(Jean-Louis) Costes interview by Fréd (11th, january, 2004).
Who is Costes ?
I am shut away in a cellar since 1986. I sleep, I eat, I wank and I play music there. I send this music outside as SOS. My musics are SOS from a guy who slowly dies in a hole, but nobody cares. Me too, I don't care to die.
When and how did you met Gaspar Noé ?
He called me to ask me for acting in Irréversible. He knew some of my movies and discs and he could see me doing a junkie faggot who got a hand stuck in the ass. This is what I am in real life so it's easy for me to play this.
In a text published in the quarterly Cancer (Beyond help by Costes), you mentioned the shooting of Irréversible in which you don't spare anyone. But what do you really think about this experience?
I was very impressed to see Gaspar Noé work and shoot himself because he's extremely passionate and he always tries to do better. The technique aspect was also interesting because I make myself movies : I played in a long-take that took place on three floors! So, something very complex to shoot, to light, and to record the sound.
However, I was sickened by the lack of rigour from Dupontel who allowed himself to disappear from the filming, to turn down the lines suggested by the director. His bad will, and his lack of professionalism were astounding.
On the other hand, I appreciated the energy of Cassel, his wish to do well, and also the two other actors there that day.
More generally I don't like at all the fake scandal and fake underground movie plug made at the release of Irréversible. I'm disgusted by all the showbiz, dough and starlets. The movie isn't particulary violent and doesn't break a taboo. It was weighed up from A to Z for not having any trouble by intending to look for them. I've been legally pursued non stop for my work for 7 years and medias and cultural background never cared, so those fake scandals from the showbiz make me puke.
We tried to censor you over and over whereas you are the incarnate Freedom. Is filming for a uncompromising film director like Noé a continuation of your art or a broadcasted way to make you "plug and dough" ?
We didn't only try to censor me. I'm indeed censored. Union of French Jewish Students constantly sues me since 1997. The result is : cancelled concert, my discs are recalled from the stores, press articles that pretend I'm a Nazi, racist, revisionist and even... a murderer! More agressions, more punches on stage and in the street by going out. I'm falling apart, I'm exhausted. I'll die from this but I will resist until the end.
Otherwise, acting in a movie isn't my work because I help the work of a director, even if I feel likeness between our works, although our styles are very different. And it's obvious that it brings more money than my concerts! Movie actor is really a tosser's job besides the energy needed for my shows.
After Irréversible, if Noé called you again, would you be up for this ?
It would be a pleasure and an honour. I'd like to have a role on many scenes, to develop a character and to make him evolve.
A huge thanks to Jean-Louis Costes for his availability, his generosity and his kindness.
If you want to support Costes : http://costes.org/
To learn more about the reason of his work: http://costes.org/why2.htm
(B&W pictures : www.homme-moderne.org)