“Congratulations! Are you happy to have come so far at your age?” “Well, I don’t know… Even when I was a child, every birthday went hand in hand with the fear of growing old too quickly. I’ve always been aware of how and how quickly time passes, and I’ve been afraid of not having enough time to do everything I want to do, satisfy all my curiosities, and carry out all my projects. Call me Peter Pan, but if I had to decide, I’d prefer to stay at this age...”.
In an Italy where the word ‘old’ has been deleted from dictionaries, 40-year-olds have no intention of moving out of their parents’ houses, and those blowing out 50 candles on their birthday cake consider themselves ‘young’, Nicolas Maupas is a wonderful exception.
If we were to condense his personality into two words, we’d have to resort to baroque oxymoron-type tricks (such as heavenly hell, hot ice, infinite instant, bitter sweetness and so on). And this is not because he’s full of contradictions, or worse, irritating hypocrisies, but because he’s a dreamer with his feet firmly anchored to the ground, an ancient soul in an agile body, a potential star who would never abandon his old friends, a person who totally fits within his time but is simultaneously unlikely to passively suffer all its manifestations: firstly the mad use of social networks which he sees as preventing him from enjoying the moment and which make time, indeed that time which passes and flows away with rude impertinence, used more to add filters, captions and hashtags when it should simply be lived.
“My goal is not easy fame or instant success: I would like to build a path which makes me better and better and more and more capable”
Polite and sharp, tender and sarcastic, cultured but not a know-all, kind and crafty, MANINTOWN has given him the Next Generation Award, an initiative created with the MI HUB Agency that rewards and promotes the names of talented young people in the acting and creative scene.
“I am very happy, even if my goal is not easy fame or instant success: I would like to build a path which, film after film, character after character, makes me better and better and more and more capable. But I would never want my career to turn me into a different person than I am, one who perhaps rejects those dearest to him, sacrificing them at the altar of glory. I expect, no, I demand to remain myself, with my habits, my delicate touches and my bad moods, which I am granted precisely by the love of those who are close to me”.
Originally from Milan and currently living in Rome for two years now, he is the son of a French father and an Italian mother – both engaged in highly cultured professions: he is an graphic designer, she is a journalist. He acknowledges that he owes much of his visual and book culture to them: “Especially to my mother, who showed me neorealist films, masterpieces by great directors of the past, memorable theatrical performances. With the result that now I admire both the blockbusters with superheroes and more engaging films, as well as those of the past that are evergreen like Barefoot in the Park”.
More duplicity, more doubleness? “No, merely endless curiosity, which is the foundation of my work. Work that also sees us as ‘thieves’, in the best sense of the word: actors have the right/duty to ‘steal’ from their more adult, better, more capable colleagues”.
“Actors have the right/duty to ‘steal’ from their more adult, better, more capable colleagues”
Nicolas became famous for the TV series Mare fuori with which he debuted in 2019 and has now reached the third season, followed by another series, Un professore, in which he stars as Simone, son of Dante, played by Alessandro Gassmann. For Netfix, he has played Hans in the teen movie Under the Amalf Sun and in the series Odio il Natale where he plays Davide (a student who Anna, played by Pilar Fogliati, will fall in love with), up to Sopravvissuti in the role of Roberto, a friend of one of the survivors. He is currently filming the umpteenth series: “If I tell you the title they’ll kill me, let’s just say that it is mysterious, dealing with the paranormal”, produced by RAI with Amazon.
“On occasions that require elegant clothing, clothes are like armor, a sort of protection, soft armor”
Although it is already a remarkable curriculum, he sees it as “The natural and organic development of what for me was like a ‘call to arms’, a vocation, a bit like what happens to priests: for me people are born actors, they don’t become them. Although of course I learned a lot in the technical and stage classes at fACTORy 32 in Milan with Michael Rogers and then at Academy09”.
Just like Michelangelo Buonarroti wrote in one of his sonnets, Nicolas also “does nothing without joy”, including discovering that he loves fashion and clothes: “I dress like a runaway when I’m not working, but on occasions that require elegant clothing, like when I was on the red carpet in Venice, clothes are like armor, a sort of protection, soft armor. My mother is a fashion journalist, so the world of appearance has always intrigued me as a social phenomenon. Even then, in everyday life, I honestly don’t think about it and I put on the first clean thing I find”.
“Our culture is mixed, with influences from different geographies and stimuli that are as fast as they are different”
Nicolas affirms that if Italy, alas, is a country for the old, it is equally true that his peers belong to a generation, “Accustomed first of all to carrying out projects without budgets because we were still born in an era of rather relative economic well-being but which, precisely for this reason, makes minds shine richer with ideas, favoring not the expansion of individualism, but of teamwork. And I’m not only referring to the actors, but also to the musicians, the artists, the writers. This makes us very different from those in their 30s and 40s who instead generally feel betrayed by a society that had promised them money and employment and today find themselves fighting against a thousand obstacles. Moreover, although undoubtedly expressed more with images than with consistency, our culture is mixed, with influences from different geographies and stimuli that are as fast as they are different. Surely this is offered by the period in which we were born: in acting we talk about ‘given circumstances’, or facts and situations that influence the story of the character and become elements of action even if they took place in a past that does not concern or does not involve the plot on stage“.
“Already born in complex years, we find ourselves almost spontaneously refuting the almost 19th-century aspiration of finding workmarrying-buying a house, because none of this is possible today. From this contingency, as one of my favorite philosophers Umberto Galimberti also says, derives the difference between us and the Millennials who perhaps have much more in common with my parents’ generation than with ours. Moreover, we are fighting several battles: for civil rights, for restoring an economic balance, and struggling to save the planet”.
“I love beauty, but personally I find it more relevant to have regular traits, because this will allow me to play roles that are always different”
With a calm fighting spirit, Nicolas also responds with great practicality when we ask him how he manages to be objectively pleasing both to the eyes and the ears (he has a beautiful voice). Here’s a story: once when walking with his mother, he was surrounded by girls throwing piercing stares with eyes full of hearts his way, stares far more powerful than mere ‘like’.
And he asked his mom who was so important behind them, or if there was a stain on his jacket, without the slightest idea that they were fawning over him: is this story true? (Laughs, ed) “Yes, but I’m a bit slow. Being considered physically pleasing has its own value. I love beauty, but personally I find it more relevant to have regular traits, because this will allow me to play roles that are always different, so I can become uglier, grow old, and give life to many characters. The more I change my aesthetic, the happier I am. Also because with this clean, goody-two-shoes face that I’ve got, I’ll likely have a hard time getting roles as the bad mafia guy, or the killer…”
You can do them later, right? “Well, let’s hope…” And in the meantime, who would you like to play? “A historical character. I adore reconstructing the world in which a person lived in the past, a world I can make a reality with my emotional reactions if I think about how I would have behaved if I had lived in his era”. And who would you like to be directed by? “My dream would be Paolo Sorrentino, Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Giuseppe Tornatore, Luca Guadagnino, Matteo Garrone”. It’ll happen, right? There’s time, you’re so young… “Well no, not so much: time is inexorable and passes too quickly. Don’t make me anxious, I already told you I’m afraid”.
Talent Nicolas Maupas
Editor in Chief Federico Poletti
Text Antonio Mancinelli
Photographer Davide Musto
Fashion Editor Rosamaria Coniglio
Stylist assistant Antonietta Ragusa
Hair Antonio Navoni
Grooming Chiara Viola
Location Teatro Zelig
Opening image: Nicolas Maupas wears look CHB-Christian Boaro, boots Sonora