At the origin of “Alceste à bicyclette” by Philippe Le Guay, there is another project imagined by Fabrice Luchini that the actor had thought to stage himself. On the occasion of the film’s broadcast on Arte, we take a look back at this little-known anecdote.
Fabrice Luchini, director? Alceste à bicyclette could have marked the debut behind the comedian’s camera. If we dive into the genesis of the film – finally directed by Philippe Le Guay in 2013 -, we discover that another fairly similar project had germinated in the mind of Fabrice Luchini and which he had thought of ensuring himself. staging.
“About thirty years ago, (Fabrice Luchini) had the project to mount Le Misanthrope (which is precisely discussed in Alceste à bicyclette, Editor’s note) by playing Alceste and Philinte alternately with another actor “, remembers the director Philippe Le Guay when promoting the film. “Some time later, I talk to him about this idea again and he says to me: “I will do it.»(…) He was thinking of filming in DV (a mini digital camera, Editor’s note), three weeks of improvisation with a small team, on the fly.“Finally, Fabrice Luchini lets time fly, and abandons the idea, concludes Philippe Le Guay.
Time passes, the filmmaker and the actor meet for a third collaboration (after L’Année Juliette in 1995, and The Cost of Life in 2003), in this case the choral comedy which will meet with a great success, Les Femmes du 6th floor, in 2011 (more than 2.2 million admissions). It was during this shoot that both spoke again about this abandoned project, and Philippe Le Guay asked Fabrice Luchini if he could take up Alceste’s idea.
“I had a very simple situation in mind: an actor comes looking for another actor who lives reclusively on an island to ask him to play Le Misanthrope. Imagining Fabrice as a recluse was obvious to me: the scarf, the pelisse, the three-day beard … I immediately thought of Céline living in Meudon. Barely if I hadn’t given him a dog, but that would have been too much. This is how we both share the original idea for the film.“And add:”It touches me this closeness, after having shot four films together …“
As Fabrice Luchini sums up in turn, the idea is “a little from (him, Fabrice Luchini) “and the script is”totally from him (Philippe Le Guay) “. And to add:”Instead of confining himself to Molière and a guy who does this exercise so strange to say, Le Guay draws the plot towards a comedy in which the character is the Île de Ré. “According to Philippe Le Guay, the character of Luchini is totally inspired by the actor himself:”Fabrice is an inspirer “, he explains. “I drew on what I know about him, his love of texts, and also this temptation of misanthropy that he sometimes displays. There is in him a fantasy of retirement, which fortunately he does not carry out. “
For the record, the tandem says that the discussions around this film just started by bicycle on the Ile de Ré … There is no coincidence!
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