The ups and downs of Suzanne Clément

Mathieu, in his forties, is struggling with a job that is draining him and a marriage that is falling apart. Rightly frustrated by her partner’s inertia, Catherine intends to leave, very quickly and very far away. There is also Mathieu’s father, so eager to die that he is making his own coffin. Without forgetting Stéphane, Mathieu’s best friend, who the prospect of becoming a father seems to bring back to his childhood. And there is Guy, Mathieu’s boss, who is as always on the verge of exploding… Unable to take it any longer, Mathieu goes one day into the forest, where he gets lost, to find himself better. Tasty in the role of Catherine, Suzanne Clément talks to us about the funny and offbeat comedy Elsewhere if I’m thereby Belgian François Pirot.

“I’m really happy that the film is coming out here, because I really like it. I felt enormous gratitude when reading this scenario. I found it very clever, and very crazy: it was so unusual, and even a little fantastic… That they thought of me, the Quebec actress, to play that, there, surprised me and delighted,” recalls the star of the film Laurence Anyways (award for best actress at Cannes, Un Certain Regard section) and the cult series The ups and downs of Sophie Paquin.

“When I say “end”, I mean that it’s not a big comedy, and the point is perfectly of our time, I think. You know, on the way to our interview, I was thinking about the film, and I said to myself that deep down, these are all characters who are aging, and who have difficulty with that, no matter their age. »

In fact, if Mathieu (Jérémie Renier), Catherine and Stéphane are prey to the proverbial mid-life crisis, Mathieu’s father and boss face torments more linked to old age. However, all the characters face an existential dead end, and their respective reactions to get out of it are anything but banal.

A form of escape

In this regard, if the forest where Mathieu decides to camp takes on the value of a metaphor, it is no less real. The place acts as a kind of magnet, which will eventually attract everyone into its sylvan fold, in turn, including Catherine.

Catherine who sees a brighter future with her tai chi instructor, with whom she plans to go into exile in Papua New Guinea…

“She needs a change, she needs things to change, and she can no longer stand this husband who is paralyzed in his unhappiness. So she makes this very radical decision. But is it a leak? The characters are all in one form or another of flight… Except, isn’t flight sometimes necessary? I don’t know. But I admit that in life, I react a little like her, like Catherine. To a certain extent, we agree: I do not tripe not as much as her The secret [de Rhonda Byrne] », specifies Suzanne Clément, bursting out laughing.

Concerning the idiosyncrasies of the characters, the actress adds that she appreciated the fact that François Pirot does not indulge in mockery. In this way, the filmmaker willingly laughs at the failings and other ill-advised decisions of Mathieu and company, but always with a benevolent look at them.

“That’s it: there is a benevolence in his way of observing the characters. He is capable of being scathing, but not mean. I liked that too. And then, François had this vision, had this tone, and this kind of magical forest…”

Vision Quest

However, filmmakers with a vision are what Suzanne Clément is looking for first and foremost: Robert Lepage (The confessional), Luc Picard (The hearing), Xavier Dolan (Laurence Anyways), Philippe Falardeau (Guibord goes to war), Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (The meaning of the celebration), Tonie Marshall (Number One), Sébastien Marnier (The origin of evil)…

“Before, I focused more on the role, but now it’s the filmmakers. I look at what they’ve done before, because sometimes a good script is compromised by a lack of experience. It happened to me. Otherwise, well I try to vary the pleasures, to change register. For example, on the sidelines of [la série] StatI recently shot a big adventure thing, which takes place in the Middle Ages [Loups-garous, de François Uzan, avec Frank Dubosc et Jean Reno]. The director had a great track record, it was backed by Netflix, so the budget was there: I was confident… I also filmed in a detective series to be released on Prime, The Stickyon the famous maple syrup theft [survenu en 2011-2012] ; there is a bit of humor there Fargo “, notes the actress about the production, which also stars Guillaume Cyr, Margo Martindale and Jamie Lee Curtis.

As for Elsewhere if I’m thereSuzanne Clément confides that she found the adventure almost as funny as the film itself, despite pandemic filming.

“I would happily return to explore that tone, that universe…” Not to mention, that forest.

The film Elsewhere if I’m there will be on display from Friday January 26.

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