Vincent Lindon, the actor who dreamed of being president

A Saturday evening, in November 2023, in Paris. Vincent Lindon went to bed early with the TV on. He skips. Hey, Jacques Attali and Alain Minc, who never stop carving out their legends as gray eminences of the powerful, are guests of the show “Quelle epoch! », presented by Léa Salamé on France 2. The actor lets go of the remote control. Attali came to defend his latest novel, Blessed is our world (Flammarion), in which he imagines Marine Le Pen as President of the Republic – which is not very original – and Vincent Lindon as a candidate for the Elysée – which is a little more so. “There are many actors who dream of being in politics. I know Vincent Lindon a little, I think he has some talents,” explains the former advisor to François Mitterrand. “What question would you ask him?” “Are you going ?” », asks Léa Salamé, pushing her guest to play interviewer. “There you go,” replies the octogenarian, his smile as thin as a blade.

In his bed, Vincent Lindon sighs, both flattered and annoyed. Another one who thinks he is authorized to discuss his supposed presidential ambitions… This will teach him to have accepted this invitation to lunch with Jacques Attali, a few weeks earlier, in the vast house that the latter occupies in Neuilly-sur-Seine. There, sitting among the Asian art objects decorating the dining room, the actor, 64, spoke about his interest in power and his long-standing desire to get involved in politics.

President ? “I would love to,” he already admitted in 2015, in a video interview with Le Monde . If he had a magic slate, he would start all over again, join “the schools you need to do to be in place” – Sciences Po, ENA –, before taking “the path” of departmental councilor, deputy, “ to become prime minister and finally end up as president of the Republic . Jacques Attali does not discourage him, on the contrary: the former senior civil servant loves to act as the midwife of ambitions. Vincent Lindon, he judges, is no more “clown” than anyone else. Especially since, since 2019, a former actor with no political experience, Volodymyr Zelensky, has presided over the destiny of Ukraine.

“The only place from which we can change things”

The director Alain Cavalier, an old accomplice of Vincent Lindon, also enjoys sending the actor the portraits that the press devotes to the Ukrainian war leader. Funny, isn’t it, this man who plays a president in a television series before becoming one in reality? In 2011, Lindon and Cavalier shot Pater, an art-house film where the actor plays the prime minister and the filmmaker plays the head of state, in an assumed mix of fiction and reality, with a disturbing mirror effect. Lindon, prime minister, talks with conviction about the excesses of capitalism and inequalities, before Lindon, the actor, suddenly gets involved in the game.

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