“He went beyond what we imagined”: why did Grand Corps Malade choose Tahar Rahim to play Aznavour?

The biopic on Charles Aznavour is revealed a little, a year before its release. Grand Corps Malade, its co-director with Mehdi Idir, talks about Tahar Rahim’s work on Monsieur Aznavour, in a long interview for RTL.

The biopic genre is on the rise in France: while Tapie has just landed on Netflix, and we are about to see the surge of Bernadette (fantasized and offbeat biopic by Bernadette Chirac), Flo (on Florence Arthaud) and L Abbé Pierre soon in the cinema, another biopic event is progressing quickly: Monsieur Aznavour!

In a little over a year, the film recounting the singer’s rise will arrive in cinemas, precisely on October 23, 2024. Filming of the film is not quite finished yet. But on the occasion of the promotion of his new single, Grand Corps Malade lent himself to long confidences at the microphone of RTL.

His new single Hold back your dreams

The film Monsieur Aznavour has been intriguing since it was announced, and for the first time, Grand Corps Malade reveals a little more about its behind the scenes.

[Charles Aznavour] died just as we were about to start the project, even though he was doing very well. It was really unexpected. We didn’t make the film straight away. We had to let some time pass.

A few years later, the desire is there. The family wants it to happen. We feel strong in this legitimacy that he gave us. We’re right in it. Filming is almost finished. We have already started editing. There’s a lot of work.

Grand Corps Malade, who co-directs with Mehdi Idir, with whom he has already collaborated on Patients and School Life, comments on Tahar Rahim’s performance. The opportunity to justify in passing the choice of the actor, who may have surprised some initially:

I’m not giving away much by telling you that he gave an absolutely incredible performance.”he says. “I already knew him. We chose him knowing that he was a great actor.

He is part of this small category of actors who are completely capable of transforming themselves. Transform yourself physically and transform your voice to take on a role. He went even beyond what we imagined. He worked like crazy.

And added: “He watched hours and hours of interviews. He obviously took singing, piano and body language lessons. He’s been working for months and months. Work pays. You’ll see, it’s something!

Shaved head, singing lessons… How Tahar Rahim prepares to play this legendary singer!

Monsieur Aznavour will be a biopic in the tradition of the genre, recounting the artist’s path to glory. “This flight took a long time to arrive. This is what he also wanted to tell. Youth, hardship, poverty, with his exiled Armenian parents, who did not speak French.

Bohemia, the years of cabarets on the right, on the left. The Piaf years where he was taken under his wing. He moved mountains to get there. He had nothing to succeed, and yet he didn’t give up. And again, I’m not telling you everything. There are lots of things that people will discover. (…) I will not tell you anything else.”

We also learn that Tahar Rahim will sing for the film, even if original songs by Charles Aznavour will also be used.

A few more scenes are about to be shot in Bulgaria, then the film will be in post-production, with the aim of being ready in time for the major spring festivals or the start of the 2024 school year… Monsieur Aznavour will be released on October 23 2024.

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