The French actor who became a star thanks to the success of ‘Untouchable’ stars in a new revision of Arséne Lupine. “Recovering it is a new way of showing a new face of France and the French”
Today the series Lupine, the white-gloved thief that Maurice Leblanc created a century ago and that in this contemporary version embodies the actor Omar Sy, arrives on Netflix. The choice of the protagonist is not trivial: a decade ago the French interpreter rose to world fame as the protagonist of Intocable, an astonishing box office success that with a budget of less than 10 million euros raised more than 420 million worldwide, becoming the most successful French film in the history of France with almost 52 million viewers and beating the famous Amélie. «I think the fact that I am here, with this series, comes from there. Untouchable changed my life completely, “says Sy. “I was the same guy, but after that movie the world started to see me differently, which gave me the opportunity to do a lot of new things. So I am very grateful and happy, “says the actor.
To recap, Sy entered show business in the late 1990s as a comedian, first on radio and later on French television. After participating in some films in the 2000s, Intocable (2011) established him as an actor. In this emotional comedy drama based on true events, he played Driss, an affable immigrant from a slum who just got out of jail begins to care for a quadriplegic millionaire aristocrat.
In 2012, the year in which Sy won the César award for best actor and was voted Favorite Personality of the French by the Journal du dimanche, he moved to Los Angeles, becoming a regular at Blockbusters as X-Men also participating in Days of the Future past (2014), JurassicWorld (2015), Inferno (2016) or Transformers: The last knight (2017), in the latter case as the voice of one of the autobots. Conquered Hollywood, the actor now launches into streaming as the new incarnation of the charismatic thief.
Lupine can be anyone. And for me, recovering this character and interpreting him is a way of showing a new face of France and of the French today ”, Sy tells about the decision to put a black actor at the forefront of fiction. «It is a way of showing the current reality of our country to the world. And personally it is a lot of fun to do it: as an actor he is the perfect toy because he has comedy, drama and action.
About the adaptation, Netflix’s Lupine tells the story of Assane Diop, a teenager whose life is cut short when his father dies after being accused of a crime that he had not committed. 25 years later, and already in the present, Assane decides to seek revenge inspired by Arsène Lupine, a character created by Leblanc in 1905. “At first he wears a long cape like Batman, so we had that reference in mind,” confesses Sy about the obvious parallelism between the origins of the two heroes. Although he also quotes James Bond for the elegance of his character and the action scenes.
“With my experience in life and as an actor, I think this is the right time for me to play Lupine. He is a complex character with many nuances, a son seeking revenge for his father and a father who wants to take care of his son. He is always struggling between those two goals and must find the balance, “explains Sy. “Lupine is not perfect, but he is not bad either, and I love that because everyone is like that. In addition, he also plays other characters, which was also very interesting, “he adds about the popular master of disguise, the protagonist of more than 50 novels and short stories by Leblanc, apart from the multitude of comics, manga, television series and later films.
Sy was born in France, in the commune of Trappes, on January 20, 1978. His father, a Senegalese worker, and his mother, a Mauritanian cleaner, raised eight children. And about to turn 43, the actor is aware of the reference that may be for many viewers, although he assures that it is not something that particularly worries him. “Today we have more diversity in Hollywood and we are starting to have it in France, which is fine, but not enough. We still have a lot of work to do. Every role that I can play is a step forward for young people. But it’s not something I keep in mind, it’s something I think about when I start giving interviews, ”he explains.
Welcome the new Lupine. That preserves things from the classic Arséne Lupine, but open to diversity and a richer and more multicultural future.