Greetings, gay geeks, and gaymers! We have a special cosplay crush. All the way from France, Jérôme Caillére aka JamesC. During his free time he’s a 3D artist, or at the geek bar called “Le Level Up” in Angers, France.
He’s been a gender bent Lara Croft, Larson and Pierre Dupont from the Tomb Raider series, Nathan Drake from Uncharted, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid 2, Squall Leonhart from Kingdom Hearts, Booker Dewitt and Splicer from Bioshock Infinite, Joel from The Last of Us, Delsin Rowe from Infamous Second Son, Two-Face from Batman Arkham Knight, and Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
He’s been cosplaying ever since he was 21. He’s been to the Japan Expo in Paris, World Cosplay Summit.
What got you into cosplay in the first place?
I saw some videos about cosplay at friend’s home. I really like the idea to put fictional characters in real life. When cosplays are good, it’s like a dream came true. I really like to wear it for conventions or photo shoot. Being the character. See smiles and joy on people faces.
With a friend, in conventions, we were Joel and a clicker. A group of teenagers asks for a photo with us. They were so happy. It was a really good moment. I also like to work on leather. I always use real leather.
Creating the costume is the longest part. I’m a lazy man, so sometimes I have to rush before a convention or a photoshoot…And my sewing machine is broken, so I have to sew myself, and it’s so annoying. When you sewed with a machine, sewing with bare hands is so hard.
Competition isn’t my things. Especially because I cosplay easy characters with clothes you can buy in stores. My most difficult character was Squall Leonhart. The leather jacket with leather patches sewed by hands was hard to do. But a character like Nathan Drake is easy. You have to make the holster by yourself and… that’s it. With a character like this, you can’t enter a competition.
I was on stage with Squall, and it was so good! So, maybe, one day, with a 100% handmade costume, I’ll be on stage again.
In your own words, how would you define cosplay?
Create by yourself, or a least a part of it, and incarnate the character in conventions or photo shoot. Being closer as you can to the character. It’s a hobby. An escape from the real world. You can be who you want.
Impacted a lot! I have met so many friendly people. Met some friends in it. Discovered lot of talented people too. I have done interviews, photo shoots, videos, conventions, fan films and even had a job with cosplay.
What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?
Everyone can cosplay! Everyone ! But sometimes you have to adapt the outfit for your body. For example, I’ll never cosplay a very thin character. Because I won’t fit it properly. I choose characters I want to cosplay. I’ll never fit a character like Link or Cloud. I’ll never have the same face, even with a lot of make-up.
But there is a solution. I can adapt the character. Why not a realistic and mature version? A badass version? There is always a solution when you want to cosplay a character.
What’s your most memorable experience while cosplaying?
When I was on stage with Squall Leonhart. I love this character and being on stage is so powerfull! The stress before the stage totally vanished at the first step on the stage. When it’s finished, you only want one thing. Being on stage again!
Do you have a cosplay “team?”
A tiny little one, with my photographer. We created “Cosplay United FR.” To share our work. He’s talented! We are looking for cosplayers near us for a photoshoot and more. Right now, we are two…so we only share photos of myself.
What was your most expensive/hardest cosplay you did and why?
It was Squall Leonhart. No doubts! I bought the gun blade to a props maker (Dj3r0m) because I dunno how to make props yet. Bought lots of belts, gloves, and very long zippers. And the wig was done by a hairdresser. I’m so bad for certain things…
Do you feel like the cosplay world has changed over the last years? More free and accepting?
Oh yes, it changed. Thanx to YouTube. You can order a lot of materials on the internet. You can find a lot of tutorial on YouTube. Cosplay is almost accepting like another hobby. Some nationals TV channels (in France) didn’t show us like freaks anymore. It’s a big step! And people enjoyed cosplays in conventions!
But, due to the internet, there is looooot of competition, so, if you want to be famous, it’s easy…have a good body and sexualize your cosplay. You don’t have to make your own costume! Cosplay changed, in good and bad ways.
Has being gay affected how you cosplay?
Never. In cosplay, nobody cares about that. Everybody check your cosplay, not your sexuality. Right now, nothing. Because it’s not obvious that I’m LGBT when you see me. I’m not wearing my sexuality.
Do you make your costumes or have them made?
I only bought props. Example, for Booker Dewitt, I bought the official skyhook. But I made the vest. I could buy a vest, but I choose to make it because I can.
What upcoming events will we see you cosplay at again?
Halloween! I have less than a month so, I’ll do an easy character. The Riddler from Batman Arkham Knight. After that, maybe “Art to Play” in November in Nantes. And Japan Expo of course in July 2017!
What is your favorite cosplay?
Hard question. As a fan of Tomb Raider, I have to say that I love Lara Croft cosplays, specially classic outfit. Jenn Croft is amazing as Lara Croft!
Favorite memory from a con?
I was in Booker Dewitt at Japan Expo, and I saw a Bioshock group, with a Big Daddy, some Little Sisters, Splicers, and Elisabeths. When they saw me, they yelled “Boooooker !!” and ask me to join their group. I spend all afternoon with them! It was really really cool.
Worst experience at a con?
Worst ? When a part of your cosplay felt apart. A button or breaking a prop or a seam. Always test your cosplay before a convention! Wear it few hours at home, try to sit, jump, make some poses, everything!
What would you say to a first time cosplayer?
For a first cosplay, choose an easy one! If it’s too hard, it will be discouraging. Don’t hesitate to watch tutorials, read tutorials, ask for help. If you doubt of your skills, look at first cosplay and latest of any cosplayer! You can do it too!
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
I have fans ?! Cool 😀 Thank you all for your support. Your smiles and joy made our days.
Where can fans get more of you (social media, websites, etc.)?