“I am not responsible to anyone”: Gad Al-Maleh responds to the controversy over his “transfer” on i24NEWS - I24NEWS
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“I am not responsible to anyone”: Gad Al-Maleh responds to the controversy over his “transfer” on i24NEWS – I24NEWS

“I have been connected to spirituality through Judaism since my childhood”

Did Gad Elmaleh convert to Catholicism? Invited by Culture magazine on i24NEWS to discuss his latest movie “Reste un peu”, the actor and comedian cleverly kept the mystery. “The answer is in my movie, so answering that question will screw it up,” he says with a mischievous smile.

“It is a film that generally talks about a crisis that came with fifty years, which is expressed through a search for meaning and spirituality,” the actor confirms.

When Valerie Abekasis pointed out to him that he could also quench his thirst for spirituality in Judaism – his original religion – Gad Elmaleh replied that he did so daily by studying the Gemara, Mishnah, or Jewish philosophy.

“I have been associated with spirituality through Judaism since my childhood,” he says, noting that this background “only influenced his spiritual journey and his encounter with his Christian brothers and sisters, enlightened people.”

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In Reste un peu, built as a self-styled story, each character plays their own role. The film chronicles the spiritual interrogation of Gad Elmaleh who was attracted to Catholicism, and the reactions of those around him starting with his parents and sister.

Gad discusses, questions, debates, at the family table and in front of Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, Talmudic Pierre-Henri Salvati or Christian sister and father. The actor and director admits that his film shows “real and invented things”, but without specifying which ones.

What does Gad think of the uproar his movie made on the web and his supposed conversion to Catholicism? “I’m not crazy, I’ve heard it’s tense and people in the Jewish community say to themselves ‘But what did he do, what’s going on?’ I expected these reactions, especially since it is also from my father,” he points out.

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While he explains that he left plenty of room for improvisation in dialogues so that his relatives could use their “own words,” his mother, Rajin al-Malih, did not chew on it.

“My mother sometimes had very harsh lines, one of which was during a Sabbath meal, where she said to me, ‘If you change your God, change your family and adopt it.'” After the fact that she really meant what she said,” says Gad Elmaleh.

So the title “Stay A Little” refers very much to the anarchy of Gad’s parents who are impressed with the loss of their child, and who view his interest in Christianity as a disaster. “In the movie, my parents plead with me not to stray from my family and my community,” the actor says.

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While he says he hopes the entire Jewish community will not care about “these comments, insults and hatred expressed on social media,” Gad Elmaleh asserts, “No one is being held accountable.” “We’re free,” he said, before playing the mystery again: “When my childhood friends say ‘Mazal tov to turn you’, I find that sentence crazy. And it’s not true,” he says, while encouraging people to go see his movie without prejudice.

“You shouldn’t turn around and go see the movie. People have to understand that it’s a comedy full of lightness, madness, freshness and love.”

You also find in Culture an interview with Judith Elmaleh, sister of Gad Elmaleh, for her book queen Which tells the incredible story about the grandmother of the clan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dTAWKrTPSQ

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