Nothing to declare: back on an XXL shoot

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Dany Boon and Benoît Poelvoorde on the set of Nothing to Declare

Dany Boon’s film is rebroadcast tonight on TF1. Filmed two years after Welcome to the Ch’tis, this contemporary fable on racism has benefited from very significant resources.

Nothing to report, released in 2011 at the cinema, follows the forced cohabitation between a Belgian customs officer who hates the French and a French customs officer in love with the former’s sister. ” The idea germinated in my mind during the tour of the previews of the Ch’tisExplain Dany Boon. I have been to Belgium several times and was very surprised to see that the border area had become a no man’s land. When I was a fine arts student in Belgium, in the 80s, I very often went through customs with my drawing board and I often got arrested ! »

By choosing to anchor the story of Nothing to report at a time when Europe is no longer a single space where goods and people circulate freely, Dany Boon falls de facto into the “period film” category. On the set, the men and women wear shirts with large prints, they drive Simcas and Peugeots… The first thing that strikes you when you enter the set of Nothing to report, it’s the bizarre impression of taking a leap backwards. The action takes place mainly during the winter, just before the opening of the borders. ” It feels like yesterdayblows Dany Boon. Computers are coming, internet, mobile phones. »

All this has a cost: 20 million euros, almost double the Ch’tis. Jérôme Seydoux, the producer and big boss of Pathé, who came to the set, is delighted with the show. ” After the Ch’tishe confesses, it was obvious to continue on the road with Dany. Everyone dreamed of making the next film of the man who made 20 million admissions! We had to put in the budget for a period film shot on location. There is a lot of work on the decor! »

It is essentially between Belgium and France that the film was shot. In Macquenoise, a section of the Belgian municipality of Momignies, located in the Walloon Region in the province of Hainaut, an entire street has been requisitioned and “aged” by the decorator Alain Veyssier. It’s like an open-air studio. This street links two villages invented by Dany Boon, Courquain la Française and Koorkin, la Wallonne. The team built a Belgian chocolate shop, a greengrocer, a bar and a restaurant, Le No Man’s Land, run by an unusual couple, Karin Viard and François Damiens (who have not yet inherited a daughter who dreams to sing). A line of vehicles jams the main artery of the town because a fussy customs officer has decided to be zealous. It’s Ruben Vandervoorde, a Belgian customs officer who hates the French. ” My character is worse than Francophobesays Benoît Poelvoorde. We would have to invent a definition of anti-French racism for him. Don’t try to find excuses for him, he’s a jerk! To play it, it’s not complicated, just look around, there are plenty. For this man, the end of borders is a tragedy. The film also starts with his cry of distress. It takes no less than two cranes and a Steadicam to follow the action. In the street, the first assistant, Nicolas Guy (a devotee of Dany Boon since his first film, like most of the members of the team who have all worked for the success of Ch’tis), manages one hundred and thirty extras, fifteen cars, a caravan, two fifteen tons, and… a chip shop truck. Dany Boon even offered himself a childhood dream for his opening sequence: a plan seen from a helicopter. ” I like comedies where there is not only text, but also visual gags. I use short focal lengths where you can see the decor well. »

Like with Welcome to the Ch’tis, the director digs his furrow: making people laugh with difference to better value it. The story of Nothing to report is also inspired by his life. ” My character, Mathias Ducatelspecifies Dany Boon, is motivated by love. He is in love with a Belgian whose brother is the racist Vandervoorde. That’s more or less what I experienced through my parents because my father was from Kabylia and part of my French maternal family somewhat rejected mixed marriage. The film will attract more than 8 million spectators when it is released.

Nothing to declare is broadcast tonight at 9:05 p.m. on TF1

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