Gilles Lellouche is having a hard time taking up the role of Gérard Depardieu again

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As we wait for Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom for 2022, actor Gilles Lellouche reveals the difficulties he had in interpreting the role of Obelix. The first of them: to go after the famous Gérard Depardieu.

A lot of pressure on his shoulders

Fifth live-action film after the adventures of the inveterate Gauls by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, Astérix et Obélix: L’Empire du Milieu is one of the most ambitious French productions of the future. For his film, Guillaume Canet was able to benefit from a comfortable budget of 65 million euros. For comparison Kaamelott: Premier Volet d’Alexandre Astier cost 15 million euros.

However, despite the ambitions of Guillaume Canet and the producers, some fans fear the release of Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Empire. And one of the most common reasons is Gérard Depardieu’s absence from the casting. It must be said that Gérard Depardieu also played beyond the impressive aura of the Franco-Russian actor Obélix in the four previous live-action adaptations of Asterix: Asterix and Obelix versus César, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, Asterix and Obelix at the Olympic Games and Asterix and Obelix: In the Service of His Majesty !.

Bertrand Blier’s favorite actor (Les Valseuses, Buffet Froid, evening dress) has been replaced by a close collaborator of the director Guillaume Canet: the actor and director Gilles Lellouche, whom we know from the films Les Infidèles (in which he plays), among others. and Le Grand Bain (which he directed). Far from going on an adventure with a gun, however, Gilles Lellouche admits to being aware of the immense pressure on his shoulders in taking on the role of a monster of French cinema.

In full publicity for the film BAC Nord, Lellouche spoke about the fears he had before starring Obelix in the columns of the Journal Du Dimanche.

It is very inhibiting to stand behind Gérard Depardieu. There were several asterixes, but there was only one obelix. And Depardieu is Obélix even before he even puts on the costume. I was also afraid of attacking this character, who everyone knows and who is not that easy to play, between his permanent openness and his anger. It was my daughter who told me I had to go.

If we can understand that it actually “inhibits going behind Gérard Depardieu”, we hope that the audience will greet this line-up change with wisdom and see Gilles Lellouche’s play for what it is, and not just by sharing it with them compares to that of its famous predecessor. Especially since Lellouche seems to have prepared quite a bit to penetrate Obelix’s skin. While still at JDD, the actor confides in:

I worked a lot, not just physically, even if you can see it most of the time: I gained 20 kilos, ate four times a day and did strength training. Now I do my job to lose weight!

We remind you that Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom is slated for the second half of 2022 (at the time of writing, filming ended about ten days ago). In the casting we find Guillaume Canet (Asterix), Gilles Lellouche (Obélix), Vincent Cassel (Jules César), Marion Cotillard (Cléopâtre), Pierre Richard (Panoramix), Philippe Katerine (Assurancetourix), Jérôme Commandeur (Abraracourcix), Audrey Lamy (Bonemine), but also Linh-Dan Pham, Ramzy Bedia, Manu Payet, José Garcia, Jonathan Cohen, Orelsan, Thomas VDB, Angèle, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Big Flo & Oli, McFly & Carlito.