Embarked of her own free will in a gripping story, not to say crazy, with a development that is at least singular, Marie-Anne Chazel will be confronted on Sunday November 27 at 4.30 p.m. at the Espace des Arts in Chalon-sur-Saône with a hit muddle at the corner of bright common sense. Poor her! Interview for info-chalon.com
The last time she burned the boards in the city of Niépce was on Friday January 13, 2017, at the Parc des expos. She then made an alliance during the play “Reprisailles” with Michel Sardou, already within the framework of the Théâtrales whose spiritual father is Pascal Legros. She will be fondly remembered by those who always have a crush on “Les bronzes”, “Santa Claus is garbage”, “Les Visiteurs”, etc…films not really left in the cloakroom in the collective unconscious. Or who have a moved thought for the former teammate of the Splendid troop with a brood sculpted by her brothers and her sister in arms Michel Blanc, Gérard Jugnot, Thierry Lhermitte, Christian Clavier, Josiane Balasko. At the end of November it will therefore be neither “Gigi”, nor “Zézette”, but Marie, on behalf of the comedy acclimatized to the mores of our time “La famille et le potager”. A mishmash that will surpass understanding…
How do you interpret your character?
“I play the role of Marie, who is a very big bourgeois, very wealthy, very depressed. She is a bit focused on the bottle, since she really likes alcohol. Her husband is played by Régis (Laspalès), an unknown and failed painter, because he has never sold a canvas. Unfortunately for them they have a son named Tom, who is an absolute disaster. He’s a nice boy, but totally incompetent. He lives in a kind of bubble, in a world that doesn’t really know reality. Following an enormous mistake that their son is going to make, they are going to be confronted with reality, and have decisions taken to support and help him, and this is going to take them into dramatic, catastrophic situations, but which are treated with a lot of humor, madness and delirium. It’s a very funny piece. »
A plot that makes sense…
“It is based on this family, with this father, this mother and this son, who have quite complicated relationships, but at the same time full of love. As this son Tom commits this stupidity, his parents will follow him and try to help him in their own way, which is to say in a very, very, very clumsy way, and that will lead them towards behaviors absolutely mind-boggling. It is in fact a way of testing what one can achieve for one’s children, how far the love of parents can go to support them, protect them, and at the same time it can have disastrous opposite effects. Which is the case for poor Tom. »
How is the brand new cohabitation with Régis Laspalès going?
“Very good, since we had nevertheless had time to discover each other before, because the play was created in Paris at the Théâtre des Variétés during the fall of 2021. He is a very, very good partner, really it is very pleasant to play with him. Régis is first of all very funny, he is a very handsome actor, he has a sense of comedy, he is very respectful. It’s a real pleasure, we enjoy ourselves and we laugh a lot, he has a lot of ideas and inventions, it’s really going very nicely. »
How is the audience?
“Particularly in the provinces, he is perhaps happier to see that people are traveling for him. He welcomes the piece very, very well, he immediately understands the subject, the tone, because it’s a crazy tone. It’s madness, it’s both funny, but it’s realistic and it’s funny, and people get into it, laugh a lot. We have really wonderful performances, we enjoy because the reception is excellent. I think that in this period of great, great generalized stress, it feels a lot of good. »
Is theater the ultimate in artistic matters?
“I wouldn’t say the ultimate, because that would be pejorative for other means of expression, but it’s true that I particularly like being on a theater stage. I really enjoy finding myself in front of a room, with people who have come to see us. We hear them react, I really appreciate this risk taking that there is every evening to launch like this without knowing what will happen, how we will be, how the public will be… There is a dimension like that of risk which I like a lot, of freedom too, because once it’s gone the train moves on, it unfolds, you can’t go back, you can’t start again, you can’t stop…I discovered I’ve always done that with the café-théâtre, and I’ve never left the stage because I find both emotions and pleasures there, and then you work on it very in depth. You have time to work on a character, to find things, the rehearsals allow you to improve, like the public elsewhere, so it’s a style of work that I really like. I don’t hide from you that the theater is tiring, physically difficult, restrictive, you are under an obligation of a form of discipline, you are there every evening in good shape, even if you have worries or are sick. . It’s both a very structuring exercise, and we have a lot of freedom. They are two contradictory things but they go together, and that suits me very well.”
