***The true story that inspired the box office smash hit, Intouchables***
***U.S. film distribution in May 2012***
***German, Italian, and Spanish rights sold***
Abdel Sellou's remarkable and entertaining memoir, You Changed My Life, recounts the story of his unlikely friendship with Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, a wealthy man devastated by the loss of all four of his limbs in a hang-gliding accident and by the loss of his wife to cancer. Sellou, an experienced pickpocket, a talented con man, and a charismatic gang leader, never would have expected that he'd grow up to be an excellent caretaker for a disabled man and the inspiration for a movie character, as well as a gifted storyteller and author.
Sellou's fictional reincarnation, Driss, played to critical acclaim by up-and-coming French comedian Omar Sy in the movie Intouchables, captured the hearts of millions with his edgy charm. In You Changed My Life, written with the help of author Caroline Andrieu, Sellou shows us the real man behind Omar Sy's smiling face. The book takes us from his childhood spent stealing candy from the local grocery store, to his career as a pickpocket and scam artist, to his unexpected employment as a companion for a quadriplegic.
Sellou's idiosyncratic and candidly charming voice is magnificently captured in this memoir, a fact to which di Borgo testifies in his touching preface. Sellou's stories of his childhood exploits are recounted with wit, humor, and intelligence, never making excuses for his consistently poor behavior. Unapologetic, he recounts his years of criminal activity and relative homelessness. And though his story is often serious, he narrates with a brevity and humor that strike at the essence of his character.
Sellou's ability to live in the moment, independent of past mistakes or future consequences, makes him an invaluable resource to "the Pozzo," as Sellou calls him, a man terribly burdened by a painful past and an uncertain future. Sellou is fearless because he has nothing to lose; di Borgo is fearless because he has already lost everything.
Sellou has never before divulged the details of his past, even to his closest friend, Pozzo. In many interviews and documentaries, he has evaded or shrugged off the question of his childhood and his stay in prison, until now. He tells his story with a stunning amount of talent, humor, style, and—though he denies that he has any—humility.