Virginie Efira is great in Adieu les cons. Bouli Lanners too, even though he only has one scene.
On the occasion of the broadcast ofGoodbye idiots, this Friday evening on Canal +, we are sharing an excerpt from the interview with Albert Dupontel, met for No. 511 of Première (October 2020).
“I have a taste for good actors”, justifies Albert Dupontel, when we talk to him about “Belgian casting” of his new film, Goodbye idiots. In addition to offering an overwhelming role to Virginie efira, he opens this new achievement with a surreal exchange between this heroine and her doctor, played by a Bouli Lanners lunar, who does everything not to answer his questions.
Nicolas Marié – Goodbye idiots: “Albert is picky, but his demands have a goal.”
What is this taste for Belgian actors?
I have a taste for good actors! And there are plenty of Belgians, it’s not my fault… Bouli [Lanners] has been with me for a very long time, he was in Locked outside, in 9 months closed … Virginie, I didn’t even know where she came from, I discovered her late. But hey, the Belgians are undoubtedly those who represent the Francophonie the most and the best at the moment.
Which is not nothing, given the films you make …
Exact. Bouli is a really great actor. I tried the opening scene twice with another, but it didn’t work. I called him urgently and feverishly rewrote for him. I gave him the text on a Monday. On Wednesdays, he sparkled with this dialogue in the mouth.
You have come for the first time to chain three films without taking a break to play with other directors …
I do not have time anymore. I hardly dare say it, but I’m 56 years old. If after a certain age, we do not give ourselves time for contemplation, we will not find it again … Afterwards, sometimes I regret, because I have a lot of pleasure in letting off steam with others.
The other side of the coin: you’ve never made a movie without acting in it.
Oh no. My role in Goodbye up there was initially to be held by Bouli. When he had to give up, I desperately searched for someone before I decided to stick to it. But it will eventually happen, maybe on the next one. The big disadvantage of combining the two is fatigue. But the advantage – enormous – is the complicity with the actors. I get a lot more by sharing pain, pain, giggles, sweating, text errors, stammering with them, rather than staying imperial distance on my combo. In the midst of them, you listen to them better. Of course, they could sometimes drag me into a spiral, Virginie with her emotion, which had to be received, Nicolas with his fantasy, not always easy to follow. At the end of the day, I was often drained, when technically it’s not that hard to deal with.
Virginie Efira is more and more on edge. Throughout the movie, it looks like she’s going to overflow.
Yes, she picked me up several times, especially on the end scene. I shot two versions, and it was what she delivered that tipped the scales, as it was obvious. Sometimes you have your idea, but you still have to embody it. Now, why she gets to these stages… I don’t know. Cowardly, I didn’t inquire, hey hey. It’s not about turning your tray into a psychotherapy session. You remain discreet and you take advantage …
The story of Goodbye idiots: When Suze Trappet learns at 43 that she is seriously ill, she decides to go in search of the child she was forced to abandon when she was 15. His administrative quest will make him cross JB, fifty-something in full burnout, and Mr. Blin, blind archivist of impressive enthusiasm. The three of them embark on a quest as spectacular as it is improbable.
Goodbye idiots: Dupontel at the top [Critique]