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TV’s “Once Upon a Time in Monaco”: Glitter and Romance at the Casino and Hotel de Paris

“Once Upon a Time in Monaco” filmed at the Casino de Monte Carlo last year made its riveting debut on prime time TV (TF1), Monday night, November 2nd. 

A Telefilm directed by Frederic Forestier it is an amazing story about a larger than life character Medhi who started out life living with his mother in La Corneuve in the suburbs of Paris. 

A penetrating intelligence blitzes him through university with an advanced degree but more useful still is his mastery of on-line poker – where he amasses a stake sufficient to arrive and hold his own at the high-stakes poker tables in the epicenter of gaming in Monte Carlo

A Princely Adventure 

The swashbuckling hero makes out he is the Prince of Morocco and seeks his fortune and romance around the Hotel de Paris. Will the Prince sweep up a future Princess in his arms – Monaco style! A Moroccan prince focussed on the Holy Grail of Gaming : to hold his own among the world’s greatest poker players and to truly change his life – perhaps break the bank of Monte-Carlo in the process and carry off his Princess into the Côte d’Azur sunset. 

On the Rock, he meets Elena, a receptionist at the Hotel de Paris who being an adventuress herself quickly realizes that Medhi … is also playing make believe and has similar secrets to herself. Between the two they set up a camaraderie with romantic sparks and a highly amusing role-playing game. 

Who will expose the other first?

Filming in Monaco took place in the Principality between June 15 and July 10, last year notably on the iconic square of the Hôtel de Paris.

Directed by Frédéric Forestier 

Director Frédéric Forestier, is known for Asterix at the Olympic Games (2008) and Honey Bunny (2017). The director and crew spent their first day filming in Monaco at the Monte Carlo Bay amongst deckchairs and parasols to shoot a scene between Rayan Bensetti and Chantal Ladesou, who is also starring in the TF1 film as a countess.

Starring Rayane Bensetti 

After having burst the screen in the series “Pep’s” and “Clem” but also in beautiful films and television films such as “Tamara” and “Coup de foudre à Jaïpur”, Rayane Bensetti now adds the starring role of Mehdi to his accomplishments. 

Bensetti, is also well known for winning the fifth season of ‘Danse avec les Stars’, the French version of the British TV show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Rayane Bensetti won with dance mentor Denitsa Ikonomova and they later went on tour thanks to their success on the show. The 27-year-old actor was also photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for fashion magazine Numéro.


Rayane Bensetti, Anne Serra, Antoine Duléry and Chantal Ladesou.

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