“Don’t look up”: this French researcher doubled DiCaprio and it was “unexpected”

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UNUSUAL – “Asteroid specialist research to dub Leonardo DiCaprio”. This is more or less the announcement received, to his great surprise, Michaël Marsset, 32 years old and from Finistère in the fall of 2020. It is difficult to say no for this scientist, corresponding in all respects to the criteria requested and fan of the American actor. This is how he was able to participate in the triumphant netflix movie Don’t Look Up.

Nearby Parisian, Michaël Marsset explains that he was chosen to lend a “strong hand” to the production of satirical comedy, now the second biggest hit on the Netflix platform.

In Don’t look up: cosmic denial, a $75 million blockbuster from the American streaming giant, Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio play two astronomers who discover a huge comet about ten kilometers wide whose trajectory is heading towards Earth. Their calculations are final: the comet will crash into our planet in six months, causing its destruction. Except that neither United States President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) nor the media take them seriously. A assumed metaphor of the global warming crisis.

Michaël Marsset believed in “a joke”

These famous calculations, which lead to the announcement of the terrible conclusion, Michaël Marsset wrote them. At least copied, because the equations come from a real scientific article published in 1985.

French student in astrophysics in Boston, in the United States, the Breton believed “first in a joke” by opening his e-mail box. In a message sent by his postdoctoral supervisor, a film team was looking for a “double” for Leonardo DiCaprio at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Especially for the scene where he expands the equations and realizes the end is near.

″Writing equations on a board takes a bit of practice. They wanted someone who works in the field of asteroids and the solar system for the authenticity of the scene”, explains Michaël Marsset at Parisian. “I immediately replied that I was interested. I like cinema, I’m a fan of DiCaprio and quite admiring of the work he does from the point of view of ecological activism”, he continues.

Like “seeing a painter making a canvas”

To be selected, the scientist had to pass tests, remotely, Covid obliges:

The casting director “asked me several times to send her pictures of my hands. They also asked me to film myself writing equations on a whiteboard. I had one at home, it was good. I made a little funny montage, where I wrote the equations and at the end, I took a piece of video where an asteroid hits the Earth. I think it was quite unexpected”.

During his four days of filming, Michaël “didn’t do much most of the time”, in his own words. “I was sitting and waiting to be called. What really struck me was the slowness of the process: seeing the director give instructions to the actors. It’s like seeing a painter painting a canvas, it’s very slow, by small touches. They re-do the same scenes over and over again from different angles.” His opinion was however requested on several occasions to bring a certain scientific credibility in certain scenes, he explains daily.

As for his idol, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michaël Marsset has good memories of him: “He is very nice. On my last day, before I left, they called me to the set so that everyone would say goodbye. He came personally, he thanked me and we gave each other a little pat of the elbow”.

See also on The HuffPost: Check Out the Trailer for “Don’t Look Up,” the Blockbuster Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio

UNUSUAL – “Asteroid specialist research to dub Leonardo DiCaprio”. This is more or less the announcement received, to his great surprise, Michaël Marsset, 32 years old and from Finistère in the fall of 2020. It is difficult to say no for this scientist, corresponding in all respects to the criteria…

UNUSUAL – “Asteroid specialist research to dub Leonardo DiCaprio”. This is more or less the announcement received, to his great surprise, Michaël Marsset, 32 years old and from Finistère in the fall of 2020. It is difficult to say no for this scientist, corresponding in all respects to the criteria…

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