The heroes of “Teddy” are them: Anthony Bajon, one of the greatest hopes of French cinema, and Christine Gautier, revealed by this fantastic comedy. Two actors who come back with us on the feature film.
Halo of the label “Cannes 2020”, given to films that should have been part of the selection, and carried by positive word of mouth born of his successful appearances in various festivals, Teddy can finally howl at the moon in French cinemas. But it is with much more calm that Anthony Bajon, the main actor, and the revelation Christine Gautier evoke the feature film of Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma.
DashFUN: “Teddy” is a very special film. Because it’s a genre film, which is rare in France, and a werewolf story, which is even rarer. Is that what struck you when you were first told about it?
Anthony Bajon : For me it’s not just a werewolf movie. There is a genre film and werewolf background, but it’s not just that. It’s much more than that, because it’s a funny and touching film, which makes us go from laughter to tears as Zoran and Ludo wanted. In this, Teddy was already very ambitious.
We could even speak of a film of “genres”, in the plural: it is a comedy, a drama, there is horror and a literary reference to “The Human Beast” … While remaining consistent.
Christine Gautier : Yes. The advantage is that everyone is surprised. Those who want to go see a genre film, for example, will be happy to see that there is also comedy. There is something for everyone.
The more we suggest, the more the viewer can imagine things
And this is proof that, in France, we know how to make genre cinema. Because there is this cliché that the French copy the Americans or see their attempts fail. But here we have a successful and very French film, which takes place in a village in the South, with little people: this is what makes its strength and its identity.
Anthony Bajon: The identity of the film is Zoran and Ludo. It’s not their story at all, but they were very influenced by it all. There was this mastery of the genre, of which they have an in-depth knowledge, and the fact that they lived in a somewhat remote environment, in the countryside, which makes the imagination work.
In that, indeed, they have a rather sharp universe, and the result is there. After that, does that mean that in France we know how to make genre cinema again? The question is perhaps more complicated than that, but, them, they have their universe and the genre lends itself well to it.
We feel that they come from the South because there is no mockery on their part. There is a real tenderness towards all the characters: that of Teddy as well as the baddest ones.
Christine Gautier: Of course. As they grew up in the South, it is a place that they see today with a grown-up gaze. And what makes the film credible, I find, is precisely this work of local anchoring on which they particularly insisted.
Maybe when we say that French genre cinema is a failure, it is because of a lack of attention to detail and because we are trying to make the American in France, whereas we do not is not. We don’t have the same culture.
You just have to assume it and succeed in doing what you know how to do, which Zoran and Ludovic seem to have understood.
Anthony Bajon: Especially since they had a budget that is that of the film, and they had to deal with that. So that makes it even more creative, and we see that in the end, we can make a film without having a monstrous budget like the Americans have for this type of film.
And in the end, the suggestion works better than showing the creature in all its glory.
Anthony Bajon: They explain it very well. Because they say that the more you suggest, the more the viewer can imagine things. And that makes him creative too, so his relationship to the film is all the better. And then it is often wet firecracker when we see the monsters in the movies: we say to ourselves “All that for this”. Whereas by suggesting as much as possible – and even after having revealed it, by continuing to show it a little bit – it keeps a mystery and makes the character have more effect.
How did you approach this role, and this character whose savagery is less and less internalized as the story progresses?
Anthony Bajon: In a very simple way. We all knew it went through something very instinctive and organic. So in our discussions with Ludovic …