benoît Magimel has a constant in the cinema of our French neighbors. Discovered in 1986 when his mother saw an open casting call in the newspaper “Libération” and he just went there, he has steadily expanded his career: from the twelve-year-old child star who conquered the world audience in “Life is a Long, Silent River”. , the laureate of the Cannes prize for exploring the depths of the human soul. In The King Dances, he played the fleet-footed Sun King Louis

Now, just shy of his 50th birthday, the Frenchman can be seen in a lavish ode to culinary virtuosity and the intimacy between two people; He stars with his ex-partner Juliette Binoche in the historical drama The Beloved Chef.

Monsieur Magimel, how good are your cooking skills? Would you be able to impress those around you with meals or elaborate menus?

I have a great passion for cooking! My mother had to work a lot, so we often ate frozen and canned food at home. And when dad was grilling, we were served a completely dry steak with mustard and dried herbs – pretty disgusting. As soon as I got my first apartment, I bought fresh vegetables and meat from the markets and taught myself how to cook. Looking back, I think it was the desire for something that would actually taste that made me passionate about cooking. It was a kind of reaction to what my father had once gone through with my brother.

Was it hidden from you that there are other culinary levels besides charred? in france?

I remember telling my mom when I was twelve when I played my first role, “It's funny, they all talk about food on set, they don't talk about anything else all day!” It surprised me a lot. Today it has become an obsession for me as well.

What is the philosophy behind your obsession? What do you think separates a simple cook from a true stove connoisseur?

High art is about making simple things sublime, sublimating them, recognizing the perfect cooking time and learning the right steps. I can watch chefs for hours just for their routine movements that reveal they've done something thousands of times. It's about achieving accuracy. And then finding joy in literally getting the most out of it with your fingers. If I didn't have a passion for cooking, I wouldn't have made a movie about cooking!

How much did you have to learn as an amateur, as a lover, to be a professional in front of the camera?

Next to us was the excellent chef Pierre Gagnaire as an advisor. In his videos, I had already observed how much he does with his hands. For me, cooking is a variety of sensual pleasures that begin right from the preparation stage. Working with the hands is the first step in the chain of these sensual pleasures.

Who benefits from your obsession?