What I've Learned

Vincent Cassel

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International style icon, award-winning actor, married to Monica Bellucci - Vincent Cassel tells us how he did it.

As soon as I got a little recognition, I felt much calmer and was trying less to appear one way or the other. I was much more interested by clothes when I was younger. I'm about being discreet. What they call the French touch, whatever that means. Low profile and somehow elegant without being flashy. My father was very much like that. He was an actor and a dancer.

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Women? I'm still working on the subject. I haven't finished my studies. I would say I'm so happy that they're around. This is the salt and pepper of life. This is what makes me wake up in the morning — even more than work, really.

Just between you and me, I do have vices but, of course, I'm not going to let them be written about in a magazine. Let's put it that way. But yes, I have vices… and I love them!

I spent a lot of time in boarding school. This is something I will never do to my kids. I think if you're having kids then you have to take care of them, otherwise what's the point? There are many things that parents say are good for the kids, but the truth is they say that because it is good for the parents.

I'm moving to Rio permanently with my family. It's one of the places left in the world where people still live with a big charge of poetry on a daily basis. I feel we've kind of lost that here in Europe.

I guess I look strange a bit. Strange but confident. I'm not like a model or anything. I always compare this to wearing a hat. You can wear the strangest hat, but if you think it's cool, then you'll look cool.

How did I feel on my wedding day? I was very angry because we had no time to do it so I had to rush around. It was just the two of us, really. I was wearing shorts. It would have taken too long otherwise, so we said, "OK, let's get married and then we'll call people." We've been together, like, 18 years [Cassel is married to actress Monica Bellucci]. As I say, if it works, don't fix it.

Good guys need to be a little dirty otherwise they're just boring. The bad guys, if they're only dirty then they're not interesting so you have to find something good in them.

Your forties are wonderful. You have enough money to do what you want and you know yourself more . Plus, I'm still strong enough to do most of the things I used to do. So right now it's good. In 10 years, I don't know.

It's now or never. This is simple to say, but then to live like that is not easy at all, I'm sorry. You have to be aware enough so that you can see situations as they pass in front of you and be able to catch the instant, whatever it is. Many times, you just don't see the moment when you were yawning and then it's too late.

I would like not to waste my time with stupidities and just enjoy what's left of what we have.

Read the full interview in Esquire's Big Black Book, available on newsstands now.
Interview by Ben Mitchell / Portrait by Maxime Ballesteros

Vincent Cassel features in Trance, out this spring

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