Martial arts champion, international stuntman, regular understudy of Omar Sy and perhaps soon to be an actor: Serge Crozon is a man with many hats, who has been able to combine his two passions, cinema and combat sports.
Muscles well designed for his age (51 years), salt and pepper goatee and bald head, the strong fellow of Central African origin receives AFP in his dojo in Longjumeau (Essonne), south of Paris, where he spent a game of his youth and still lives. It is there that he teaches Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, a very spectacular Vietnamese discipline that he has been practicing since the age of 14 and in which he has won numerous titles, notably that of world champion. “From a young age, I wanted to practice martial arts in order to become an action film actor”, he rewinds.
In the early 2000s, after a casting, he was offered to become a stunt double. Little by little, Serge Crozon made a name for himself in the industry and integrated American productions. He now has about thirty films to his credit, shot all over the world. Among them, big budget productions, like Sahara, Casino Royale, or 300: Birth of an Empire.
He explains his longevity by seriousness, hard work and humility. “I train almost every day, you have to be always ready, like soldiers. And I’m used to doing things that I know, that I master, to reduce the risks. You have to leave it to each stuntman. his specialty. An actor can be doubled by three different stuntmen “, he explains. Where some are particularly comfortable with cars or explosions, he specializes in fight scenes. “When we punch each other in the face, we do not touch each other. It is the reaction to the blow and the position of the camera that will give the impression of violence”, he explains. “There are false floors to cushion the fall, false stones that fall on you, etc.”
On the film Mortal Kombat, released this year, his big scene of “fight” – which sees him do four falls – lasts a little over two minutes. But it took three weeks of rehearsal and three nights of filming.
Despite the intensity of the preparation, there is always an element of the unforeseen. On the set of James Bond Casino Royale, he was injured during his last day of work, during a fight scene on a crane. “I broke almost all the ligaments in my left knee. But at the time I didn’t have any pain, I started the action again behind”. He still had to stop working for a year and undergo several operations. “To do the false, you have to master the true”, he explains to define his job. “You can’t always cheat. I made a little movie where I had to bang my head against a piece of furniture. I couldn’t do that in slow motion. I did it but only one take.”
In France, he is best known for being the understudy of Omar Sy, with whom he worked on “seven or eight films”. “Always a pleasure“, he smiles. However, the resemblance is not obvious, and Serge Crozon (1.84 m, 92 kg) returns eight centimeters to the star ofUntouchables. Details, which, with the costumes, are quickly erased. “We have more or less the same profile, the same build. There is something in the physique. Every time I have doubled him, I have always been a little made up: he has a slightly skin tone. darker than me, they put a wig on me … And that’s the magic of cinema “.
At his age, he knows that, despite his excellent physical condition, he has no “not for long at this level”. “The fight against time is lost in advance”, he philosophizes. There remains his desire to act in an action film and do his stunts for him, “at [son] account “” I continue to work on my acting. Actor it remains my dream, I will get there “.