Replaced by François-David Cardonnel in season 12 of “Clem” recently broadcast on TF1, Benoît Michel, the original interpreter of the character, explained why he refused to resume his role five years after his departure.
Launched on March 28 on TF1, season 12 of Clemwhich notably welcomed Helena Noguerra as a prestigious guest, did not fail to divide the fans of the series due to the return of Jérôme Thévenet, the ex-husband of Clem (Lucia Lucas), in the guise of a new actor.
Viewers who have been following the adventures of the Boissier-Brimont clan from the start were indeed surprised to discover that Benoit Michelthe original interpreter of Jérôme during seasons 3 to 7, had been replaced by the actor Francois-David Cardonnelseen in particular in The Charity Bazaar and Olivia.
Questioned by our colleagues from Entertainment TV as part of the program Chez Jordan, Benoît Michel returned to the reasons for his departure in 2017 before explaining that the production of Clem had indeed come back to him last year to offer him to re-enlist in season 12 .
“I left the series 5-6 years ago, for professional reasons”explains the actor who has since joined the cast ofAstrid and Raphaelle on France 2. “These are shoots that last a very long time, and suddenly it’s very hard to get into other productions. (…) So I wanted to go elsewhere, to put myself in danger, which is pretty normal for a young actor. So my character went overseas. And I didn’t think he was going to come back.”.
But finally, a twist, the authors of Clem decide to bring Jérôme back into the life of Clem and their daughter Emma on the occasion of season 12, which was shot last fall and was broadcast there. a few weeks ago on TF1.
“The production, in its script, wanted to bring the character back. They called me, telling me that they would like to bring Jérôme back, but they didn’t necessarily offer me anything behind it. I didn’t feel that They were trying to lure me in. They said, “Do you want to come back?”, without telling me what it was about, without a script”.
Faced with this proposal which did not give him a glimpse of what he was going to have to play in these new episodes, Benoît Michel therefore declined and the production of Clem had to look for another actor to succeed him in the role of Jérôme.
“I had made the decision to leave the series so I felt that if they wanted me to come back, they had to give me some grain to grind”continues the actor. “I wanted something to defend, something to play. And there, they didn’t know what to say to me so I told them no”.
And if Benoît Michel says to himself “moved” of the reaction of the fans, who demanded his return and did not really appreciate this change of interpreter, he is careful not to give his opinion on the performance of François-David Cardonnel. Even if he admits that the former candidate of Koh Lanta does not look like him at all and is therefore just as surprised by this choice as the viewers.
“We don’t look alike. He’s blond with blue eyes and I’m rather Mediterranean. You have to ask the production. I don’t know”.
The end of season 12 of Clem, broadcast on April 11 on TF1, in any case suggests the possibility of seeing Jérôme, and therefore François-David Cardonnel, re-enlist for a possible season 13 in the event of renewal. But the channel has still not spoken about the future of the series.