Gérard Depardieu and Pierre Richard very quickly became accomplices during the filming of “La Chèvre”. A complicated tandem to manage for director Francis Veber, especially since one of the actors became unmanageable after drinking.
The goat : the birth of an unforgettable tandem
five years later The toyFrancis Veber once again directs Pierre Richard in The goat. Released in 1981, this comedy marks the meeting between the interpreter of the Grand blond and Gérard Depardieu. The first lends his features to François Perrin, an accountant in the company of Alexandre Bens (Michel Robin). When the latter’s daughter disappears in Mexico, the CEO decides to send Perrin there since, like her, he is particularly unlucky. A common point that could allow them to meet by happy chance.
The employee therefore makes the trip with Campana (Gérard Depardieu), a private detective who had failed to find the young woman during her first round trip to the American continent. But with Perrin’s bad luck, he finds that his chances of succeeding have increased dramatically despite the shootings, scams, wasp stings, snakebites and imprisonments.
Exceeding seven million admissions in France, The goat is a cardboard. Enough to make the trio formed by Francis Veber, Pierre Richard and Gérard Depardieu want to reform on Freinds and The fugitives. And this despite a hectic filming, disturbed by some drinking and other secretiveness.
Gérard Depardieu and Pierre Richard “like two kids”
The director must fight several elements during production. The first is the heat, with the team having to work under exhausting temperatures, sometimes exceeding 40°C. The second difficulty comes from animals and other insects. Gérard Depardieu, for example, finds himself face to face with a snake in his room. Barefoot, the actor otherwise walks on a scorpion, which does not fail to sting it. During the famous sequence where François Perrin is stung by a wasp, the actor discovers that it can bite, which makes the filming hellish even if its sting has been removed beforehand.
The other big pitfall that Francis Veber must overcome is the dissipated nature of his tandem. Disappointed at not having obtained the role of Perrin, Gérard Depardieu becomes unmanageable, not hesitating to multiply the whims. Having often drunk a little too much, he collapses in a bathing suit in the hotel bar, as the filmmaker recounts in a DVD bonus. Drunk, he even goes so far as to lash out with the cameraman.
Quoted by TV StarPierre Richard recalls this joyfully chaotic experience for Francis Veber:
We were like two kids with a kind but authoritarian father.
He adds :
We drank secretly in the room, we went out at night as soon as he was asleep. We made fun of him because he worked out every morning and we hid behind the glass to watch him sweat.
Two big children whom he nevertheless accepts to redirect in two other emblematic comedies, not being besides at the end of his surprises.