While the channel continues the broadcast of the series this evening at 9:05 p.m., the two actors come back to their experience during the filming, and the challenge of playing the protagonists who really existed through such a sensitive news item.
In Une Affaire française, episodes 3 and 4 of which are being broadcast this evening on TF1, Guillaume Gouix (La Guerre des mondes) and Blandine Bellavoir (Les Petits meurtres d’Agatha Christie) play Jean-Marie and Christine Villemin, a couple whose lives was shattered following the murder of their child, legal wanderings and the media frenzy that followed, making the Grégory affair one of the news items that caused the most ink to flow in the Hexagon.
A tiring shoot for the two actors, who slept little on the set. “There were ghosts“, smiles Guillaume Gouix.”It was so powerful on what it said about the relationship of justice to the media, from the intimate to the media … It was a fascinating role of complexity, anger, love and hate, with a lot of modesty. “
With the actress, both took care not to be in mimicry, and to try to understand the feelings which animate the characters and the feeling of injustice which inhabit them. A set of communicating vases, according to the actor, “where when one lets go, the other carries it. Everyone takes strength and authority when needed. There is always one of the two who holds the other in order not to sink; they take refuge in one another and ignore the rest.”
“When there is one that cracks, the other, it is there all the time. That’s it, a love story“continues Blandine Bellavoir. Both emphasize their vwillingness to be respectful of a pain, that of people who have been mourned, whose sadness no longer belongs to them.
“We try to have a little distance, to keep a form of objectivity. Obviously, we ask ourselves the question of not once again repossessing the people concerned, and of trying not to sully the pain. There is a form of moral responsibility towards the pain of the protagonists. We don’t want to be voyeurs or indecent“, supports Guillaume Gouix.
Ditto for his playing partner. “We all said to ourselves that if ever the protagonists of the affair skipped on TV and stumbled upon the series, we had a very strong duty of responsibility.“Even though the genre of true crime is very prolific across the Channel, there remains in France a certain precaution in adapting news items into fiction, for fear of falling into sensationalism and pathos.
“Yet it is an exciting reflection of our society. I imagine it’s kind of the intention of the channel to do some sort of American Crime Story, but here I find it to be such a reflection of society, our justice, our media, and the relation of all this to the intimate, which it is fascinating to draw from there“, adds Guillaume Gouix.”The idea is to shed light on a case that has hit the whole of France.“
“It is one of the most beautiful projects in which I have participated, and I find that it is of the order of the essential for it to tell. There is a real problem of empathy in the world“, for Blandine Bellavoir.”It is a subject that should be taught at school, because the strength of man is the collective. “
For the actress, interpreting Christine Villemin marked “a before and an after“in the way it plays, in the way the show tries to put humanity into facts that are known to all.”I feel like we are in the right place“, she confides. What shines through the Villemin couple in her eyes is a feeling of modesty, but also of elegance.”Elegance is not at all voluntary, it is something that we have or that we do not have. They have that something, which created their downfall I think.“
According to her, the series paints a heartbreaking portrait of a woman and that of a rather ugly society. “As a woman, it upsets to think that the witch hunt is all the time, it will never stop.”
“We cannot imagine what Christine Villemin went through. For me, this is an illustration of what resilience is. And of the feminine in general, since women are resilient, whatever the country, whatever the cultures, with what they take.”
When asked if she wanted to meet her for the preparation of her role, Blandine Bellavoir replied in the negative. “IWe must leave her alone, this woman. What I am told: but in that case why did you do this series? It’s like a desire for rehabilitation, because somewhere, we are part of French society, of this group as French people, and there is also a work of duty for the memory of this child. All articles that are …