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French Rapper-Turned-Actor Joeystarr Co-Stars In “Polisse” (Criticize His Performance At Your Own Risk)

French Rapper-Turned-Actor Joeystarr Co-Stars In "Polisse" (Criticize His Performance At Your Own Risk)

The feature-length French police procedural Polisse, from director/writer Maïwenn, has been garnering acclaim since 2011, when it took home the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.  This year, it received an impressive 13 César Award nominations; including a Best Supporting Actor nod to rapper/actor Joeystarr.

Described as a film which “follows the daily lives of a tight-knit team of men and women working in the Child Protection Unit of the Parisian police”, Polisse could easily be dismissed as a big-screen French-version of Law & Order:SVU.  But after watching the film’s trailer, and an explosive clip that feature’s Joeystarr’s character, I think Polisse deserves a serious look from American filmgoers.  Check it out for yourself:

Now watch Joeystarr do his thing in this exclusive clip:

Pretty intense.  Polisse opens here in DC and becomes available On Demand on May 25, and I definitely will be checking it out.  Make sure to check the listings for an independent theater nearest you, as Polisse could be in and out of theaters before one realizes.

But just who is Joeystarr, anyway?

While trying to locate more info on the 90’s hardcore-rapper, I kept reading about how much of a bad-ass he is.  Originally of Martinican-descent, Joeystarr– born Didier Morville– formed the rap group Supreme NTM with partner Kool Shen in 1989.  Joeystarr’s personal history is filled with accounts of volatile moments, including a troubled childhood spent with a violent father who killed his pet rabbit and then made young Didier eat it!  WTF?!!

It should then come as no surprise that violence and Joeystarr would almost become synonymous.  Before he started rapping, Joeystarr spent time in the Army, presumably learning how to kill.  13 years ago, he reportedly did several months in prison, for assaulting a flight attendant.

The strangest story I read about him, though, was an incident in 2003 for which he was publicly condemned for animal brutality, after he hit a monkey on national television.  Not that I’m a champion for the rights of monkeys, or anything, but I didn’t want to believe that Joeystarr could stoop so low.  That was, of course, before I saw the tape:

I don’t know . . . after watching the clip of Polisse and the clip with the monkey, I’m starting to see a pattern.  If he ever intends on working in America, he’d better not try that over here.  Monkeys in this country have rights, and they can fight.

Regardless, I’m interested in seeing the entire performance that earned Joeystarr a César Award nomination.  Most especially, I’ll be looking to see if that explosive off-camera persona is present in his acting.  Although, after viewing the above clip from Polisse, I may already know the answer to that question.

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M. Costa

You say that monkey's in the US have rights. I know you're being humorous, but you're also kind of hinting that you think animals don't have rights in France – like France is some backward country. The fact of the matter is France is one of the most advanced countries in the world, and Joey Starr was fined more than 9,000 dollars in 2002 for animal maltreatment. If he were caught again doing something similar, he'd probably be imprisoned. It also caused a lot of protest and anger towards him from the French public. So, my point is – animals have lots of rights in France, and in all of the European Union. The US isn't the only developed country.

Kathleen Burke



As for this movie not being written off as a fake Law & Order SVU, Elliott slapped perverts around worse than that every other week.


It seems to be an injustice to man that wisdom comes after the storm. Would-of, could-of, and should-of are a poor defence against things in our past, but fortunately, with a little self-discovery, soul-searching and lots of pain, people do change. Not many folks truely change but again, some do. Now, I was hesitant to read this post b/c it had all the signs of a "set up" piece. You know, rapper turned actor was the first calling card for those who deplore the supposed untrained actors. Yep, we've been here before. But I know how that works so I read on. My interest was peaked by the news that the film won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Okay, now we're talking about something relevant. And Joeystarr was nominated for a Cesar Award! Come on now, that's big. So he slapped a monkey… and? So he's an ex-rapper… and? But wait, let me go back. I met a Cesar Award winner. That's right, over at my blog I actually have a picture of me, him and Harvey Keitel. Anyway, the guys name is Guillaume Depardieu. He's the son of the actor Gérard Depardieu , a French actor and film-maker. He has won a number of honours including a nomination for an Academy Award for the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac and the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in Green Card. Well, after his son won the Cesar he later went on to gain popularity – in not a very respectable way. Well, Guillaume Depardieu never fully recovered from a life of drug addiction, a road crash and a hospital infection which forced the amputation of his right leg. He also had been a male prostitute and gigolo as part of a teenage revolt against his father's famous name. He also served two jail sentences for theft and drugs offences. Heck, shortly after we took the picture he boarded a plane and later was arrested in Paris – for Heroin possession. At the age of 37, he died of pneumonia. Nevertheless, my motto is "What About A Time Called Now". Until Mr. Joeystarr shows me that he's anything other than an actor who made a few "misstakes" — like all humans are proned to do — I am looking forward to seeing (if I get a chance) the feature-length French police procedural Polisse. Why wouldn't I? It goes without question that I may not agree with the personal lives of many actors, but why should that stop me from watching them work their craft?


Can he work in America? I don't know. Americans are not very forgiving of people who commit animal abuse. Violent past, assault (probably a female flight attendant)? Sure, we can look past that But slapping a monkey???? Oh no, can't have that…


It still to this day amazes me how clowns like this dude get rewarded for their bad behavior. He was no different than some of the many so called thug rappers/R&B singers over here in the states who turned from violence to playing cops and the garnered big paychecks after teaching years of anarchy to our children and never having to answer for it. What was the point of slapping that monkey around? Did the monkey cuss at him or something?His team will eventually have him say that was in the past and have him apologize then he'll win an Oscar. Sad world we live in. SMH.


Umm..I'm disturbed by him hitting the monkey. He turned me off from wanting to support any of his work. I got chills.

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