(AFP) – In “Suprêmes”, in theaters Wednesday, Theo Christine and Sandor Funtek give everything to interpret two legends of rap, the founders of NTM, a daring bet that puts these two young actors in orbit.
“These guys are two little challengers who have long teeth but do not scratch the floor”, explains to AFP JoeyStarr, now fifty-year-old leader of the group, to present the one who embodies him on the screen, Theo, and his sidekick Sandor, who plays Kool Shen.
Leaning on the sofa of a Parisian palace, with whiskey and white wine, Theo and Sandor seem as inseparable as the two rappers were at their beginnings.
Sandor (pronounced “Chandor”) is the older of the two, 31 years old, and already two appearances in Palme d’Or: “Dheepan” and “La vie d’Adèle”. He has the look and the relaxed attitude of the young premier, a false air of Tahar Rahim at the dawn of his career, and is undermined in Dior from head to toe.
Theo, 25, is less loud in interview than on screen, where he has the heavy task of interpreting the explosive JoeyStarr. Sporty build and haircut shaved on the sides, he was seen in two seasons of the series for teenagers “Skam”.
The filming of “Suprêmes” transformed them: “It looks like they made Vietnam, it’s more the same”, assures JoeyStarr.
“We merged” during the shooting of the first live scenes – a concert they played “like a real one”, confides Theo.
This is also one of the strengths of the film, which traces the first steps of the group, from its founding in Seine-Saint-Denis to the first Zenith: restoring the creative (and sometimes destructive) energy of NTM on stage, in provincial MJC tours or during improvisations in the city. Besides “Suprêmes”, the debut of NTM will also be at the heart of an Arte series (in association with Netflix) next year, “The world of tomorrow”.
– “We lived NTM” –
For the film, director Audrey Estrougo auditioned over a hundred young people and hesitated to entrust the roles to rappers.
“It took a year of rehearsals and work, on singing, rap, attitude – for example, in the 1990s, we do not walk the same,” she told AFP. “They also had to work on the game, the definition of the characters.”
“These little idiots have lived our history! You see them living on the screen the kiff that it could have been for us to do a tour, a Zenith … They lived it in summary, but they lived it “JoeyStarr laughs.
“We worked like crazy, we ate and we lived NTM all day,” says Sandor. During the casting, “I arrived in much too cliché mode, I don’t give a fuck: hands in my pockets, I answer quickly …”, laughs Theo.
On the screen, the actor, who “did not grow up in the city or with hip-hop”, is a ball of explosive and surly energy, which manages to make forget the “real” JoeyStarr.
His childhood was bathed in the waves, in Martinique and Vendée. He will have to give up his dream of a professional surfer career. “I wanted to do something not trivial, and be recognized for what I would do”: it will ultimately be an actor.
Sandor grew up between Hungary and France. “My father was an actor, my mother is an author. But in my childhood, I was in the total refusal of this life, of the galleys of sorrel that it implied when it does not roll”.
Yet in high school, the “lifestyle attraction” of cinema, “cultivated and colorful people” is stronger.
For the rest, Sandor dreams of filming with his “great heroes of youth”: Lars von Trier, Gus van Sant, Christopher Nolan. Théo says he is “quite connected (by) young directors”, to bring something new, to revolutionize all that “.