Philippe Lellouche is back in season 8 of the show “Top Gear”, broadcast on RMC Découverte from Wednesday March 30, 2022. But he does not forget his career as an actor, his family life… or some nice surprises that should see the light of day in a few months.
Purepeople: How did you end up on Top Gear?
Philippe Lellouche: I was called one day by a casting director who asked me if I knew this English show, originally, and who offered me the French version. I told him ” Listen, I’m not necessarily the most skilled guy in a car, I don’t know much about mechanics.“. And then I did the tests. The tone I developed on the show is what they were looking for. But even I wondered. What was funny is that I said to myself that it was on RMC Découverte, a channel that had just arrived, I thought that if it didn’t work no one would see it… and I was very wrong.
Did you have a particular passion for cars before joining the adventure?
I like nice cars, like a lot of people. But I am not one of the greatest enthusiasts, nor of the great connoisseurs. By dint, I begin to have a somewhat empirical knowledge of cars. In 8 years, I have improved in driving and knowledge of the car, but there are many stronger than me.
Are you a car collector yourself?
There are cars that I would like to have, of course, because they are beautiful, like the Mustang 65, 66, but I only have two cars. A station wagon and an old Jeep that I use a lot in the summer. It’s the children’s favourite. The girls like it because there is no roof, no windshield, no door, there is a feeling of freedom.
Which driver are you? Do you respect the highway code?
It is very complicated to respect it well. The guys who tell you I never make a mistake” … Well. But I do my best. There is something that is very pleasant, it is that I have the opportunity throughout the year to drive very fast in places that are planned for and that are secure, with the show. I’m much more careful on the road now. But it happens to me like everyone else to cut a white line to turn around. You must not be fooled. And then you have to be careful, because the car can be a weapon.
Is it a passion that you share with your children?
My eldest son steals my Jeep to go see his friends. But I don’t feel like my kids have any passion for cars. My eldest, Sam, is 27, and he doesn’t really care about cars.
But he shares another passion with you, that of the theatre…
It’s really something he wanted to do. It wasn’t me who told him You are going to play my play!“, that would be awful. He had seen the room, The game of truth, when he was young. At one point he said to me, I’m old enough to play it, can I learn it“. Obviously I was very flattered and very happy that he was taking his first steps in the theater with a play by his dad. It’s awesome. I was nervous for him. But it’s going really well, he’s really happy, he’s found a band he gets along with really well. It’s always happy. I’m very proud of what he does and proud that he chose me because, for once, in plays, there was an embarrassment of choice!
Do you envisage other collaborations with him?
I will never be against working with my son, but the project must lend itself to it. It will be with pleasure but I do not absolutely want to place my son, already he would hate it. He wants to do his own thing and he’s right. But if the opportunity arises, of course.
And the other three?
My second son, Solal, makes music, rap. It is not a universe which is foreign to me but one cannot say that it is a universe in which I am omniscient, far from it. So he does his stuff on his own, he makes his life as a young artist and for once he has no advice to ask me, he makes his way. And then my two daughters are still young. They are soon 4 and 11 years old, they live their lives as little girls.
Do you find time outside of the show to pursue your acting career?
I did two plays this year, The great ambitions with Mr. Pokora, and then right now I’m on tour through France, Switzerland, Belgium with the piece before, The invite, which I played with Gad Elmaleh and now play with Patrick Chesnais and Estelle Lefébure. For next year, it’s still a little secret but I’m going to start a one-man show. It will be early next year but I’m working on it. It’s a challenge. I have only one ambition, it is to be funny. I will talk about the world around us, which is still very loaded with things to take. The world has gone absolutely crazy…
Interview by Yohann Turi. Any reproduction prohibited without the mention of Purepeople.com.