Pierre Rabbat: «Dream and make movies!»

Famous on TV, the young producer, and TV presenter, Pierre Rabbat, recently discovered his new talent on the big screen, through a short but certainly touching role, in the film Wanted_Matloubin. Kind and friendly, but also a perfectionist to the extreme, he confides his impressions to Prestige.



Pierre Rabbat in his role of Karim. © Archives Nibal Arakji.



How was your beginning in the movie’s world? To tell the truth, I never thought of playing a role in a feature film. But when the filmmaker Nibal Arakji offered me a small role in Wanted, I asked to see the script. And when I read the script, I found that the story was very touching and appealed to everyone. I felt personally concerned by this story and the message that Nibal wanted to deliver. So, I thought, why not try my luck? I was aware that cinema was totally different from TV, but at the same time, I did not miss. So I took all my precautions and some lessons with Nibal, to see if it was easy to make movies. When the shooting began, I realized that cinema was not at all comparable to TV. In movies, you have to get into the skin of another character, the one written in the screenplay, and you have to play that role. It took me a while to get out of Pierre Rabbat and get into the skin of the character, Karim. But when at the preview I saw the result on the big screen, I was more than satisfied.

Tell us about your role in this film … I play the role of Karim, a nurse who works in an old people’s home. Nice and friendly, he is always listening to all those people of a certain age who live in this establishment. He tries to help them, to understand them, to give them a good time, but at the same time, he knows that they are under the stress of Mrs. Amar, the person in charge of the asylum. He will play a dual role: that of the employee who respects the instructions of Mrs. Amar by doing his job properly, so as not to lose it, but at the same time, he tries to break those instructions, out of compassion for these people. He puts all his heart with these old people, bearing in mind that the slightest mistake would make him lose his job. 

And in his private life, Pierre Rabbat is … In my private life, I am almost in the same situation. I have a warm heart, I am very calm, very kind, very close to people, I love to help, but at the same time I am strict in my profession, quite hard on business, when it comes to making a decision. I am not demanding but very perfectionist. It is a quality and a flaw at the same time. I do not accept mistake in my work, which is why I am doing it thoroughly.

What is your most beautiful memory of Wanted? It is one of my first sleepless night. I never did that before. Present at the location of the shooting at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, my scene was shot at 5 o’clock in the morning. So I played my role at 5 or 7 in the morning. The experience was pretty cool for me because I was passing by the world of movies, while Nibal and the film crew do this every day. They always make sleepless nights to have such a beautiful result at the end. I enjoyed more their work.



Pierre Rabbat with his wife Jana. © Archives Pierre Rabbat.



How did you feel when you learned that the old people were Matloubin, wanted by the police? In fact, I do not know what I would have felt. However, one must not take the case too seriously because it is a scenario, a script, a story. I think there is some exaggeration, but the film is very rich in comic moments.

What is your main quality? I would say that it is a quality and a flaw at the same time. I do not know how to say no. I do not refuse any request. It is a quality to the extent that I always like to help, to be present, to feel useful, but sometimes it causes me a lot of stress because I cannot manage my time anymore. To be a perfectionist too is a quality and a flaw.

What would you say to the new generation who dreams of making movies? Dream and make movies! People should be making movies today. It’s been a long time since we dreamed of international recognition and this dream came true last year with Ziad Douairi and this year with Nadine Labaki, when we made our first appearance at the Oscars. So it’s not only a dream for people who are in the cinema business, but it’s also the dream of all the Lebanese, the dream of a nation to be present internationally. And nowadays, only art or the art scene permits so. The film industry might be our asset to tell the world that our people have something to show you.

The great love of your life? Currently, it’s my daughter Audrey, she’s everything to me. Also Audrey’s mother, Jana. I am a person who loves family. My mother, my sister, my wife, my daughter, is my life. I live for them. 

A future cinema project? I don’t know. When I decided to doWanted, I was pretty hesitant. Even on the night of the preview, I did not tell anyone, because I was afraid of the result. I am a perfectionist. When it’s not me who manages the project from A to Z, as I do on TV, I fear the result. But since people liked my role unanimously and my interpretation in the film, yes, I will do another, why not? In this case, I will obviously choose well the script, the role, because to make the first appearance is nice, but the second time, we will be judged as professionals. And it gets harder and the responsibility much bigger. Interview Conducted by Mireille Bouabjian

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