Going to the trouble to make people laugh, the best job in the world?
“Ah yes, absolutely, without reservation! I think that to be able to communicate that, I have to find it funny. If it does not amuse me, I would say that I am the first spectator of what I play, and of what the actors who play with me do, I believe that it spreads to the public, it contaminates it. The pleasure we have of discovering these funny texts, these brilliant, incisive, hard-hitting dialogues, is contagious, and it really is the best job in the world. I have a lot of fun doing it, it’s already an important step although more selfish, but you know that you share it with the people who are there, it’s very pleasant, it makes them feel good too. »
What inspires you about your trajectory since the Splendid troupe?
“It inspires me that I was very lucky to meet these very young boys when I was a teenager, to be able to walk this path with them, and to have in life met people with whom I made things I liked to do. Well, I worked a lot too, it’s a job that requires a lot of work, there are ups and downs, you have to keep a form of humility and have your feet on the ground. Nothing is taken for granted, things pass, the generations, we hold on to the duration, which is very, very rare, to have films and plays, which pass the time. And that is a great honor in life, a great chance in life. »
Do you pull the plug, friendly speaking, with your long-term accomplices?
“Yes, because when we meet, we are always 15 and a half years of mental age! We return to the sources, to the origins. We don’t see each other often either, but when we do, there’s a kind of complicity and communication that starts again as if we had parted the day before. She’s still there, and it’s really very pleasant. No one imposes on anyone, we all have common references in the past. You know, those memories that we have that form us and that we can all remember together. »
What do you like to play the most?
“There are things that marked me more or less, by their work, their difficulty or their success, there are points like that that we find. When I went to play at the “La dame de chez Maxim” theatre, a magnificent Feydeau, at Marigny, which is a very beautiful theatre, I have very fond memories of it, with twenty-seven actors, sets, costumes, it is a spectacle of great magnitude. There are other more intimate, deeper pieces… when I was able to make a film, I did it once, I didn’t continue too much afterwards, but it was an experience that I found exciting. There, it’s a totally different job to be able to manage and release a film with the support and work of a whole team of technicians and actors, it’s fascinating. No, there are plenty of things I’ve done in my career that left me with good memories, but I have no regrets at all. I don’t tell myself that I should or shouldn’t have done that, I even assume the things that were more or less good. Whenever I had the choice of something, I believed it. I’ve always said to myself: hey, let’s try that, maybe it’s good, I like it, we’ll see. And then after that gives results, not necessarily those you expect, but the fact of doing it, already, it interested me a lot and carried me. »
Are we as effective when there are no special affinities with our partners?
“I think that there is still a little something extra that the public feels, here I am talking about the theater, when there is a homogeneity in the troupe and in the exchange with the partner. It is sure that there is the small additional spark which makes that the public unconsciously feels it. But normally, if you’re a good actor, it shouldn’t show. It’s up to you to make sure the public doesn’t notice it at all. It happens of course that people are not at all on the same way of playing, on the same rhythm, the same concentration. It makes work a lot less pleasant and pleasant, because if you find yourself everyday with someone you can’t like, it’s no fun! »
What would you like to add to your very busy career?
“Oh, there are still plenty of things, like pieces from the classical repertoire that I haven’t played and that I would like to play, continue to work like that. I like working now with the younger generations a lot, there I shoot a little for the cinema with young people, I met actors from another generation, and I find that it’s a bowl of freshness and joy to be able to be with people who are the future, the films and plays of tomorrow. Seeing how they think, work, it happens to me, and it’s already a great satisfaction. »
39.00 euros in category 3, 49.00 euros in category 2, 59.00 euros in category 1, 69.00 euros in gold square
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Photo credit: Stéphane Parphot Interview by Michel Poiriault