Back in the daily life in a plot where she plays private detectives with Mehdi to uncover the secret of the new pastry chef, the actress confides in the character of Hortense and the way in which she composed it.
Here everything begins was launched in November 2020 and will soon be celebrating its one year anniversary. Looking back, did you expect such success? The series came face to face with three other pre-existing dailies …
Catherine Davydzenka: In all honesty, I really didn’t ask myself the question. For me, the most important thing was to work on my character and to succeed in proposing something above all. I was super stressed, so it took all my head and I didn’t really ask myself if it was going to be a boom. The rest is more for the public rather than me.
Was it a big challenge to hold a character that long in a daily format?
Yes, especially since the character is completely composed. It was not necessarily planned in the sense that I had very little information on Hortense. I had “young solar girl, did medicine, is spontaneous.” Good. (laughs) Suddenly, I took a bet, a risk, and this proposal, I made it really thoroughly on the first day of filming. I arrived on the set, I stepped up my voice, I had these facial expressions with the glasses, and I said to myself either it works or it breaks!
I find that cool because somewhere in France, we don’t have a lot of opportunity to compose characters. It’s very English-speaking, very American to be able to compose characters; here we are more in the “real” game, with people who look a lot like what they are in life. To have the chance to be able to work on something that is ten thousand leagues from me, right down to the voice, is a pure pleasure.
Hortense went through several painful ordeals during this first year, with themes around slut-shaming when she became an escort. Now, she lives a fulfilling relationship with Mehdi (Marvin Pellegrino). Were you surprised by this evolution and this romance?
I was super happy about it. It brought a new side, a new side to Hortense. To give realism to a character, he must have as many facets as a human being. So the more things I am given to play with, the more colors to put on and the more I make it real. I had the opportunity to deal with school bullying, slut-shaming, student prostitution, parents who reject their children for their dream … It’s pretty incredible to play a chick like her who doesn’t care. comes out forcefully, and suddenly, having regained some hope, falls head over heels in love with a guy who is probably going to die.
Yes because the theme of the disease was addressed in the plot around the emerging relationship of Hortense and Mehdi, who suffers from leukemia.
Hortense had no right to decompose for him, and it was beautiful to see her try to make him live, because that was the goal: she wanted him to live, if only until. end of his illness. Finally, he is in remission, so I admit that I do not know where it will go after, but I was not surprised in the sense that this character, as he is not really “categorizable”, anything and everything can happen to him. And since she says all the time that she loves love, that she loves loving someone, not a body or a sex but a person, we can take her just anywhere, and that’s that which is beautiful.
Hortense embodies the figure of the model little girl, promised to a bright future and who will finally break the mold by opposing her father who pushes her to take medicine. Can we expect to discover soon more about his relatives, and his family relationships beyond his father?
Me, I would love to meet my mother! I want to know what they are going to do with it, because in real life, Hortense’s father has talked about it a lot, but we have never seen her, and I wonder if she is not a little one. something that can be used later. But in any case, I really want to know more because finally, we had information about his family, we don’t have a real family background, we haven’t seen them together. So that leaves a nice opening.
What are you filming right now in the series?
Here everything begins with arches and intrigues A, B and C. And me, last year, I was seen a lot on the screen! This year, there are the new ones arriving, and which must absolutely be exploited because they are brilliant. So I’m going to play a slightly more secondary role, but which amuses me just as much because it’s the moments when we have nothing to say that are the funniest, because, suddenly, I have to find something! If it’s to arrive, say two sentences and leave, it’s not interesting. It has to be two sentences that trigger at least a little smirk, it has to do something. This is yet another exercise, and that’s what is cool.
Has the series, which takes place in the heart of a prestigious gastronomy school, changed your relationship with cooking or with food? Has it made you more demanding on what you eat?
I liked cooking a lot before. I started a CAP in cooking that I couldn’t finish because I was doing medicine at the same time for real. When I read the description of the character of Hortense, I wondered if they hadn’t investigated my life! (laughs) And yes, that was a real good coincidence, because I left medicine to devote myself fully to comedy. I took medicine to please parents, but I have always played.
During my studies, I did Le Bureau des Légendes, it has always been present in the background. But suddenly, I’ve always had a special relationship with food: I love to eat, I love to cook, and when I was little, I hid a bit because my dad cooked very well, except that he never let me into the kitchen. And so, I was hiding to try and see what he was doing, and I think it created something in my head where cooking is great. Gradually, it interested me.
I remember a line when Hortense is in front of my father, and where I said to him: “you know, thanks to you, I understood that when we have dreams, we hang on and we do everything so that ‘they work.” We have a very nice relationship with my fictitious dad, in the sense that we don’t really need to rehearse, everything is happening very naturally. There were times when I felt like I was facing my own father.
On the other hand, what has become a little more complicated with regard to food is that in the South, we eat very, well, and in the village in which we fall, we only have natural products, markets of the corner … My palate has developed a little, and I admit that sometimes, when I go to eat a tomato-mozzarella elsewhere, it tastes less … (laughs)
Have you had the opportunity to work on other projects outside of everyday life?
I had castings, and I admit that these were not necessarily things in which I was thoroughly. Last year, I was really on screen a lot, and I was given so much stuff to play that I was very happy like that. At the moment, I am starting a little apart. I’m starting to take a few more tests, so we’ll see where it takes me, why not a series abroad, as I’m quadrilingual. I spoke English before speaking French. I learned it later at school.
And now, with ITC, we are really trained like war machines. You have to arrive, be good all the time, direct, and therefore prepare something very strong beforehand so that when you arrive at 6.30 am for make-up and your start of filming is at 7.45 am, you have to be on the hook. And as far as the texts to learn are concerned, now my memory is a crazy thing: I read my text twice and I know it!