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Jamel Debbouze on parenthood adventure and his parents’ reaction

Written by FDM

Picking a name for your child can sometimes be overwhelming. In addition to the possibilities you conceive it’s likely that friends and relatives will offer suggestions of their own – whether they are welcomed or not. Jamel Debbouze did not escape the process.

Moroccan humorist Jamel Debbouze has went through the same scenario, along with his wife journalist Mélissa Theuriau, when they chose a name for their two children. In a candid interview on Sunday, November 25 for the show “Sept à huit” on TF1, Debbouze addressed the topic when asked about the names of his two kids which sound more “French”.

The couple of 10 years named their boy, Léon, in 2008. A surname that the actor chose “out of love” for his wife whose grandfather was sick at the time . “He was in a bad situation by the time Leon arrived and it was natural,” he says.

Yet this name did not immediately resonate with the actor’s parents. ” It confused my mother at first: ‘You will call him Leon every day ?!’, he says imitating. “My father, he said to me: ‘Leon, is very beautiful! Personally, I will call him Ali ‘, “he continues with humor.

However, Jamel Debbouze does not deny his Moroccan roots at all. “A lot of people thought I was somehow betraying who I was,” says the actor who eventually chose Ali as a middle name for his eldest son.

Same goes for his daughter Lila (born in 2011) who has two other names: Fatima and Brigitte (the names of Jamel Debbouze and Mélissa Theuriau’s mothers). “It’s also a way of telling my children, be proud! You are diverse inside,” the comedian concludes.