Avignon in Provence, France
+ Jean Reno
All the world’s a stage—you just need to get out and discover it for yourself, famed French thespian Jean Reno tells LARA DAY
Published on May 21, 2010
First, I should say it’s difficult for me to name my favorite place. I was born in Casablanca, when Morocco was under the French administration. My parents are from Andalusia, in the south of Spain. I went to do my military service in Germany, to become a French citizen, and then I went to the States for my career. So you see, the world is mine—the world belongs to everyone. You just need to have the courage to get out and do something.
Honestly, my ideal vacation is on a boat. There are no paparazzi, and you can take your whole family along. The sea is perfect because it’s open. I especially love the Mediterranean, where you have everything: Corsica, Greece, Italy, Spain, France. I have a holiday house in Provence, surrounded by olive trees—it’s close to Avignon, where there’s a theater festival, and Arles, where there are bullfights. I’m looking for something else now, a bit bigger, still in southern Europe, maybe in the south of Spain.
I find Asia very appealing for its diversity, and the kindness of the people. You learn a lot just from people in the street. The biggest surprise to me here has been China. At the beginning I thought it was closed, but in fact it’s open. Look at the youth in Hong Kong. The kids here are just like in America, full of colors, wearing different clothes.
When you travel for cinema, everything is taken care of for you. You don’t have to remember anything—it’s both good and bad at the same time. Take Beijing. I was there for the film festival, and it was great. But I didn’t have time to visit the Great Wall of China. I want to go back and take black-and-white photographs. I want to go back to Shanghai, too. I was there for the film festival, and the Park Hyatt is really extraordinary, especially the breakfast. It has everything: fantastic pastries, a beautiful buffet … every day I woke up and ran straight to breakfast. Just ask my wife.
When you’re young, you can never imagine what will happen to you: the places you’ll go, the people you’ll meet. Your life is the biggest adventure, the biggest journey. It’s like a card game—every person has a card for you. That’s my philosophy in life. My goal isn’t to be on some beach by myself, but to be among people. Wherever you go, if you know how to look at people, the travel will be fantastic.