Dream job alert! A French researcher has been chosen to double Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from Don’t Look Up, the film by Adam McKay available on Netflix.
Dubbing Leonardo DiCaprio in a Netflix movie? The offer is too good to be true… And yet, that’s what Michaël Marsset, a French researcher from Finistère, who studies astrophysics in Boston, in the United States, did. When the 32-year-old man received this strange announcement by email in December 2020 transferred by his supervisor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he did not really believe it.
In an interview for The Parisian, Michaël Marsset explained that he had lent a “strong hand” to the teams of Don’t Look Up, the satirical comedy by Adam McKay on Netflix. In this film, which is a great success on the platform, Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio camp two astronomers who try to make the population understand that a dangerous comet is going to fall on the planet and destroy it.
DiCaprio’s hands, it’s him
As revealed by the ESO (European Southern Observatory) on Twitter, the Netflix film teams therefore called on this asteroid expert to double the hands of the American actor in order to make his character believable when he writes the equations proving his reasoning and announcing the end of the world on the blackboard.
The researcher, whowas thinking of a joke“, immediately answered the call to copy equations from a real scientific article from 1985, as he explains to Le Parisien:
″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. I immediately replied that I was interested. I like cinema, I’m a fan of DiCaprio and quite a fan of the work he does from an environmental activism point of view.
The researcher then put the odds on his side to be chosen by the casting director during interviews conducted remotely:
“The casting director asked me several times to send her photos of my hands. They also asked me to film myself writing equations on a whiteboard. I had one at home, it fell well. I did a bit of a funny edit, 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.”
His creativity paid off since Michaël Marsset was chosen for this rather unusual role which earned him to spend four days on the set of Don’t Look Up and rub shoulders with Leonardo DiCaprio, whom he found “very nice” and who came personally to greet and thank him at the end. The French researcher will remember this experience behind the scenes of filming an American blockbuster:
“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 who makes a canvas is very slow, in small strokes. They redo the same scenes, again and again, from different angles.”