The Visitors: Why Valérie Lemercier and Muriel Robin had a bad experience of filming

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The Visitors: Why Valérie Lemercier and Muriel Robin had a bad experience of filming

The performers of Béatrice de Montmirail / Frénégonde de Pouille did not feel out of place on the stage.

A week after Visitors, TMC will rebroadcast its sequel tonight, The Corridors of Time. In 1998, with 13.8 million admissions collected in 1993, the director Jean-Marie Poiré reformed the tandem Godefroy de Montmirail (Jean Reno) – Jacquouille la Fripouille (Christian Clavier) with this sequel which takes place in the immediate continuity of the first part: Godefroy is preparing to celebrate his marriage to Frénégonde de Pouille when the Duke, his father, interrupts the ceremony because his jewelry has been stolen, as well as a precious relic. Godefroy understands that it is undoubtedly Jacquouille the author of the theft …

We therefore find all the cult characters of the franchise, with the exception of a major change in casting, Muriel Robin replacing Valérie Lemercier, who did not wish to resume the role of Béatrice de Montmirail / Frénégonde de Pouille. The actress had however been very appreciated by the public and the professionals of the cinema for her interpretation: she had even received the César for Visitors. Jean-Marie Poiré revealed during the First Cinema Club dedicated to the film, in 2016, that he had thought of her when he discovered one of her sketches: “I knew that Valérie Lemercier would be perfect in Béa because I liked a lot his sketch La Renardière. She was already expressing herself there like her character, emphasizing her ‘Marie-Chantal’ side. She was very snobbish and at the same time capable of swaying enormities. In the sketch, for example, she exclaimed between two bourgeois allusions: ‘We found lots of cousins ​​lost to sight on mom’s side, who have huge dicks!’. It was exactly that half-traditional, half-vulgar tone I was looking for.

The Visitors: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Cult Comedy

At 28, she then had little film experience, appearing only in supporting roles in Snowy in May, The day after tomorrow, Operation Corned-Beef and Sweak exes. Delighted to have been cast for this comedy, she however had a bad experience of the shooting, not being on the same wavelength as the director as she explained in First, in 2017: “When it was necessary to adapt my character of great bourgeoisie to the screen, it was complicated: I was wary of the role too much. Suddenly, what I proposed was not very colorful.” Two years before, however, she revealed on Europe 1 to have been conquered by his character: “I love Béatrice de Montmirail! I always like playing bourgeois. There will still be a lot of them in my shows. They are very funny characters, because they have no doubts.”

The main problem was especially that outside the takes, she felt excluded from the band, revealed The world, in 2008. The director and the main actors knew each other very well (Clavier had filmed with him in Santa Claus is rubbish, Grandpa is resisting, My best friends etc., and was in a relationship with Marie-Anne Chazelle, Ginette’s interpreter; as for Jean Reno, he was the star of Operation Corned Beef, already alongside Clavier, in 1991). “They all dined without me, separated me from Isabelle Nanty, whom I felt close to, she remembers. When the makeup artist saw Marie-Anne Chazel unload, she exclaimed: ‘Here is finally a funny woman’ “. She then preferred to refuse to play in the sequel. “We sometimes agree to make a film without knowing too much what it can give, did she justify to Telerama, in 2007. But there, really, I did not feel it… And the continuation did not prove me wrong. “

The Visitors: Why Valérie Lemercier and Muriel Robin had a bad experience of filming

Visitors 2 indeed received more mixed reviews than the first opus, but it was a nice success by attracting in theaters more than 8 million spectators, which made it the third box office success of the year 1998 behind Titanic and The dinner of idiots. 20 years after the film’s release, his replacement, Muriel Robin, also revealed that she had had a bad time on the set of C to you : “I don’t take pleasure because I go there for the wrong reasons and also because I think that Jean-Marie Poiré does not want Beatrice de Montmirail but Valérie Lemercier in the role of Béatrice de Montmirail. I have my bourgeoisie. but it’s not the same bourgeois of Valérie. And he’s not in love with me. I skate on my own, I’m a lot less funny, I don’t think I’m very good, not as efficient as I could have been. to be and I can’t say it during the promo and it’s not particularly pleasant. But the film exists. “

For Valérie Lemercier, the screenwriters Christian Clavier and Jean-Marie Poiré should have invented a new character so that the actress feels more comfortable : “Many people have criticized the performance of Muriel Robin, who took over the character of Béatrice de Montmirail, she judged, still in Telerama. But it would have been necessary to change everything, the name of the character, her family circle, her relationships, her language tics … so that she could feel completely at ease. A good actor always has a lot of difficulty when he tries to match the performance of another actor. And that’s exactly what he was asked to do. “

My cult visitors scene, by Jean-Marie Poiré

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