All these things we didn’t say to each other on MyCANAL: Marc Levy confides in…

All these things we didnt say to each other on

All These Things We Never Said, the series adapted from Marc Levy’s novel, is out today on MyCANAL and CANAL+SÉRIES. Met at the Monte-Carlo festival, the novelist tells us more about the adaptation of his bestseller.

Fans of novels Marc Levy will be delighted!

After And if it was true, Where are you ? or My friends, my loves, another best-seller by Marc Levy hits the screen. From this Tuesday, July 19, aficionados of the successful novelist will discover the eponymous adaptation of All those things we didn’t say to each other on the Canal + Series platform as well as on MyCanal.

The story is centered on Julia Saurel, played by the actress Alexandra Maria Larawho, three days before her wedding, receives a call informing her that her father Michel (Jean Reno) will not be present at the wedding. Not so surprising after all when we know that Julia has had a distant relationship with her father for many years. However, Michel has this time a very good excuse and for good reason, he is dead!

But the day after her funeral, an unreal surprise awaits Julia. Indeed, the latter will have the unexpected opportunity to make a last trip with her father in order to make up for lost time and to finally say all the things they have never said to each other. A fantastic and moving story directed by Miguel Courtois.

Met at the Monte-Carlo festival last June, Marc Levy confided in our microphone on the story behind the writing of his bestseller, his role as an actor as well as on the importance of the notion of freedom in his works.

Allociné: The novel All the things we didn’t say to each other was released in 2008. What is the story behind writing this book and what inspired you?

Mark Levy: It was born out of a story I had with my mother in her car. I was on the phone with my eldest son who was 10 or 11 at the time. As I hung up, I said something very banal to him: “see you later, I love you”. There was then ten seconds of silence in the car. My mom was staring at the wheel and I heard her say, “my dad never told me he loved me.” I turned around and told him “but he loved you”. However, she did not respond. It was amazing, because my grandfather had been dead for a very long time and I saw a scar in my mother’s eyes that had never healed.

It opened for me a field of investigation and understanding of a relationship that by definition I will never know, that of a relationship between a father and his daughter. I must say that I found this topic fascinating. The more I listened to friends tell me about the relationship they had with their father, the more I was fascinated by modesty and the things left unsaid. I think that’s how the idea of ​​this second chance given to Julia was born.

What led you to adapt this novel for television?

In all the projects that I have been able to carry out in my life, what is the most rewarding is the human relationship. The project was born during a lunch with Miguel Courtois with whom we had already done Where are you ? in 2005. We remembered the pleasure we had during the writing and filming. We would have been crazy not to do this together again. And then I don’t know if it was Miguel who called me or me but when we spoke, he said to me “why don’t you adapt All those things we didn’t say. And we started! Miguel started writing, he sent me the script pretty soon after. I immediately tackled the dialogues and then everything went quite quickly.

You are a screenwriter, showrunner, producer but also an actor in the series. Was it a desire on your part to lend your features to one of your characters?

Something a bit strange happened. Miguel has always liked in his long career as a filmmaker to give small roles to friends of his. I was a gas station attendant, gynecologist, publisher, but it was always small roles. While writing, Miguel calls me and says “you should play Julia’s best friend”.

You’ll think it’s schizophrenia, but when you’re a writer, you spend long months with fictional characters who really come into your life and you never get rid of. Julia was one of them. And suddenly, a director asks you to play the best friend of one of your heroines, who herself will be played by an actress.

For me, it was a bit like Alice going through the looking glass. I told myself that I was going to see my characters come alive in real life and it offers me the possibility of interacting with one of them. I think that’s what put my finger in the gears and made me say to myself “come on, I’m going”. I have to say it was amazing.

The series tackles universal themes such as mourning, marriage or even father-daughter relationships. The theme of freedom also appears equally important. Is this an important concept for you?

This is the red thread of my 23 novels. Everything I’ve done in my life, I’ve done for the love of freedom. I went abroad very young, I traveled around the world, I joined the Red Cross. I never wanted to belong to an environment precisely to be free. Really. So freedom doesn’t mean having no responsibility towards others, on the contrary. Strangely enough, it involves a lot more. I’ve always had this thirst for freedom. Not having to lie in life is an extraordinary freedom.

Adapting a literary work to the screen is never easy and often involves renunciations as well as modifications. In All the Things We Didn’t Say, Anthony becomes Michel and the story takes place, for example, in Paris and Bruges instead of New York and Montreal. What drives these kinds of choices and what role do you play in these decisions?

Mainly production constraints. In the novel, the characters are American. At the time I wrote it, the rather violent reaction of Julia’s father, who forbade his daughter to live in East Berlin even though the wall had fallen, was the consequence of a Cold War which occupied the America from the end of the Second World War until the 1990s and which was ultimately culturally much more rooted in the minds of Americans than of French. If only because the distance further amplified the phantasmagoria. In the United States, there was a real hatred of the Soviet, which was seen as an enemy. The notion of communism was a kind of crime or betrayal. There was really a huge political, cultural and societal shock.

And so, in the book, when Michel goes so violently to look for his daughter in East Berlin, the question does not even arise. That’s why I had this choice as a novelist. By the time you adapt the series, if the protagonists are American, it becomes an American series. You have to write the script in American. It has to be funded in the United States. In short, everything becomes very complicated. By putting it in France, the talent of the director was to make these characters French. It was he who decided to take Alexandra Maria Lara. It was he who had the idea of ​​making Julia the daughter of an East German who had fled communism. Something that does not exist at all in history. This invention alone replaced the motivation of Julia’s father when he was American.

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