INTERVIEW – Ode to the emancipation of women in the 60s, this remarkable thriller in 6X52 minutes that starts tonight on France 2, is worn by Marie Gillain. Meet.
It was the year … 62! And God knows if the period was rich politically, with the attacks of the OAS, the end of the war of Algeria, the Gaullian power control over the information, the relations with the American ally … The society, it, is looking for, between conservatism and rebellion of the younger generation. Women, still so civilized, are also trying to emancipate themselves. Like Christine Beauval (Marie Gillain, who likes the series after Remember ), speaker star and wife of the boss of the RTF ( Guillaume de Tonquédec – Do not do this, do not do that ).
Beyond its visual appearance, halfway between Hitchcock and Mad Men , elegant to the tips of the nails without being artificial, the series is very dark. On the bottom as on the form, that of the thriller with murder in the key, this 6 x 52 minutes directed by Laurent Tuel (A children’s game, Jean-Philippe) distills a real dramatic tension held until the end. And deals with topics of society that resonate with relevance in the news. Let’s add a generic way Saul Bass , an excellent jazzy soundtrack, beautiful costumes and excellent actors: it’s a total success!
Marie Gillain, at this stage of your career, how do you choose your roles?
I want complex female characters, as are human beings, with issues, paths that show their vulnerability, their strength, their determination … I like fighting characters. I like being told stories. This project is extremely well written. It’s a dive in the 60s, but it’s not futile: we are transposed to a time when the stakes between men and women can be the same as today. I liked the mix of genres. There is a police intrigue, but it is also a chronicle of the TV world, the society of the time …
Who is your character?
Christine Beauval presents well, she is soft, delicate, does not say a word higher than the other. She has no body, no sex, it’s a bit like magazines. She has this deep desire to create her show Portraits of woman because she has a natural empathy for others and the world in which she lives interests her, challenges her. She is basically a journalist. She is naive because she has been preserved but she comes down from her cloud little by little. This results in an earthquake in the human-run RTF and a shock wave within his family.
How did you prepare?
We decided to adopt the phrasing and the way of speaking of the time. There are codes, formulas obsolete in dialogues. I watched the tests of speakerines, little girls all clumsy who came from their province. The talk was much slower, calm, benevolent. Besides, wearing a sheath is something … But the result is worth it. There is a maintenance, women did not relax at the time. They are much more explosive today, more visceral, more impulsive even in language. The Parisiennes of the time were elegant, timid, modest. A bit of Japanese! All female characters from Mad Men , even if it has nothing to do with announcer because everything is hollow, inspired me, it’s my little inner mayonnaise. Betty Draper fascinated me.
How were you raised in relation to gender issues?
I knew the freedom of expression, a true modernity even, with a mother artist, fluid exchanges. But my mother did not work while she was studying graphic design: she had decided to raise us. My father, despite his fantasy, had a fairly authoritarian position. It is interesting to see that even an open family kept some remnants of patriarchy.
Have you had to fight for parity?
In our businesses, it is more pernicious, it is not frontal, as for some women who fight daily in the company to access important positions. There has always been the idea that actresses are light women. This unconsciously created a report of alleged seduction between men and women, an obligatory passage. I was preserved because I come from a village of 600 inhabitants and my parents woke me to the danger of the presence of possible predators …
What about your salary and that of Guillaume de Tonquédec who plays your husband?
We did not talk about it!
How did you work with him?
I love being part of the creative process. Exit to appear a little obsessive, I like to share. With Guillaume, there was evidence to defer after the catch. He is humble, he is not an actor who has a high idea of himself. We can boast, show self-deprecation.