Interview with actor Tony Simonneau


Tony was born in the South of France. His father was a stonemason and his mother looked after the 4 children. He worked with his dad then tried baking but decided to go to Paris at age 15. Life was tough, he was a ‘bad boy’ and lived on the streets but quickly made friends and a priest gave him a helping hand. He became a fireman, then he discovered flowers and Olga and his life changed. She gave him the desire to act.

  • How did you get involved in acting?  

I started late although I could have started at 20 years of age, but I didn’t because I was still searching for myself. But a famous French actress (Olga Georges Picot) keep telling me I was made for acting. When she passed away I went through mourning for 10 years and then decided to start acting to understand her. I was painful but I finished my grieving, grew and started to work as an actors.

  • How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a theater play? And which one do you prefer?

It’s totally different, with the theater you make things bigger and the emotions come out ‘extroverted’, and the making films is more internal, ‘introverted. You don’t share the same things. It’s not the same feelings when you act. I prefer to work in film.

  • What are your weak points when it comes to acting?

I’m fragile. I need to be reassured by my director. If my director looks at me with approbation then I’m ok.

  • What are your strong points as an actor?

I work hard, I’m dedicated. I’m instinctive but not aggressive…

  • What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

I learnt a lot about myself. Jean-Pierre Mocky told me ‘you are like a Ferrari, but you need to learn how to drive it”.

  • What makes a good scene partner?

I share, same as in life, it’s important to share, my humanity, being kind.

  • What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

Oh my G, there are so many ! Being an actor changes how people look at you. That can sometimes scare me. We are just doing a job, playing a character, not someone ‘above’ others. The idea of being a ‘star’ or a ‘celebrity’ bothers me.

  • What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

It’s like having a baby, with your partner or partners, you help it grow, you educate it but you don’t know how it’s going to grow up until you act it out. I also believe it’s really important to respect the writer’s work, and not judge your character. No matter what you need to feel it, live it…

  • What do you do when you’re not doing theatre/film?

I sell flowers. I love flowers. They give us joy, the color of life, like actors bringing colors to the world. I adore flowers. Flowers are authentic.

  • If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Un unknown actor…