French-Serbian Actor Arnaud Humbert on ‘White Crow’ + Societal Relations with America, Serbia, France

ATM: Are you familiar with the Philosopher Socrates?

AH: Yes, I think I am.

ATM: He felt the body and soul were separate. Whereas, some people might consider these to be the same. These things are being a separate thing if you look at it from a different perspective. He felt the body connected to the sensible world, which is what we all see. The soul connected to the real world, which is what we cannot see. The senses that we have does not contribute to our soul, but only our body. The soul can connect to different entities, which in the modern sense energies or spirituality.

AH: Interesting.

ATM: In ways, do you believe the main character Rudolf Nureyev used his body and then used his soul?

AH: He uses his body as a type of escape. His soul is the moment when he expresses himself while using his body. The use of the body is like a necessity. It is an extension of his soul and spiritually his path. The body is like saving himself.

ATM: How do you use your soul and body?

AH: Good question. My character is a journalist. He is using the body as a mechanical way. My soul in this character is trying to find the truth. Personally, I prepare before. While on the action, I let my soul act. I let the child inside of me play. I let things go in the moment and let things be. Even if they are not together, they are really connecting. I try to make a healthy balance from both as possible.

ATM: How would you socially express Serbia?

AH: It is a country coming into one. It has come from a conservative way. There are still things and it has increased. It was a glory time. They used to have more education and money. It is very economically different. I have experienced more in France. It is a much safer culture than France, especially Paris. It is something surprising for me. It has a history of war, but it is really the opposite.

ATM: In my country, from my perspective, socially it can be different depending on your economic or educational background. These are primal elements that might shape a person’s perspective. Education lacks things, but it is still taught. People find unique ways to make money. The value system in America is quite different than Serbia. America is seen as hardworking. We, for the most part, are very ambitious.  

AH: In Serbia, it is a big economic problem here for anybody. It is like a fight to survive here for a lot of people. Of course, not to everyone. It is economically and politically complicated. It is different. It is more human. People are up to do things and meet people because of the absence of money. It is not that cold. As for hard working, I would not describe this place as hard working.

ATM: Why?

AH: This would not be the image I would give them. I know some people who are hardworking here though.

ATM: Here it is the whole thing of “making it.” It is the thing you choose something as a child and you work your whole life to accomplish, master it, and then live it. This is primarily the template in America.

AH: And if you do not make it? (Laughs)

ATM: There is a sense of doubt. People give up. This comes into economic things. The economy in America is very low for particular people. This is because of various things. Everyone cannot accomplish their dream, because some people are not supposed to. You can dream something and what a career, but the outcome could have a negative impact. However, for the people who really want what they want, they end of accomplishing it or becoming successful.

AH: And we all have different paths. We think we want it, but we do not get it. We get something better instead.

ATM: I do not believe anyone should dream to become anything. Sometimes when you are dreaming or striving for something, you will get something else. You might not get what you dream, but you might just get something much better. In my country, a lot of people forget this. They think the desire you want in life is the only one to exist for them. No. It is not. The typical American dreams for one thing. Subconsciously and on purpose, they fixate everything in their life on it. This is not the best way. This limits any individual for what could come or could be for them.

The new American Dream should be industrious, but also strive for greatness and to make a change. Somewhere in between these is where your purpose will happen or occur. Your desire must equal change and not equal “self.” A lot of people’s dreams in America are about “self” and are “selfish.”  Just think. I am confused about why people are striving for change in my country if the prime standard is to dream for “self.” Selfish dreams cannot in any form cause change. No one should dream one thing or have a back-up dream. These are limitations put on the mind, body, and soul. This also ruins your path of life. You have a lot of Americans who followed the old American Dream, and because they fixated their life on one thing, they do not know anything else or their skills and their strengths become linear. This also goes with self-development.

AH: Yes, we can. We are human beings. We have different sets of personality and skills. Self-development does not change, but it changes by themselves. It could change with friendships and relationships. My friends and I make excuses about things. Of course, America is a good support of ideas and people speaking about self-development. I have read French books. It is a new word for me. I did not see it in this perspective before. I was a very practical person. But I just changed when you mention the question about the body and soul. I was like, “What?!” I believe the more hard-working, the better you are as a human being. My self-development is going well. It is not easy. “Self” is like a risky thing, but it is worth the risk for me.

ATM: Define what “self” since we keep talking about it.

AH: Self is your identity without any fear or blockage. It is the pure identity like the soul. It is not to your nation or image like this country. It is purity. I needed to distance this. This is better when not in France. Because for me, France was the center of the world. I went to another country and was like, “Wait this is not the center of the world. Why?” I questioned who I was, what I wanted, and what I liked. My education helped me do this. It is more about the journey and the self. My identity more expresses itself when on the stage or putting my ego aside.

ATM: Self is the person you are when you are along. I do not think “self” can stay the concept of “self” when combining with others. When “self” is merged with other personalities than it becomes “you.” Nature and Nurture is also a primal element that can be applied to self-development. Nature is what we encounter genetically. Nurture is what we are or were around during our childhood that helps shape us. Some people believe things we do are associated with genetics.

AH: I have heard of this. I believe in education and identity make things. There is a mix of nature and nurture. I think we can have both. I am very curious and persistent. This is not nurture, but it is nature. It is in me. They are there for me. In Serbia or anywhere in the world, most think there is a nature and things they cannot change. This is the wrong way of thinking. We can change a lot of personality and thinking. It is a skill and it needs work to do this. We evolve and can change a lot of things.

ATM: In my country, socially it seems to be more nurture. People seem to go by how they were brought up. They tend to subconsciously get into careers that were put on them from when they were a child. They do not seem to get the change to pick something they really want to do. They are mirroring what the child environment taught them. Times change. So, what they were taught while growing will not apply to what they could want. Nature is what needs to be implemented more.

AH: Whatever we decide, we are not far from nature. It is important to rule nature. Nature outside of your identity. You should use nurture as a great tool, and it can change a lot. You cannot forget your nature, because it is what you are. It is complicated to see nature where there is nurture. You cannot do everything on nature or everything on nurture. There must be a balance.

ATM: What time is it currently in Serbia?

AH: 9:34pm in Belgrade, Serbia, GMT right now. What about you? What time is in there?

ATM: It is currently 1:34pm in New York, EST.

AH: I hope you are liking the sun.

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