The Stuff I Like

Eric Cantona

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Reality TV? Mais non! The football legend and actor likes his entertainment heavyweight. 

1 TV
I don’t watch much TV. I like the news. And I like… in English, débat? Debate! Sometimes with people from politics or sometimes from other worlds, like socialogue. People who speak about politics and history. But I know what I want to see. I don’t go in front of the TV and try and find something, you know? Ninety per cent of TV is bad.

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2 Books
I own three books: The Picture Of Dorian Gray; a collection by Antonin Artaud, I don’t know what it is in English; and Narcissus and Goldmund from Hermann Hesse. All classical, but the same kind of subject. Jumbled personality.

You want to do something but a voice somewhere tells you not to do it. Two persons you have in your mind! All my life is like this! But I really enjoy heavy classical books. Dorian Gray is also funny? You think so? Hmmm.

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3 Art
I like Anish Kapoor, Maurizio Cattelan and Daniel Dezeuze. They ask the questions. You can think it’s just provocation, but behind that there is a lot of questions you can ask yourself and they ask of society. I try to apply that to my work. I think — therefore I am.

4 Film
I like the film of Ken Loach [who cast Cantona in 2009’s Looking For Eric, below]. I like Pasolini. He was very inspired. It’s the same as for theatre, I like to watch a film with a strong message.

Afterwards, we can speak together about different views, this kind of thing. Films are like life: they open doors. The blockbusters when I was growing up: Star Wars, Back to the Future? Oh, no, no, no, no. It’s not for me. Even when I was a kid. Really, I don’t like this kind of thing.

5 Theatre
People in France, they like to see the same classics all the time. I like different ones. I don’t go to the theatre just to have a good time. At school, I maybe read one play. I didn’t go very long at school, you know? I think it was Shakespeare. Or maybe Molière. Right now, I am in Ubu Enchaîné in Lyon [above]. I play Père Ubu; the dictator. Am I a good dictator? I just take direction from the director. If he is happy then I am happy.

6 Cartoons
When I was young, I watch Barbapapa. It is the cartoon about the big one who transforms, yeah! Now I watch it with my son and he loves it. But maybe I love it more, now I am 45. My favourite episode is when they make the wine with their feet.

Eric Cantona’s new film, Switch, is out now