François Arnaud talks 'Rapid Eye Movement' film and digital age Special

Posted Aug 12, 2019 by Markos Papadatos
Actor François Arnaud chatted with Digital Journal about the film "Rapid Eye Movement," and the impact of technology on the entertainment business.
Actor François Arnaud
Actor François Arnaud
Herve Lassince
On being a part of the film Rapid Eye Movement, he said, "Well, the opportunity to be part of such an incredible stunt and shoot almost 24/7 on Times Square for a month, in a glass booth for everyone to see and where I interact with the actual crowd that was present was something I couldn't turn down. I mean, I was terrified but definitely excited to take on the challenge."
"It was every bit as challenging as I’d expected, but also super rewarding and liberating. To play someone in such extreme stages of mania and mental fragility allowed me to go outside of my comfort zone for sure. And try things as an actor I never thought I could get away with," he elaborated.
On his inspirations as an actor, he said, "I mostly try to dig my own anxieties, my desires, my fears, my shortcomings. Just living life really does fill your toolbox."
"Other performers inspire me too. I’m always amazed and delighted when I see someone offer themselves up to a character, a story, an audience. Human vulnerability still surprises and moves me and makes me want to show up too," he said.
Regarding his future plans, he said, "Well, I'm starting a new feature next week. It's a horror film but it’s anchored in a very real situation. It’s not announced yet so I can't really talk about it but the writing is very good and it's a two-hander with an actress I have a lot of respect for."
Arnaud continued, "I also just produced a short film for the first time and I’m excited about that. And I'm adapting a novel for the screen; because I read it and I instantly knew how I would tell that story for the screen. Where I’d put the camera."
On his dream acting partners, he said, "I've been really floored by performances from young actors recently. Zendaya in Euphoria and Jharrel Jerome in When They See Us recently gave such honest and generous performances. I would love to work with them."
Digital transformation of the entertainment industry
Regarding the impact of technology and streaming services on the entertainment business, he said, "I mean, I lament the fact that people aren’t more interested in seeing films on the big screen. And not just super impressive cataclysmic tent poles but intimate stories about human beings. I saw The Kindergarten Teacher at a public screening and I loved hearing the uncomfortable audience gasp around me. Going through that experience together as a group. I miss that at home."
"I also love that everybody had access to the film the next day on Netflix and it gives an incredible platform to this intimate indie movie," he added.
On his use technology in your daily routine as an actor, he said, "I sometimes read whole scripts on my phone. And I have this app that can run lines with me. But I never watch anything longer than 30 seconds on a 3-inch screen. I want to honor the hard work of everyone who created the images."
"That’s why I can't stand those new TVs where everything is so sharp and bright. I think cinematographer unions should sue TV companies and electronics store for setting the visuals to that mode because it makes The Dark Knight look like The Young and the Restless. Everything looks like it was shot on my iPhone," he elaborated.
For young and aspiring actors, he said, "To only go into it if they enjoy the process. The fantasy of seeing yourself on screen wears off really quickly."
He concluded about Rapid Eye Movement, "That it's just such an unusual premise and location and concept. It's really manic, in your face thriller that's very much about one guy's journey into his own head, so it’s like confined in a way, but it's also huge because it's set in the middle of the madness that is Times Square."
To learn more about actor François Arnaud, follow him on Instagram and his IMDb page.