Dany Boon Is The Highest Paid Actor In European Film History — See Why In “Lolo,” Opening March 11

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February 17, 2016 — Europeans would find it hard to believe that in America Dany Boon is not a household name. 

But that’s about to change.

In 2008, he was the highest paid actor in European film history, earning nearly $33 million that year (€ 26 million). In that year he co-wrote, directed and starred in Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Welcome to the Sticks), which broke every box office record in France. More than five million people had seen the movie in its first two weeks of release, and the numbers kept rising. It would break the attendance record of La Grande Vadrouille, (The Great Stroll), which had held that record since 1966. Seen by more than 20 million people, the movie has taken in $245 million.

His comedy show, performed in the northern dialect of Ch’ti (with French subtitles) sold more than 600,000 copies, the most DVD sales at the time for a one-man show. His comedy performances are sell-outs. 

He is about to take America by storm as well. An English-speaking version of Welcome to the Sticks is in the works (Italian and German versions have already been made and were huge hits). But for now, American audiences are getting a chance to see him in Lolo, the rom-com co-written, directed by and starring Julie Delpy. It hits theaters on March 11.

She wrote the part of Jean-René, the male lead, with Boon in mind. “From the outset I had him in mind for Jean-René. However successful he is, Dany is still very childlike and retains some actual naiveté that I really enjoy. He said he would do the film three days after reading the script. Things often happen this way on my films. I think of someone who seems out of reach and who eventually ends up playing the part,” she explained.

Boon plays a man who has led a simple life until he develops a software system that becomes a huge success. Suddenly he finds himself in Paris, and dating a sophisticated woman with a difficult son. 

Describing why he agreed to do the movie, he noted, “It’s always the subject matter that I am first attracted to and the emotion I can feel reading the script. I enjoyed the love story of these two forty-something characters – it’s a highly romantic story, devoid of any cynicism, and deeply rooted in Julie Delpy’s universe, with a straightforward, sometimes almost raunchy style. I liked the idea of being in a woman’s comedy. There are not so many of them being made out there. It’s a rarity.”

And he enjoyed working with Delpy: “Julie is totally wild but it’s a good, highly positive way of being wild – and she even makes fun of it! She’s always moving forward, she’s always active and thinking. She’s also very concerned. She’s extremely generous and sensitive while being very straightforward. She says what’s on her mind and she’s demanding. She can fly into a temper if she’s frustrated or unsatisfied. She’s strong-willed while being feminine. She’s an attractive woman.”

FilmRise is releasing Lolo theatrically on March 11.
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