People. It can be someone I know, have met or am curious about. Every person has a different kind of character. It's exciting for me to discover new parts of myself and to be in someone else's shoes.
Who are the people who are references for you in your profession?
First, I think of Ivo Van Hove, who directed me in West Side Story, and is someone that I looked up to a lot as an artist. Next is my fiancé Wesley Taylor. They both keep me motivated, keep me on my toes and make me a better artist and human.
What compliment would you like to hear or re-hear about your work?
I'm sensitive to compliments about my work as an actor rather than as a singer or a model. My goal as a comedian is to offer something real and anchored, that is unique and moving. I like to hear that they found something of themselves in what I presented, and something about their own humanity.
The city or destination that inspires you or looks like you?
I immediately think about Costa Rica. I have been there a few times, I love the country and what they call "pura vida". An atmosphere of joy in the air and something simpler. Maybe it is due to the gorgeous nature, the waterfalls, you can walk through forest and surf. It slows me down and brings me back to the essential. It's a beautiful country, people are happy and they love life.
I go through life guided by cusiosity, which is my driving force. I like to be curious towards people and things, to wonder, to travel and live new experiences. I'm always chasing something. It's what makes me grow and keeps me motivated.
Your reference project?
I'm only 26 years old and I don’t have a long career behind me. West Side Story has been the most challenging and it was incredible to work with Ivo Van Hove, with whom I had wanted to work for many years. I learnt a lot about my acting and what I'm capable of. I gained in maturity. This experience changed my life in a lot of ways and brought me a ton of challenges and exciting opportunities.
Do you have any rituals in your life or your job?
I systematically do breathing exercices before going on stage. If I don't do them, I know something will go wrong. And I am quite superstitious, for example, you never (ever!) pronounce the name Macbeth in a theatre, this brings back luck to a play. One evening before the show, a critic from the New York times was supposed to come and someone said the forbidden word. I had to make the team do exercices to reverse the curse. Sometimes I find a coin on the floor. When the head is facing up, a sign of good luck, I pick it for a second and put it back down on the floor for someone else to find.
I don’t like things that are spectacular and lack substance, things showy or extravagant but without heart and honesty. Art needs to move you, to nourish your soul. Or else, it's a waste of time.
A favorite place to find you usually?
I would probably be in central park. Now I live in New York, near Harlem, I go out and take the tube with my skateboard under my arm up to Central Park, to picnic. I love the pleasure to go back up to Harlem by skateboard, because the ride is simply beautiful.
Your favorite object? How much does he weigh ?
I can't talk about my three frogs, can I ? What a shame. I even took them with me to Carolina during the lockdown. At the risk of coming off as a techno-addict, I would say : my phone, an iPhone 7 (138g), even if it sounds terrible. I'm not attached to it as an object but rather to what it represents. My phone is a key to everything : photos, memories, relationships, information. It’s taboo to be attached to it but I prefer being honest.
Precisely, what has weight in your life?
Family, the one I chose as well as the one of blood. Education, to be able to learn all the time. I am never as happy as much as when I have the feeling I learnt something and that I expanded my mind. Art, for its capacity to inspire me and express myself, and nature that brings me back to who I am.
Your LE GRAMME objects, what are they? How do you wear them?
I have two bracelets, a 9g cable polished 925 sterling silver and the 7g ribbon bracelet in polished 925 sterling silver. Sometimes I wear them together depending on what the occasion is.
If LE GRAMME were a movie?
The first thing that comes to my mind is A single man Tom Ford. So clean and precise, slick and beautiful.