Suzanne Clement | Like on honeymoon

On the occasion of the release of The origin of evil, a French thriller co-produced with Quebec in which Suzanne Clément plays an astonishing role, we take stock of an actress who, after several years of a flourishing European career, has decided to return home. And to play in a daily series that delights her.

The role of Suzanne Clément in The origin of evil is very important. However, do not look for the face of the Quebec actress on the poster, or even in the photos provided to the media by the production. Apart from the fact that the actress plays in this thriller by Sébastien Marnier the lover of the protagonist, we can hardly reveal anything else about her character.

“It’s very strange, because I have the impression of living a little with the release of the film what the character lives in the story, like someone who is dispossessed and wants to forget! », Says Suzanne Clément, laughing during an interview granted to The Press. “I was told that I would probably be absent from the poster and the trailer, and I totally understand that. And then, sometimes you have to learn to let go in this job. »

With his first two feature films, Impeccable and Exit time, Sébastien Marnier already displayed his taste for disturbing stories, drawn from the darkest aspects of the human soul. He continues in this vein, this time in an apparently more solar tone, which nevertheless hides dark aspects in the life of a bourgeois family.


Suzanne Clement

From Jodie Foster to Viggo Mortensen

Laure Calamy plays the role of a modest worker in a fishmonger’s, who reconnects with her biological father (Jacques Weber), the latter being at the head of a family as rich as it is bizarre. Suzanne Clément, to whom the filmmaker knowingly wanted to give the look that Jodie Foster had in The Silence of the Lambs, embodies a woman who can be seized by appalling bursts of anger. During one of the most striking scenes of the feature film, she also engages in an extremely violent fight in a shower, completely naked, much in the same way as Viggo Mortensen did in Eastern Promises (Shadow promises).


Céleste Brunnquell, Laure Calamy, Véronique Ruggia Saura, Dominique Blanc, Doria Tillier and Jacques Weber in The origin of evilfilm by Sebastien Marnier

“As soon as Sébastien offered it to me, I said yes, I want to do that, indicates the one whose practice of sport has always been part of the hygiene of life. Then come doubts and fears, but the challenge is so great and unusual that it becomes irresistible. And then, there is something very European, but also American, in his cinema. I like this mix. »

During his visit to the Cinemania festival, the filmmaker confirmed to The Press the perfectly assumed character of this famous fight scene in the shower, directly inspired by David Cronenberg’s film.


For his movie The origin of evilSébastien Marnier offered Suzanne Clément an exciting but also scary role.

“This sequence was very difficult to achieve, because the actresses had no protection, he explained. Everything had to be very regulated, very choreographed, very rehearsed. In the first cut, the scene was much longer than the one we see now, but I reduced it because it created a certain imbalance in the story. »

Suzanne is an actress that I love deeply. I sensed in her something perhaps more violent, in any case stiffer than what we had seen of her before. The whole cast was built around Laure Calamy, and I tried to imagine who could form a beautiful couple with her.

Sébastien Marnier, about Suzanne Clément in the film The origin of evil

The return

At the time when The origin of evil was conceived, Suzanne Clément was still living in Paris. Since then, many things have changed. After ten years of a fruitful European career, one whose performance in Laurence Anyways, by Xavier Dolan, won him the interpretation prize in the Un certain regard section at the Cannes Film Festival. For all kinds of reasons, including family.

“My years in France were a great epic,” she confides. Going to live abroad to work there is both destabilizing and exhilarating. This imbalance is great in terms of training, but the fact is that in everyday life, everything has to be relearned. And then, I was far from my family, my father died the day before my first rehearsal with Laure Calamy. It’s as if my whole being had suddenly needed stability, to find its bearings. When I was offered STAT, I was scared, but I thought it was time to make this kind of big dive. »


Suzanne Clement in STAT

Turn in a daily show like STAT, where she plays the role of emergency physician Emmanuelle St-Cyr, of course has its requirements, but Suzanne Clément does not give up film projects for all that. During the fall, she traveled to Toronto on weekends to play opposite Richard Gere in Longinga remake of the Israeli feature film of the same title directed by Savi Gabizon, to whom we owe the original feature film.

“In addition, these are beautiful big emotional scenes, very long, that I had to play with Richard Gere, and we rehearsed them a bit like in the theater. It was great. He plays a man who discovers that his lover of 20 years ago, whom I play, has given birth to a son he does not know exists. »

If the stars align well, the actress could also win next April, after the filming of STATthe set of a film that Anne Fontaine (The innocents, Marvin or the beautiful education) intends to realize on the life of Maurice Ravel. She would play the role of the composer’s mother. By the way, what conclusions does Suzanne Clément draw from her experience when two thirds of the episodes of the first season of STAT are in a box?

“I don’t want to scare myself, but honestly, this particular rhythm really appeals to my athletic nature,” she said. Maybe I’m still on my honeymoon, but creatively there’s a lot to do and give, a lot to have fun with, it’s very rich. The acting partners are great, but we are also nourished by all these actors who have episodic roles. Sometimes it’s amazing to see the kind of music that comes out of this whole orchestra. It’s something quite exceptional, and I really enjoy it. »

The origin of evil hits theaters January 13. STAT airs Monday to Thursday at 7 p.m. on Ici Radio-Canada Télé.

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