Jean Dujardin is one of the few French actors who impacted Hollywood. From ‘OSS 117’ to ‘The Artist’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ his evolution in the industry made people think he would be, like many French talents before, a new star in the US for the rest of his life.
But that did not happen – while everybody imagined him moving to Los Angeles after his first Oscar, playing in American movies with famous actors like Leonardo Dicaprio in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ or George Clooney and Matt Damon in “Monuments Men,” he decided to stay in France to continue his career in the French industry. And everybody wonders why since he was accepted into the most prolific cinema industry in the world. So what are the real reasons that made him stay in his country?
Jean Dujardin Isn’t Seduced By ‘The American Dream”
In 2012, many people in the industry talked about Jean Dujardin’s talent, charisma, and everything that surrounded his first Oscar. While American people were pleased to welcome such a talent in their country, French people were disappointed or sad that another of their actors would quit the French industry for Hollywood. But for French people, It was logical since the French industry doesn’t have the same power or opportunities to give to their actors. So, in the end, quitting France felt typical for such an actor.
But It wasn’t the case at all; even though he appeared in a few American films after that, he came back to France and continued his life as a French actor like before. And when an interviewer on the French TV channel ‘TF1’ asked him about moving to the US after his Oscar in 2012, he answered: “Yes, I admit it was a fantasy. When you get an Oscar, you logically pack your things, leave your native country and move to Los Angeles. Well, for me, It was a no. People said I was about to go crazy, become a superstar, and forget everything that had happened before. But, no, that’s not what happened because you don’t have to go crazy when you win an Oscar. If you are well educated, not dumb, arrogant, or snob, you don’t have to do all this when you win an Oscar”.
Jean Dujardin then adds that he liked his life before getting an Oscar and that it was an honor to get one. Still, he wanted his simple life as a French actor: “It was going very well before the Oscar, and It’s still going very well today because I try to be coherent with my choices. For me, It never was a goal in life. My biggest dream was realized when I met Jean-Paul Belmondo. I was already impressed when I was doing theater in France, my first TV Show, and when French Cinema called me, I told myself that my life is more than wonderful”.
Why Hollywood Isn’t for Jean Dujardin
Jean Dujardin thinks France needs to love itself more. For him, French people have a big problem with self-esteem, which might be one reason the industry is not as impressive as Hollywood. And he hopes this problem gets solved since no French actor can succeed in Hollywood for him: “I don’t think a French actor can play in English. That’s what I think. So for me, it doesn’t work. I don’t have any pleasure in playing in English. It’s funny to do it sometimes as I did in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street”, but It’s still rare. The idea is to go home at the end of it”.
Jean Dujardin is the type of man who wants to stay discreet. While he is a very close friend of George Clooney, he reveals he only played in those American movies to brag about it in France: “We do it so we can say ‘I was in Brooklyn with…’ It’s a flex! But I never associated those roles with a new acting career or something like that. My best roles are in France; there’s no doubt about it. And to return to the language, George Clooney tends to say my lines in English are a little shy. But that’s how we play; that’s how I play. It’s not shy; It’s my way of playing the role they have given me. I was playing like a French guy and couldn’t play like an American guy. I had to go further with my exaggerated facial expressions, but I didn’t want to do that”.
After that, he remembers the interviewer that George Clooney is one of his best friends. They considerably understand each other because George Clooney is curious about France and Europe. Together, they try to speak French and English simultaneously, and in the end, they always end up laughing together.