Eastern Film Fans is proud to present an interview with the running man himself, a man who gave James Bond a run for his money and someone who regularly pays it forward Mr Sébastien Foucan.
Thank you so much for taking time to speak with us today and before we get to your latest film Knuckledust id like to just get some questions around your background and firstly how you become the founder of freeruning and how did that begin and become the phenomenon that it is today ?
It started in the late 80's with my friend and I, we started to play around and we had different influences but we came up with this fashion phenomenon known as pakour running and we did this just for fun but then we started to showcase this and put this on TV, which was channel 2 in France, to show what we were doing and that's how the whole story on the discipline started.
Its an amazing journey are Pakour and freeruning two separate disciplines was freerunning born our of parkour or one and the same to some extent ?
To be honest with you Pakour running is almost the same, it started with the idea of being defined but now its more of a mess, its part of human beings to want to differentiate yourselves but with Pakour running there is more things in common than things that are separate.
We got to see you as an actor and again the free running being part of your character in the massive box office hit Casino Royale how did that part come about ?
I did a documentary Jump London and Jump Britain in the UK which put me on the map I can say, after that you begin to be recognized and it was right time right moment they were looking for a person who they had in mind for the character Mollaka and they had heard about Parkour. They knew they would have a chase sequence with James Bond and how about this Parkour and that how it clicked and they contacted me and they wanted to meet. They didn't tell me in the beginning it was for James Bond it was only later I found out that I was going to be part of such a big project.
Did you have any involvement in the creativity of that opening chase sequence ?
Yes absolutely at the beginning the stunt guy had to understand what I was doing and I had to understand about the stunt world so you have to merge and I had to learn the acting and everyone has to share the creativity and you just work together. For instance when I did the jump on the table and the lift where I go down we call it 'Tic Tac' which we normally do up but it was my idea to do that down, basically it was something had in my head, but i didn't know how it was possible in a safe way. I was saying to the stunt coordinator there is a lift and a wall and you go down a level like Tic Tac and we drew it up like this.
After some work with Madonna you left our screen for some time was that more to do with taking time out to go back to the freerunning?
Between Bond and all the thing I've done, for me it was falling into the illusion of being an actor after James Bond and you have to do your pictures and the casting and spend alot of money on acting class and I lost my way somewhat, as you have to find an agent and for me I come from a very different background where everything is very simple and I was lucky that I got started into a big blockbuster but that is not what an actor is doing so at some-point I released that a life of an actor is not really stable and I have a family and I go back and focus on the teaching of my disciple and I create my Academy which is still what I am doing now. I'm very focused on that, promoting and being an Ambassador for this in the UK, then when I stopped thinking about the acting more opportunities came. I did The Tournament, Creators: The Past in Italy and then I had this opportunity with Knucledust with a friend of mine who gets in touch and says I would be a good addition to this and would I be interested. I was never close to many opportunities in movies but for me its about the relationships with the team and what is the project and for me when I met James Kermack there was a connection straight away, hes such a nice guy, and I knew I could do something because he gave me the creative freedom.
So you met the Director James Kermack and he said he had a role for you ?
For me its a collaboration and I know its professional environment but its a collaboration of nice people so for me meeting Moe and choreographing and such a great guy and I know when you do promoting you say its great but for me I come from a different background I dont think every movie will be the same but this one was good my relationship was with them was good, I worked on my voice of my character and I had to work on my line sit was challenging speaking in English and all the stuff with the gun I created myself, the talking with the gun was all my idea and James was very open to these things. This was fantastic for me and it was super cool to do and show something different.
You can see your won creativity and your spin on the character that's plain to see when you watch knuckledust......
To be honest with you this is the best character so far ive done, in terms of acting, because I know alot about acting but you never really experiment like Daniel Day Lewis plays with his voice and does all the research but Ive never really done it, ive done it for Parkour or the fight choreography element but not acting. With the character of Tick Tock I have all the ideas and asked James if I can do these things and he supported me in the collaboration, I really enjoyed the character.
So have you got future plans to star in anything what else have we got to look forward to from yourself ?
Yeah, but for me I am absolutely focused on my Academy (https://www.foucan.com/) with the lockdown and I need to keep my business afloat, but aside of that artistically im always open for new opportunities, but if anyone calls me,like this with knuckledust, then I'll be here and for me its all about collaboration and how I interact with Director and the production company and Ive been very fortunate with knuckledust. I have projects in the pipeline and one as the lead but we struggle with budget t etc but well see fingers crossed will see how it goes.
I've just seen that your Foucan Academy is in the Uk London ?
I'm based in London and I always say that I will go wherever the doors open and for me its a form of giving back, defiantly for me alot of stuff happening in the UK so that's why im here.
Finally the Eastern Film Fans question is if you were on a desert island and could only take 3 films with you what would you take? (It can be any genre)
(Ok at this point it threw Sébastien we walked through alot of directors, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Bruce Lee films and I find myself thinking maybe I should prep people before hand with this question but still Sebastian being unique and taking a different path, finding a different way, gave me these...........)
Casino Royale, The Tournament and Knuckledust
I want to thank Sébastien for taking time to let me chat with him and to Fetch Publicity for supporting me in gaining access.
Knuckledust is out now and our review is here: https://www.easternfilmfans.co.uk/knuckledust-review-by-jamie-matthew-macdonald/