Tonight on TV: the genius of Omar Sy brings back to life a star you’ve never heard of

Every day, AlloCiné recommends a film to (re)watch on TV. Tonight: Omar Sy will move you in the role of a clown with an extraordinary destiny.

Don’t you know the incredible destiny of the Chocolat clown? So go to Arte this evening to discover this extraordinary artist embodied, in excellent popular entertainment, by the incredible Omar Sy.

Released in theaters in 2016, the feature film Chocolate therefore returns to the history, from the circus to the theater, from anonymity to glory, of the clown Chocolat, the first black artist on the French stage. The unique duo he formed with Footi met with immense popular success in Belle Epoque Paris before fame, easy money, gambling and discrimination wore down their friendship and Chocolat’s career.

Roschdy Zem accepted the project because he wanted to film 19th century Paris, tell the story of a strong friendship between two men and talk about the character of Chocolat who is an epicurean embracing life. The result is a moving feature film, with a successful historical reconstruction and a beautiful complicity between Omar Sy and James Thierrée (Charlie Chaplin’s grandson). A duo whose relationship reminds Omar of the one he had with Fred Testot.

“A big child who needs lightness”

Omar Sy discovered the existence of Chocolat when he was filming the detective buddy movie On the Other Side of the Ring Road. The actor then documented himself on this man who was born a slave and became an artist, then read the book Negro clown chocolate by Gérard Noiriel. Six months later, he read the first version of Cyril Gely’s script and quickly agreed to step into the role of the character.

“Chocolat is a big child who needs lightness”declares Omar Sy about this character that he brilliantly embodies on screen. “Being born the son of a slave and having been one must be heavy to bear. Without being a slave, one does not always have the feeling of being free. So when it is factual as was the case for Chocolat, I asks how one can grow, flourish. He nevertheless succeeded. It is the sign of great strength. He found freedom in play, laughter, pleasure.”

Tonight on Arte at 8:50 p.m.

Chocolat, a totally forgotten artist…

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