The 2 Alfred: Denis and Bruno Podalydès look back on their careers


The first is always in the films of the second. And “Les 2 Alfred” is no exception. On this occasion, Denis and Bruno Podalydès come back to the themes and key words of their common career.

Released on June 16, Les 2 Alfred is the tenth film by Bruno Podalydès in which his brother Denis appears. To put it simply: the actor is in all of the director’s feature and medium-length films, and presents himself as a central ingredient in his funny, poetic and endearing cinema.

This tenth film in a little less than 30 years, it was therefore the opportunity to come back with them on their common career, through key words. From western to Tintin, through gag, family or the strange glaviole that returns from one opus to another, the Podalydès evoke their cinema at our microphone.



Bruno Podalydès: We made a real film about the family, which was Liberté-Oléron. The family in all that it can have of very beautiful and very neurotic. Afterwards I like the chosen families. This is the case with the families of actors with whom we tour regularly, who for my part – but I know Denis thinks the same – actors whom I admire in their acting and who are also friends. I don’t see why I would always go looking for someone new when all these playmates still have loads of possibilities for invention.

These are people who are not marked by a very specific past. They have a typical character that they are adorned with each film. And suddenly they are very malleable: Michel Vuillermoz, Jean-Noël Brouté, Philippe Uchan, Isabelle Candelier … They still have a wide range of play which I find unexploited. And suddenly, it’s very good that not only are they friends, but in addition, they can still metamorphose like Denis can. So why deprive yourself?

But I insist on the family side of choice. For each film, it’s a choice. Fortunately, it is not automatic. And they feel that it is always a reaffirmation of admiration and friendship. But it’s a blended family with each film anyway.

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DashFUN: Does that mean that when you write a film, you don’t yet have the actors in mind?
Bruno Podalydès: For this one, I really had the trio of Denis and Sandrine [et moi-même]. Which rarely happens because I don’t really like writing with an actor in mind. I’m afraid of being bored when it comes time to shoot. It’s very refreshing to choose an actor for a character at the last moment. It’s like finding the setting for a stage.

It revives desire. Otherwise we have already thought of everything, imagined everything. We have fewer surprises. And even Denis: for Bécassine !, I was thinking of him for several roles because that allowed me to shake the character. I also think of Alain Resnais: at the beginning of each film, he looked for his actors and actresses, without telling Sabine Azéma that she would be there. And finally he took Sabine Azéma (laughs)

Alain Resnais whom you have seen on his last films. Did you feel like a parentage?
Bruno Podalydès: I was moved to see Alain overhaul his casting with each film. To think of the best possible actor for the role. Not to the best actor per se, in a general sense of the award, but just for a specific character. And he came back to André Dussollier, Pierre Arditi or Sabine Azéma. He was doubly happy because not only did he find his dear troop again, but with a real desire and a real hope for the character.

Denis, you have officially co-wrote few of the films directed by Bruno. But do you still find a way to participate in the film, in the writing and the conception of your character, without getting credit?
Denis Podalydès: For some yes. There I participated in the first phase of the script. After that Bruno wrote it, really. And then there are other films where I have collaborated more widely, such as Liberté-Oléron or Adieu Berthe. A little God alone sees me too.

Bruno Podalydès: Yes, on that one you intervened more in the dialogues. Where we get along the most is really when it comes to bringing a scene to life.

Denis Podalydès: Here. But I don’t see myself as a screenwriter.

Where we get along the most is really when it comes to bringing a scene to life.


Which of the two of you has the more attention to detail, the sense of the gag?
Denis Podalydès: It’s you !

Bruno Podalydès: (laughs) The detail I am obliged, being the director. The choice of objects, costumes, sets … You have to be in detail, it’s very important. It’s through the …

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