Geoffrey Couët is one of the most popular actors in France. Young, sexy and talented, he seems to definitely know the secret of success. Recently, we saw him playing Theo in the Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau, which was directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau and won a lot of prizes in festivals all over the world. YASS Magazine was there and interviewed Geoffrey. For your eyes only.
What were your thoughts when you first read the script of Theo and Hugo?
I immediately felt it was a beautiful script, poetic, politic, romantic and sexy! The first scene scared me as much as it thrilled me, the hospital scene made me cry as much as it made me glad to act it… everything was intense! I felt I absolutely wanted to shoot it, and, also I felt that it was exactly the part I was expecting for years.
Were you nervous about the opening sex scene? How difficult was for an actor to pose naked in front of so many people and keep an erection for so long?
I think with a scene like that, you are nervous at the moment you decide to do it, and when it’s accepted, you just stop thinking and start working for this scene! Being naked was not that much a problem because we decided it was normal… I mean the whole crew was there and dressed, like in a normal scene… and 15 extra people were naked as well so… I was not the only one naked!
About the erection… there’s no rule and I have to admit that I will never be a porn star! But the camera was a “partner” that felt where she had to shoot or not shoot, and even thought everything was precisely described (I mean it was 14pages in the script!), we could choose the time we wanted to be involved!
Did you have enough freedom when you were shooting the sex scene?
It was a real choreography, so you act as a dancer. You follow the choreography, you don’t change anything, but you have to live it, to feel it, to make it generous.
What was the biggest difficulty you experienced in the movie?
The ending scene made me so nervous. From the beginning. When I rode it and when I acted it. My character is shy and he starts talking about him, and this time he is naked but not in a sexy way, just in a natural way, at home… I really felt I was offering a part of me for this scene. But Jacques and Olivier are so intelligent directors so it was made with tenderness and carefully.
How was the chemistry between you and Francois Nambot in real life? Did you know each other before the movie?
François and I met the day of the casting. We were very lucky because everything works well when we are together on the screen! When we understood that we had the parts together we immediately got that we will share this story and experience for the rest of our lives. I mean that in 10 years I am sure people will still ask me about the opening scene, so we felt very close. With François we have the same age, same career, same passion for work and challenge, so we worked together as new best friends, and it was good. I guess we have a unique relation together, as well with Jacques and Olivier.
Do you have any similarities with Theo?
No! I am sooo different! I talk a lot, I laugh a lot and I am not shy! It was so interesting to discover a new way of expressing myself with this character. Everything is inside so I had to write a secret text to make him someone that is not talking, but living it inside his head. And sometimes it was hard! When Hugo call “AIDS info service” I felt “Why the hell is Theo not saying anything?!”. So, I worked with myself to manage to understand it.
How was working with Olivier and Jacques?
Amazing! I wish every actor could experience it. Because they love actors, and they love to try different protocols of work, so every day was a new game, a new exercise. They love sharing and committing to the new generatio. Additionally, it’s good that they work together because they are two voices, so you can have a lot of information, pick what you need for acting from one or from the other or from both. I have to say it, I am so happy and proud that they are in my professional career and personal life.
How was the atmosphere in the first scene?
It was quite happy! Everybody was exhausted because it the place was small and hot and it was “physical”, but everyone was focused on the same goal, the crew, the extra, us… incredible energy and generosity on the set!
What is the message that the film conveys, according to you?
“A bit more of love in this world!”
Did you expect the big success of the movie?
I had no idea of what would be the life of the movie. Also, maybe to protect myself and have no expectation… but it is crazy! I mean the movie is all over the world, I travelled so much to present it, and we have, I think, 11prizes! From the beginning of this adventure every day is a gift for me. In 2 weeks I go to Taiwan to present the movie. One year ago I wouldn’t have imagine that!
Is HIV still the biggest threat in gay men nowadays?
I think the new generation forgot a bit about HIV, and that’s sad because it still exists and even with treatment it’s not easy to handle it! Jacques and Olivier are fighting against AIDS with their movie for the last 20 years. Maybe they are unique in this world doing tha,. and they do it with joy, music, poetry. They are activist of love.
Is falling in love risky and dangerous?
Yes, but it’s so good! This is the point of the movie. Maybe you’ll crash but it’s good to take this risk.
How easy is it to find love these days?
I guess the dating applications and the smartphones create a world of consumption. And, it’s quite sad. However, there’s no rule, you won’t find love, but love will find you!
How would you describe yourself?
I am a optimistic and enthusiastic person. ! I think I am also a lucky person. But, I create this luck, when nothing happens, I change my life, I take risks , and it always work!
What are your plans for the future?
I have some theatrical projecst as an actor and as a director for this year. And, maybe a few cinema projects but I can’t talk about it yet, so keep your eyes open!
The Greek version of the interview was published in Antivirus Magazine: http://avmag.gr/71215/71215/