What is life worth in Monoprix sweaters? Nothing. So much so that Stéphane Roger starts by doing in front of us what he prefers to do since he's a kid: out of costumes. More rhinestones, less stress. He seems very happy to have brought a big cigar for the photo (he finally gave up) and enthusiastic about riding Rillette for the shooting – the huge cockroach-vulva in spongy matter that sat in the room. show Uncle Gourdin and to whom he repeats "Give the papatte". He also shows us this leopard print jacket he was able to recover from the last filming of Christophe Honoré. In the next film of it, titled Chamber music, it will be the "Will" of Chiara Mastroianni and will wear a wig Aznavour way since he imitates as a person (he made a show, Stéphane Roger sings with the voice of Aznavour). It will be one of the rare occasions to see in cinema this fellinian ogre which restores all its nobility and savagery to the term "jester". For now, only fans of Zerep, the "troupe" of Sophie Perez and Xavier Boussiron, are known. (read Release of January 13, 2017), of which he is the machine of war, the stick of dynamite or, say, the venerable bidet.
We came to meet him because we owe him moments of grace hallucinating pile between dreams and nightmares: the memory of him freewheeling absolute, sprinting naked ass in the spans of the room of the center Pompidou to come to wallow on the stage stage, replaying the operation again and again, according to the rules of a comic repetition stretching to the supernatural. The memory of him grimaced in poop, playing Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker cat-cock version. Or disguised him in bloom in the horrifying children's show Babarman – a role entitled "Big Petal". And from him, of course, compiling exquisite surreal corpses, the billions of bodies, postures, mimicry, which he ingests while watching Miss France, At the theater tonight, Jean-Claude Brialy, the boulevard a little rotten, and spits on the set as if he was hunting the good taste of French theater. "But what I prefer in life, he introduced almost timidly, it's spending hours at a café terrace watching people's actions. I also love watching monkeys at the zoo." There is an exchange of views between us, at this precise moment, the time we understand who will be the monkey of the day.
Slibard and crocodile boots
At the risk of the paranoid, there is something kamikaze to meet this actor, as it should not be safe to discuss with Daumier or Reiser. No one is immune to finding a deformed and monstrous version of himself in a future show, let alone if one devotes a little too much to the spirit of seriousness, to the "too self-conscious" , to the pompous lyricism – these tiny manifestations of the ordinary pathos that are, for this vicaristic cartoonist, whey which he delights on stage with the enthusiasm of the vulture baby shredding his piece of placenta. This is also the first thing that his colleagues emphasize when they describe this formidable game monster vociferating in their ears Aznavour (still him) – preferably in slibard and boots croco: this genius with which he seizes the similarity of expression between the bourgeois ordering her pie at the bakery and the face a little sorry for a dachshund boring in the middle of the sidewalk. Some take advantage of this kind of disposition to befriend politics in humorous chronicles. He, less focused on words than on the subject, preferred the territory more nefarious and nebulous art, where Antonin Artaud tutoie Jacqueline Maillan, where the mouths of the TV show Striptease reach the sublime of a Hieronymus Bosch, where laughter is always frightening.
In cinema, it would have been perfect at Fellini. He shares with the great Italian actors of the 60s this taste for "Make mouths and huge stuff, completely fattened. That's right, I like excess, excess as in the commedia dell'arte. He would surely share this consideration of the Italian director: "That's the stupidity: always we throw on spontaneity, naivety, a kind of interpretation, that's very stuffy." As if by chance, Michel Piccoli in feast, he likes that. And also Michel Serrault in the Mocky. And in general the register of the hound too quickly irritated. And then, poof, we find Pina Bausch. It was in 1982. Stéphane Roger discovers Nelken of the German choreographer in the courtyard of the Palais des Papes in Avignon: "The tray was covered with a pile of carnations. There was a huge guy coming in, chest hair with a gold chain and two yorkies under his arms. I thought, "That's what I want to do." That is, to devote his life more "To the show only in the theater. I like the lyrics, but after a while it annoys me, I always want to overflow! "
"Candor and pornography"
Moreover, he never tried the grandes écoles, "Conservatories, thing thing thing". He was a student at Niels Arestrup's Theater-School of Passage, where he improvised for hours Andy Warhol with his mother, or Duras at the beach. Then came the meeting with Sophie Perez. He kidding in his plays as in his "Peeps". Perez considers it his "muzzle" (the masculinization of "muse" that she invented): "He works on the form, as Karl Valentin or Keaton knew how to do it, that's why it's not Christian Clavier. At home, there is candor and pornography at the same time. It's incomprehensible, an actor like him who greets the public by showing his bullet hole … There is terror and violence in him. " This is what makes us eager to see him emptied in Feydeau well scato: "Finally, be careful, he warns by swallowing a laugh, Purge baby purge [nouvelle création du Zerep, ndlr], it starts as We are purging baby and after that, skids. " And it probably skips to what the essayist George Minois was trying to grasp when he spoke of Aristophanes and this ancient era, that of aggressive laughter, where one covered his opponents with excrement: "Is it not the greatest lesson of humility to remember with laughter that the most sublime conduct is rooted in matter and instinct, which we share with animals?"
Eve Beauvallet photo Christophe Maout for Libération
Purge, baby, purge of Sophie Perez and Xavier Boussiron from April 13 to 20 in Nanterre-Amandiers (92), from May 23 to 25 in Geneva.
Babarman on April 27th and 28th at the Comédie de Caen (14), on May 14th and 15th at Quai d'Angers (49).
Beaubourg-la-Reine exhibition in Kanal-Center Pompidou, until May in Brussels.