Asterix and Obelix – Mission Cleopatra: how the film brought Gérard Darmo out of depression

He is one of the stars of the great classic “Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra”, and this experience brought him out of a depression. At that time, involved in a bad private and professional leave, Gérard Darmon really had the good idea to call Alain Chabat, to find out if he could trust him with a small role…

When Alain Chabat makes everyone agree

with Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatrareleased in January 2002, Alain Chabat stands out as a great French author and director. A status that spread its wings after all the work done with Les Nuls, his performances as an actor and screenwriter and his first film Didierreleased in 1997. At the head of this colossal project (budget of 50 million euros), Alain Chabat succeeds. a brilliant comedya model of its kind still unequaled.

Its compelling cast has a field day and even Christian keyboard, who only half succeeds in his Asterix, takes the light there. Funny, spectacular, built in a second degree respecting the references from which it is inspired, perfectly measuring the recruited cameos, comedy Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra pleases the critics and the public who invest the rooms in the number (14.5 million entries in France).

Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra ©Pathé

This adventure of the famous Asterix and Obelix, the second feature film in live action after Asterix and Obelix against Caesar, therefore it makes people happy. And among them, one of the actors of the film, who succeeds in the second role to the point of realization one of the film’s most iconic characters : Gerard Darmon. This one, in the role of Amonbofi, the “enemy” architect of Numérobis, really shines with his every appearance and his lines of dialogue have become cult.

Punctilious associate of Les Nuls, unforgettable in City of Fear, Gérard Darmon can be grateful to Alain Chabat. Actually, with City of Fearit is fully revealed in talented comic actor, the one who basically made a name for himself in the dramatic genre. And for Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatrawhile he was depressed and going through a bad patchhis participation in Alain Chabat’s film transformed him.

“My life would fall apart after a breakup”

It’s like that inside Paris Match columns in February 2022 that the actor told him the conditions of its disposaland his working relationship with Jamel Debbouze. At the time, the actor was going through a difficult breakup at the end of a five-year relationship with the actress. Mathilda May. At the bottom of the hole, overcome by depression, he decides to contact Alain Chabat to find out if he could take one of the roles ofAsterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra.

My life was falling apart after a breakup. (…) I’m coming back (to the cinema, editor’s note) with “Asterix” but I’m still in a mess. Alain does not know my personal situation when I call him. I go to see him and he makes me read something small. He lowers his nose a little: “Well, there’s not much to hit.” There wasn’t even anything. But I’m in such a storm that I need to get some fresh air. So I’m going to Morocco to shoot. My deal with Jamel is that my character Amonbofi becomes the mascot of the movie. And after that we will make 15 million admissions…

Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra
Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra ©Pathé

Indeed, and this is the magic of which a director like Alain Chabat and invested actors are capable, the understanding is such between Jamel Debbouze and Gérard Darmon that both are nominated for César Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2003. A rebirth for Gérard Darmon, who has since distinguished himself mainly in the register of comedy.

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