Podcast Just between you and me | Christine Beaulieu always feels more alive

Reflections, anecdotes, confidences: the rich interviews of the podcast series Just between you and me are all opportunities to hear media and cultural personalities open their hearts and express their thoughts.

How do we feel alive? This is the big, beautiful and anxiety-provoking question that the tortured and hilarious characters ofUnbearable long hugs, the play by Russian playwright Ivan Viripaev in which Christine Beaulieu is shining these days, at the Prospero Theater. This is also the question that will run through our entire interview.

“Everyone wonders that in their life,” she observes. When do I vibrate? When do I feel myself touching the existence of my dreams? »

Draft answer: Christine Beaulieu feels alive when she is in good company. Christine Beaulieu feels alive when she interacts with people from different backgrounds – “when I have rich, stimulating, creative conversations”. Christine Beaulieu feels alive in the theater, one of the most fertile crucibles for those who like to have rich, stimulating, creative conversations.

But for the magic of theater to work, an actress must give of herself. “It’s inevitable: if you go on stage and you’re not generous, it will never be interesting. »

The actress takes both hands and pretends to pull on each side of her chest, as if she wanted to separate her ribcage in two.

An actor who has a closed heart, even if he has the most beautiful voice in the world: boring. To be a good actor, you have to open all the doors.

Christine Beaulieu

Links we ignore

Opening up to the beauty of what surrounds you, to the point of view of others and to life in general: this is, in a few words, what Christine Beaulieu aspires to on a creative and human level. Open up, even if it means making mistakes, even if it means facing obstacles, even if it means leaving yourself open to injury. But open up, whatever the cost, because it is the only way to perhaps make the world a little better.

Christine Beaulieu feels alive when a play in which she plays brings together people who do not regularly attend theaters, which was obviously the case for I like Hydroone of the most important, and most improbable, successes of Quebec theater in the last 10 years.


Christine Beaulieu in conversation with our journalist Dominic Tardif

“It’s fun to put on a show and realize that in the room, it’s not just people who love theater, but that there are people who worked at Hydro-Québec, politicians, environmentalists,” she explains. “That makes me vibrate. »

“All areas are a little closed in on themselves,” she regrets. We are all specialized, in our bubbles, when we should all create more links. Theaters should be in more conversation with universities. We have a lot to do together, we could feed each other more. There are many connections between us that we ignore. »

In the name of beauty

In Mitis salmon, the show that she created in the Jardins de Métis, in Grand-Métis, and which has since become a lovely book (illustrated by Caroline Lavergne at Éditions de la Bagnole), Christine Beaulieu writes that we must not “forget the fragile balance of the beauty of nature, because it is largely its beauty that makes us happy.” A conviction which also drives, in a completely different register, its new show on sustainable renovations, Deconstruct (offered on ICI Tou.tv Extra).

It is in the name of preserving the environment, but also the beauty, that of natural ecosystems, that she opposes new hydroelectric dams being built in Quebec. By presenting his 2035 Action Plan to the deputies of the National Assembly, the CEO of Hydro-Québec, Michael Sabia, pleaded in favor of the importance of an energy transition, without however excluding the possibility of such dams being erected. . Which may seem contradictory.

Are our leaders sensitive to the idea that a harnessed river is a collective loss? “This is the heart of what makes us make certain decisions: do our decision-makers sincerely care about protecting the environment and ecosystems? I don’t know to what extent, for François Legault [et Pierre Fitzgibbon, ministre de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie], a wild river, a wild territory, wild species are important,” replies the actress, who nevertheless keeps, from her meeting with the Prime Minister in 2019, the memory of a conversation tinged with respect and listening. “They are above all in the desire to enrich Quebec, that’s their speech. »

I think that in 10, 15 years, we will find it completely absurd to destroy a wild ecosystem to obtain more kilowatt hours or monetary wealth. There will come a day when we will say to ourselves: “Ah, my God, we were really stupid to do that.”

Christine Beaulieu

In Mitis salmon, Christine Beaulieu invites her readers to put themselves in the shoes of a salmon, a capacity for projection that humans are the only living being to possess. Contemplating the world from the point of view of a fish running into a dam: the exercise may seem laughable, although it is beneficial.

“If we are able to put ourselves in the shoes of a salmon, there is an empathy that can arise from that, and also a responsibility to take care of it,” thinks the author. Because we can have an impact on the well-being of another species. »

In the name of her friendship with the indigenous peoples, and because she could not bear the idea of ​​approving, even tacitly, all the horrors that the clergy inflicted on them, Christine Beaulieu was apostatized. You will therefore have understood that she does not believe in God.

“But I believe in life,” she said. Already, the fact that there is life, on our planet, in the rest of the universe which is dead, is extraordinary. We are extremely lucky to be alive. That’s what I believe in. »

Unbearable long hugs is presented at the Prospero Theater until December 21.

Three quotes from our interview

About the making of the film New Quebec by Sarah Fortin

“Over there, in Schefferville, it is us, the non-natives, who are foreigners, there are many more natives. I was experiencing this feeling of strangeness for the first time and it felt good. Perhaps I understand better how we feel when we are not in the majority. […] It’s hard to explain, but it’s as if the Innu were more connected to the earth, to the essence of life, while we are far from our essence. My contact with Indigenous people is what it does for me: it connects me to my truth. »

On the possibility of a sequel to I like Hydro

“There is currently a huge change in terms of energy management, there is no shortage of equipment to continue. It’s very upsetting for me, I’m at a dead end. Lots of people tell me: “It’s more important than ever that you continue.” Indeed, they are right, but at the same time, it requires energy and I have all sorts of other creative projects that excite me. These are difficult choices to make. »

On the influence of Serge Bouchard

“Serge said that we should not look for happiness only in what makes us happy. The sorrows, the difficulties, this is what makes us appreciate the joyful moments. A heartbreak is hard, but it’s nice that you’re alive when you’re in a heartbreak. You’re vibrating everywhere, your heart wants to explode. So if you need to cry, cry! You’re alive when you cry. All emotions, whether positive or negative, are evidence of life. They must be accepted and embraced. »

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