Rabah Naït Oufella, full-time actor

He was one of the others, one of the youngsters from the Françoise-Dolto college hired by Laurent Cantet for the film Between the walls . In May 2008, in Cannes, Sean Penn awarded the Palme d’Or to the filmmaker and the students of this establishment of the popular 20 and Parisian district. At 14, Rabah Naït Oufella saw the beginning of a beautiful story with the cinema. The meeting almost never took place. “Shooting class scenes when he could go home didn’t really appeal to him”, remembers Laurent Cantet. “He may -to be changed because he understood that he was going to be paid”, he laughs. An analysis confirmed by the person concerned, reluctant to give up his family vacation in Grande Kabylie.

“Basically, I wanted to make this film. I refused because the shoot was in the summer. This shows how seriously I took Laurent’s proposal. » Today, Rabah is 29 years old and has 17 feature films on the clock. He finds the one who gave birth to him on the big screen in Arthur Rambo, a work freely inspired by the misadventure of Medhi Meklat. A talented young writer and columnist for a popular radio show, he fell out of favor after racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets were unearthed. Arthur Rambo is the evil double of Karim D., popular novelist and herald of the suburbs. This digital incarnation tracks likes and followers on social networks with good words and provocations.

“We become pessimistic and we end up believing it”

A class defector role with enormous self-confidence that doesn’t quite fit Rabah’s personality. When he started out, he refused to believe in his star. “We were always made to understand that we came from a college and from difficult neighborhoods. By dint of telling ourselves that we don’t have the same chances as others, we become pessimistic and we end up believing it. »

There again, a meeting encourages him at a pivotal moment. “The press officer for my second film, Thief, by Sarah Léonor, with Guillaume Depardieu, put me in touch with Michèle Levieux, a review of Humanity. Our meeting was supposed to last ten minutes. It lasted four hours. The current went well. She introduced me to an agent. And I continued. » Yet Rabah is reluctant to fully commit. Fascinated by sound while filming Between the walls, he then dreamed of being a cook. “It’s always in the back of my mind”, he concedes.

“I’m not going to play the city guy all my life”

After college, a referral error in logistics and marketing pro baccalaureate led him to stop his studies for a year. He makes films without admitting that he is becoming an actor. He reoriented himself towards a kitchen baccalaureate and worked in restaurants, leisure centers and summer camps while making ends meet in front of the cameras. “When I went to job interviews, I warned in advance that I had to go to castings. »

With the proliferation of films, his relationship to cinema is changing. “I felt like I was doing my acting job working on the side because I wasn’t earning enough. For years, I did extras in catering. Sometimes I had a movie at the cinema and I ran a bar. It’s quite strange to be recognized in the street. Going to serve beers for three months puts your feet back on the ground. » The filmmakers trust him more and more and entrust him with significant supporting roles. Like Adrien, a gay student at a veterinary school in Julia Ducournau’s first feature film. “Before I was offered Serious, I thought about quitting. I was in a period of my career when I said to myself: I’m not going to play the city guy all my life. Some twists are fun. »

“The children of immigrants were born in France and are French”

Rabah also plays to testify, to question, to fight. “When you do this job for the right reasons, you have to have a little patience. Unfortunately, some actors do this job for the light. A career where you try to build by making the right choices and positioning yourself allows you to truly create something.»

Thus, beyond a forfeiture, Arthur Rambo also acts as a voice, that of the children of immigrants. “We were taught to be straight in our boots and above all not to make noise. Except that the children of immigrants were born in France and are French. This injunction creates frustration and sometimes we want to yell twice as loud as the others. This need to outbid does not come from nowhere. We don’t all start on the same footing. » Patiently and without warning, the actor climbs the steps of a cinema where his face bursts more and more from the screen.

We would love to give thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding material

Rabah Naït Oufella, full-time actor