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Interview: Nicolas Giraud and Mathieu Kassovitz promote the release of the movie The Astronaut 02-23-2023 |  4 minutes


When director Nicolas Giraud set out to make his movie, he reached out to ArianeGroup to help him make his ideas a reality. As part of the film press tour — The Astronaut premiered in French cinemas on February 15 — Giraud and actor Mathieu Kassovitz sat down with us to talk about their vision of space. 

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    © Nord-Ouest Films, Orange Studio, Artémis Production, Frères Zak

    The hand-in-hand contact with ArianeGroup – The Astronaut was shot in large part at ArianeGroup’s Vernon site – not only enabled Nicolas and his film crew and cast to really grasp what it means to be an astronaut, but also gave them the opportunity to connect with people doing a whole range of jobs in the space industry. Our staff’s technical and scientific expertise and their willingness to share it contributed greatly to the movie’s authenticity.

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      © Nord-Ouest Films, Orange Studio, Artémis Production, Frères Zak

      About the interviewees

      Following a brief stint in the theater, Nicolas Giraud began a career in television. His numerous appearances in TV series fueled his passion for cinema, and stimulated his inquisitive and project-filled mind. His first movie as director Du soleil dans mes yeux came out in 2018. In 2020, he began his second feature film, The Astronaut, which tells the story of Jim, an ArianeGroup aerospace engineer (played by Giraud himself) who dreams of building his own rocket and accomplishing the first manned space flight as an amateur astronaut. One could say that Giraud’s fate as a film director is in the stars: one of his former neighbors worked at Arianespace, and in 1995 he attended the Ariane 4 takeoff in Kourou.

      An actor, director and producer, Mathieu Kassovitz is a versatile artist. Although this is the first time he plays an astronaut on screen, he has been passionate about science (particularly quantum physics) for the past 20 years. At one stage, he had been hoping to make a zero-gravity movie on the International Space Station (ISS), so he was thrilled to get to play former astronaut Alexandre Ribbot in Giraud’s movie. Even if there were no actual zero-gravity scenes, being able to spend some time with the ArianeGroup community of real-life aerospace engineers and specialists in Vernon was dizzying enough.

      Interview with Nicolas Giraud and Mathieu Kassovitz

      ArianeGroup hopes The Astronaut will be a huge box office hit! The movie is now showing in French cinemas.