long-time collaborator and good luck charm Sy to play the title role. They also paired him with one of France’s most respected actresses in Charlotte Gainsbourg, to play Alice, the social worker who tries to help with Samba’s case while dealing with her own emotional issues.
While a drama about the politics of the French immigrant system might not sound like the cheeriest film, Nakache, Toledano and Sy have found a way of keeping things light with the romantic angle between Alice and Samba and by introducing Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) as Samba’s colleague and partner in crime.
ComingSoon.net had a chance to sit down with Sy and one of his directors for a couple of video interviews you can watch below and of course we asked Sy whether we might see his take on Bishop again, considering that it’s a character that he loved from the comics.
Samba opens in select cities on Friday, July 24. Check back next week for our interview with Charlotte Gainsbourg.