Phil Jacques is French Canadian, which means he can speak two languages, has a romantic accent, and a name that would have once been unmarketable in the Lower 48. However, since this new generation of Quebec City rail killers has stepped into the spotlight even young kids from Southern California are starting to think about making their names sound more French.
After his double-song ender in last year's "Defenders of Awesome" movie Jacques doesn't need much of an introduction. And if that part is any indication of what's to come, his section in this year's Videograss movie is sure to blow minds. Again. Despite his rising fame, Jacques continues to remain humble, and is living proof that if you're from the ice cold streets of Quebec you no longer have to run for the hills of Whistler to make a name for yourself.
Phil, how are you?
I'm good. I just got back from Hood. We did the Videograss session down there.
The snowboard season never seems to end. Do you get any down time?
Well I'm at home right now, but I could be up at Camp of Champions, Hood, New Zealand or South America. I have a little knee injury so I'm taking time to heal properly and rest up. With sponsor obligations the summers have gotten busier, though.
Being a young man from Quebec, how did you start filming and sort of get the ball rolling on your snowboard career?
Well I met all the guys that were filming for Sugar Shack, like Louif [Paradis], Alex Cantin, and LNP. I started riding with those guys and then eventually started filming with Sugar Shack and had some stuff in their movie "Bandwagon." Then I was filming with Brothers Factory, which eventually led to an opportunity to film a TransWorld part.
I feel like you guys are the first group of French Canadians to have really successful jib careers. What is it about your crew that pushed you to the next level?
I don't know. Everyone before us that made it in the industry did so by moving to Whistler and focusing on backcountry. You sort of had to take that path to be successful. I think with the evolution of snowboarding that has changed a lot. We can make it doing on our own thing, and I feel really luck to be in that position. We've always tried really hard to do tricks as good as possible and make everything look really good, and maybe people sort of took notice of that too.
Plus, you're the first French Canadians that didn't dress like gangsters.
[Laughs] I don't know, is that true?
Have you ever thought about changing your name to something like Phil Jackson or Johnson so people in the U.S. can pronounce it?
[Laughs] No, I think just cutting my first name down to Phil is enough.
How did you end up with Videograss?
Well Louif filmed a TransWorld part while Joe Carlino was still there and he showed him my Brothers Factory part. Joe hit me up and told me he was hyped on what I was doing. I was stoked on how well Louif had done after he filmed his "These Days" part, so I was down. After that I did the Capita movie and Joe, Hayden, and Gary started working with Videograss and so I just moved over there as well.
It seems like TransWorld's videos have really set a lot of snowboard careers in motion. Do you think they should keep making them?
Well only if they have the right people making them I guess. I don't know what really happened, but all the main video dudes left, so I think that's important to have people in place that make really good videos before moving forward. It is a loss to anyone coming up though, because it was such a great opportunity to be included in those.
Your Capita part was amazing, one of the best parts of the year. Are you surprised at all by the response to it?
Well first off, thank you, and yes, I still meet random people who tell me they like my part and it can be a little overwhelming. I was just sort of in the moment while it was happening and didn't know what the response would be. It's really rewarding to work so hard on something and have people be really stoked on it. I just feel really lucky and am hyped on how everything has worked out.