In Jema Squarehas El Fna, the Moroccan comedian and comedian, Gad El Maleh, surprised the public Marrakesh by his warm presence, just before the screening of his film ” Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru“, where he lends his voice to the main character, Gru. An animated film, the French version of which broke admission records in the United States.
Funny, charming and spontaneous as usual, Gad El Maleh took part in the game of questions and answers with MoroccoLatestNews Fr. He confides in his emotion to find his audience in the Jemâa El Fna square, his new feature film ” Stay a bit “released in theaters on November 16, and which caused controversy, or even how he lived” The American Dream“.
MoroccoLatestNews Fr: What did it mean to you to find your audience at Jamaâ El Fna for the screening of minions 2: once upon a time Gru, where you lend your voice to the character of Gru?
Gad Elmaleh : Yesterday it was a strong symbol Jemâa El Fna. It’s a symbol of childhood for me, it’s a symbol of curiosity, of fascination. When I was a kid, even until now, I met characters on Jemaâ El Fna, beyond the folkloric aspect, that’s not it. It’s just the strength of the characters that are there. They fed my imagination, my creation.
When I was a kid, there are really a lot of characters that I saw there who destabilized me. The art of ” Lhalka“, and all this, there is a thing, you slide your head, you put yourself in it and you go Wow, what is that? It’s not a show like any other. And so Jemaâ El Fna is a big symbol for me.
The fact of showing the minions 2 on Jemâa El Fna, it is a symbol, it is a bit of a loop that loops back. Especially a children’s movie. The child that I was in Morocco who returns to Jemâa El Fna to see the children watch the Minions, that moved me a lot.
And then, it also means giving to Morocco and giving to the Moroccan public and to children, the films which are the international world cards, and to continue to give, which everywhere in the world is at the Top. And not adapt another thing, because it is the Moroccan public. Nope ! You have to give the kids in Morocco the film which is on top all over the world and which is watched all over the world. It is a real joy.
And it’s a film that connected me with a new generation. Because the children of 5-6 years old, they don’t know me. Sometimes they don’t recognize me, and I tell them, you know the ” minions“, they say yes, I do the voice” Teacher Nefariou“. And they say to me: Ah It’s you.
So it’s like a new audience for me, it connects me to a generation that is full of tenderness, and I really like that.
In your last film Remain a little, released on November 16, you speak in a way of your progressive discovery of the Virgin Mary and the church. What was the starting point of this project?
The starting point for my new film is a true story that happened in Morocco. When I was a child, in Casablanca, there was a church in our neighborhood. I grew up in a traditionalist Moroccan Jewish family, my father used to tell me, you see that thing (the church), don’t go inside, it’s forbidden.
So there was a fear, a fear, so there are religious taboos that exist. But beyond the religious ban that exists in the texts, there was a fear, like we don’t go there.
One day when I came home from school, I said to a friend of mine, Youssef, who is Muslim, you know my father told me that we have no right to come back here, he told me too. We had to be in CE2… and I said why? And then when you’re 5-6 years old, and when they tell you you’re not going home, well you’re going home!
I came back, I discovered a universe, a world, something that was quite soft, quite soothing. And that’s the starting point of the film that I fictionalized, there are not only true things in the film. But for that, you have to go see him to understand. It is also released in Morocco, Wednesday, at the same time as in France. It is on the screens in Tangier, in Rabat in Casablanca.
So it’s a great pride that it also comes out in Morocco, because finally the starting point took place in Casablanca. The foreground of the film, moreover, is Casablanca. It’s a message of fraternity that corresponds to what I experienced in Morocco, so there is a consistency that this film is being released in Morocco. Its important to me.
There has been a controversy surrounding your conversion to Christianity. How do you respond to that?
For those who ask Baptism not Baptism, converted not converted, I tell them go see the film, the answer is in the film.
How did “The American Dream” go for you?
The American Dream it was a very rich experience, very strong, not easy. You have to be honest with that. In the sense that there were difficult times, there were times when I had doubts, there were times when when you arrive in a room where nobody knows you, the guy scratches your name ” Ladies and gentleman Galamaleh”, There, badly it hurts. But it taught me a lot about myself, it challenged me, it made me question myself.
I love getting out of my comfort zone, I love starting over. Besides, with ” Stay a bit” , that’s what I do. If I wanted to make a consensual film, a film that everyone will like, I wouldn’t broach the subject of religions in 2022, which is a very tense, very tense subject. But I loved this experience, it fed me.
I carried with me elsewhere in my heart, and in the emissions much Morocco. There in the United States, he was always present. Besides, I’m quite proud of that, wherever I go.
When will we see you on stage for a new show in Morocco?
I am impatiently waiting for the theaters of Rabat and Casablanca to reopen, because they are sublime theatres. They are the most beautiful theaters in the world. And as soon as they open, I come to perform on stage, because the Moroccan public, like the public around the world, deserves to be welcomed in beautiful halls like we have in Morocco.
See you soon on the stage in Morocco.