Since the massive success of Robin Campillo movie “120 Battements Par Minute”, a new generation of French actors breaks out and represent actively the LGBTQ  community. Félix Maritaud figures among these new talents. If at the beginning he was not supposed to become an actor, his life changed since this movie got the “Palme d’Or’ at Cannes in 2017. He’s currently in all French movie theaters defending the very first film of Camille Vidal-Naquet, called “Sauvage”. The story of Léo, a twenty-something gay guy who prostitutes himself to survive daily. We caught Félix in Paris some days after the movie went out to know more about this role play which changed his life.

What’s the most punk or “sauvage” thing you did in your life?

I guess it’s these times in my life when I’ve completely abandoned everything. Escaped from some material situations by taking only a backpack and quite the real world. Its been in 2012 and 2014…

This makes me think about the end of the movie Sauvage where Léo escaped from his conform zone…

Yes, but the difference between Leo and me is that he’s protected from all these cultures and norms of the society…

Playing in this movie changed your life, what was the most intense thing when you were making it?

You know, making this film totally changed your life. The first time I’ve watched it, I was surprised about how I’ve done all this personal work to make this character alive. It’s mainly with the help of Camille Vidal-Naquet (the director), I’ve been through Léo as he pushed me to be as good as I needed to be for this role.

This movie talks about sex, but also about love as your character is painfully looking for affections even if he is a prostitute…so sex and love are meant to be together?

When you are gay in the 21 century  I guess you can rapidly understand that sex and love are completely different. In this movie, the main character can’t have access to this love he’s looking for as he’s job can’t accept it. But inside him, he just wants to express this affection and want to be loved.

Many media define you like the new French queer actor, you think it’s because of 120BPM?

I think it’s the movie “L’Inconnu du Lac” which brings back the LGBTQ cinema in France. Now since 120 BPM, everyone is expecting to have a political message in gay films. In Sauvage, there’s no political aspect, it’s just about a guy having sex to survive.



“Being queer for me is like drinking a coffee every morning, it’s my life, my identity.”



I don’t feel to be the queer ambassador of the French movie industry even if I’ve played in four gay movies in one year. Being queer for me is like drinking a coffee every morning, it’s my life, my identity. I don”t want to be in a box just doing LGBTQ movies. It will be boring for me and boring for others.

What did your friends and family think about this movie?

I’ve got the chance that I’m surrounded with people who respect my art and understand my visions. They were all impressed but you know they are not in this industry like me so they don’t really care about how it goes. They just want all the good for me and if it’s a success, of course, we will be happy for me. This movie surprised them but in a good kind of way.

After this, you can do all kind of role now? (laughs)

Yes, now I can do everything…

One thing that surprised me in this movie, are your tattoos, how many do you have?

I don’t know, around 50…


Words: Ivica Mamedy

Style: Jéremie Chegrane

Photography: Allan Hamitouche

Featuring: Ann Demeulemeester, Kenzo, Jacquemus, ACNE Studios