“He looks for flaws”: Jonathan Zaccaï plays a manipulator against Odile Vuillemin, Élodie Frégé, Flore Bonaventura and Helena Noguerra

Guillaume, Amaury, Nathan or Ghislain, we don’t really know the name of the character played by actor Jonathan Zaccaï in The man of our lives. On the other hand, we know that he abuses the trust of the women he meets. Liar, manipulator, chameleon, the Belgian actor plays a leading “arnacoeur” in this series of four episodes, rather well put together, and recently awarded at the La Rochelle festival for his screenplay. While he leads several parallel lives in which he seduces, abuses and robs several women he claims to love, they realize the deception and decide to join forces to bring him down. Thus, Flore Bonaventura, Odile Vuillemin, Helena Noguerra and Élodie Frégé have decided to offer Jonathan Zaccaï and put him out of harm’s way.

How do you play four fundamentally bad characters at once?

The “talent” of this character is to adapt and that’s what I tried to do by adapting to the actress I had in front of me each time. I didn’t want to fall into a form of caricature of the psychopath because that wasn’t the script, but you shouldn’t forget that he’s a man who looks for the flaws in his prey every time despite everything.

What is the difficulty of interpreting such a character?

You have to be credible. It’s not a documentary because the tone oscillates between romantic comedy and film noir. We never fall into the creepy, nor into the cruelty of some real crooks like Derek Alldred in the USA or the Tinder scammer whose life is told in the Netflix series. I don’t know why, we manage to be fascinated by this kind of characters, surely because we try to understand how they manage to manipulate several characters so easily, often using the same modus operandi. The scenario is well done because, there, we fall into a form of voyeurism, we want to understand how my character operates. I tried to defend him with a form of empathy, I don’t judge his facts, I only interpret them. My character is like an actor in his own life, somewhere, because he plays several roles and it’s interesting to play as an actor.

It’s rare to give four actresses the answer at the same time, how did the shooting go?

I know Odile Vuillemin because we had already filmed together, Helena Noguerra is Belgian like me so we also knew each other. I really liked the contribution of Élodie Frégé who notably composed music for the series and, finally, Flore Bonaventura brings a form of fragility with a lot of intensity, I discovered it. There was an atmosphere of frank camaraderie on the set, it is necessary when you play on such a sensitive and heavy subject. We realize that the victims of this type of character are all different, they belong to all social classes. These guys are players, but they play with people’s lives and they take real sadistic pleasure.

When you come out of such a subject, what do you want next?

To play in the next series of Scott Frank, the creator of the Ladies gamefor example! (laughs) I am fortunate, especially since the international success of Legends Office, to have proposals abroad and it is a real pleasure. I like the variety, being able to do different things like acting in Sophie Boudre’s next film, A small miraclewhich comes out in January 2023, in which a school finds itself relocated to the heart of an nursing home following a fire.

The man of our livesthis Thursday evening at 9:10 p.m., on M6.

“He looks for flaws”: Jonathan Zaccaï plays a manipulator against Odile Vuillemin, Élodie Frégé, Flore Bonaventura and Helena Noguerra