Florent Pagny

  1. Frédéric Andréi, Diva, France, 1980.   For his first feature’s hero, Jean-Jacques Beineix wanted an unknown. (That way the director garners all the praise!). Dominique Besnehard, soon to be Europe’s #1 casting director, suggested Christophe(r) Lambert (a friend for life), Anconina (not so much).  The also-rans were: Richard Berry, Jean-Paul Comart (ex-Connart), Tchéky Karyo, Christophe Malavoy (“couldn’t take my  eyes off him,” when studying together at La Rue Blanche drama school, cartoonist Sempé’s son, Nicolas.  And Pagny, the future singing star, found working in  the cloakroom of a gay nightclub.  JJB thought him perfect, his producteur Irène Silberman thought him too vulgaire.  “Rubbish,” said Besnehard, “look at him – the young Jean Gabin!”
  2. Chris Campion, Pirates, France, 1986.    “I was the Raymond Poulidor of casting – always second,”  laughed Pagny, referring to the French cyclist Raymond Poulidor, who came second three times in the Tour de France (and five times third). Dominique Besnehard found director Roman Polanski another  pop star from the Les Avions group and Pagny stuck to tele-films and then hit  records – paying for a new home, life, wife and family in  Patagonia. With occasional trips back to Paris to cut an album, do TV and concert promos and  rev up the old income… never spent on a  decent haircut. 


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  2