Cannes 2022: “I had stage fright” … Joint interview with Arnaud Desplechin and Melvil Poupaud for “Brother and Sister”

With Brother and sisterdirector Arnaud Desplechin and actor Melvil Poupaud, with the help of Marion Cotillard, hope to raise the bar.

It’s a movie where one has to hate the other. Not easy to film?
They quarreled like children, and it assumes mythical, biblical proportions, but there is this kind of very ambiguous love between them after all.

The interest is not to tell two people who hate each other, but two people who can no longer see each other, it’s electric, it gives sparks when they see each other because it’s too strong between them. My character went into exile, self-excluded, but with his sister’s ghost. I’m only waiting for one thing, to see her, to meet her, because I’m like a passionate maniac.

It’s like a western, they’ll have to face each other …
It’s a bit like Billy The Kid and Pat Garrett, they were on the same team, one became sheriff, the other a bandit. They have to find each other, it’s a passionate relationship, almost too strong for reasonable family ties, it’s not incest because there is no consumption, but they are obsessed people one after the other.

Melvil had a date with himself. It’s shocking!

How do you handle a set where people have to hate each other in front of the camera?
The whole team felt that Melvil had a date with himself. It’s disturbing. He was incredibly concentrated during the filming, he played his life. To see someone risk their lives and watch them win, you should not miss it when you film it.

Such roles, one does not see them every day. There was an imperative to succeed, the film had to develop underlying luminous emotions beyond all this hatred. It is Benoît Magimel who says that if you are remembered for one or two roles, it is already huge, I hope you will be remembered for this role.

What does it change to be in official competition?
It’s a great honor. Something amazes me every time in Cannes is the official screening. People welcome the actors first and foremost. The love of space systematically goes to them. I can no longer improve my films so I can not see them again, they no longer belong to me from the moment I show them.

There is a validation when you are in Cannes. The projection conditions are exceptional, with 2,300 people in one room, it’s nothing.

Everything I can not in life, I do in fiction

Arnaud, you had already toured with Melvil Poupaud, is it important to meet again?
Melvil has changed since 2008 and that’s good. There he plays a Jack Nicholson, alcohol, drugs, he lost his child, he will never recover, he is infinitely beaten. It’s not the same Melvil anymore, at the beginning of the filming I did not know him anymore. I was nervous.

In all your films, death gives you the opportunity to create a confrontation …
I have a very protected life, at my age I still have my two parents and I am not mature enough to imagine their departure. I do not know how to do it. Everything I do not know how to do in life, I do in fiction: the death of a child, a loved one. I confront myself with terrible things in the hope that the cinema will make it possible to repair it.

It’s interesting to have a character who’s already dead from the start. We must find a rebirth despite the dramas, despite the hardships. The type is still able to live and return to life, that is the idea of ​​replacement.

There is no irreparable hatred?
Hatred is a waste of time. We do not want to know why they hate each other, but rather when they will find each other again. One scene was hard to play, it’s the one where they bump into each other, literally, in a supermarket. We are here, we bump into each other. We could not miss this scene.

It’s the idea of ​​a hunt, a hunt. You think the prey is on the left, and suddenly it’s in front of you. It’s a shock, it’s hate and absolute love at the same time. There is like a convergence, a meeting place as in westerns, where there is necessarily a duel. Well, there it is in the frozen part of a supermarket in Roubaix (laughs). But it’s Arnaud’s strength, you’ve magnified, it’s epic, you’re filmed as a hero. He is someone who has a very strong class science.

Leave a Comment