While the summer ark of “Here it all begins” continues on TF1, Mikaël Mittelstadt confides in the filming of this intrigue far from the institute, on the Greg-Marius pair, and on what awaits us in sequel to this thriller plot.
AlloCiné: You recently celebrated two years of filmingHere it all starts. Do you still have as much fun playing Greg?
Mikael Mittelstadt : Yes really. My temperament makes me impulsive, spontaneous, and I like to improvise where I can. I shot a sequence last week with Catherine Marchal in which I stuck to improvisation, and at that moment I said to myself “It’s cool, we can always reinvent despite the fact that it’s been two years and that we play the same role”.
And then, I play a character who is a kind of kaleidoscope. He goes in all directions, he has been through so many things, that for me it is a joy to be able to express myself through him. Greg is really full of colors. And I thank the authors every day for writing me such an interesting character to play. I hope it will continue, I know I’m very lucky.
Greg is at the heart of the summer ark, which we are currently discovering on the air. What was your reaction when you learned that the authors had a thriller ark in store for you with a mystery à la remember last summer ?
I love this film so I was delighted (laughs). Sarah Farahman, our producer, had called me to tell me about this new plot and she had started by telling me about the appearance of Marius, this childhood friend of Greg who was going to arouse Eliott’s jealousy. I thought it was great because we had never seen Eliott very jealous before. Just a little bit with Lilian, after the Delobel arch a year ago.
And then Sarah told me about the fact that this ark was going to evolve into a universe Agatha Christie and at the Remember last summer. And I said, “That’s the best gift you can give me.” I’ve been such a big fan of this stuff since I was a kid. The Agatha Christies, the Sherlock Holmes, I’ve read them all. We’re not there yet, of course, but the somewhat strange atmosphere, where we hug the walls wondering “What’s going on in this hotel?”, I love it. I am very customer. So I was happy about that.
And it’s great because thrillers are a genre that we see a lot in tomorrow belongs to us but that Here it all begins had never really been explored…
Yes, it’s true. And I think the challenge for the authors was also not to fall into DNA. It had to stay different. And in what we filmed, I find that the dimension of cooking and baking remains very present. This is what makes Here Everything Begins retain its identity and uniqueness. It’s more interesting than just being in thrillers.
And I can tell you that, on the set, we gave pastry level. The two weeks of filming where we only took care of the national pastry championship, it was hard (laughs). It was hot, there were plenty of pastries to make. And you will see over the arch that the pastries are sublime. But it wasn’t easy, even if it was super stimulating and uplifting. In the evening we slept well (laughs). The nights were very restorative.
We discovered on the screen a new decor, the Beaumont hotel. And you also shot quite a few scenes at the beach. Did you experience filming this plot as a breath of fresh air?
Yes, completely. I had the opportunity to jump in the water several times, at the beach or on the boat, so I consider myself rather lucky personally (laughs). Leaving the castle is scary, because it takes us out of our comfort zone. But on the other hand, it’s what allows you to find renewal and reinvent things when you go to shoot in outdoor sets like that.
And it’s funny because the Beaumont Hotel, in reality, these are three or four different sets, and in the image the illusion is made. This is the magic of editing and television.
This ark sees returning Joseph Malerba (Benoît Delobel) and Lucia Passaniti (Noemie). Was it a pleasure to find them?
Of course, one as much as the other. Lucia, I hadn’t toured much with her. It’s a small regret that we had when she left the series. And when she came back and I found out that Greg was going to be Noémie’s second, I was delighted. I knew I was going to have plenty of scenes with Lucia. It was really nice. And at the end of the arch, I said to him “I feel like I really met you on this plot”. It’s in the work that you really find people, even if you’ve known them for two years.
And Joseph Malerba is one of my favorite people to work with. I can’t really explain why. Of course, there is this pseudo-paternal bond, because he plays my father in the series. And family relationships, in fiction, are always very strong for actors. But it’s not just that.
We have a real bond. When we are both, we scare the others a little, because we have synchro reactions, expressions in common. A complicity that we often have after several years of friendship. And with Joseph it was created very quickly. So as soon as I have scenes with him I’m delighted. And it moves me a lot to play with him. He is very generous, I learn a lot from him. And he’s a fabulous actor. So we go back when he wants (laughs).
You mentioned Marius earlier, who is one of the new characters in the summer ark. What is interesting is that he is not just another obstacle between Greg and Eliott, he allows Greg’s past to be explored and to show that, ultimately, his repressed homosexuality has been a suffering for him, but also for others, because Marius took the rejection of him very badly…
I find that extremely clever on the part of the authors, whereas it is not obvious. Even if it is always the challenge of a daily life to bring back ghosts of the past of the characters. But where I like it is that many actors like to invent the past stories of their characters. The idea being to “Better understand what happened before to better respond to the present”. It’s a logic that makes sense but that I’ve never really liked to put into practice. I like to do with what I have at the moment.
So when I arrive on set, I have no choice. They tell me “Marius is his childhood friend”. And it comes to nourish me independently of my will. Instinctively, there is this story that was created in Greg’s past. I hadn’t invented it, but it’s a reality because the authors chose it. And it’s up to me to honor that. And I think it’s great because it responds to things that happened during the “Le Secret des Delobel” ark, it makes sense and it works really well. The authors are really too strong (laughs).
And what was great was also to seek a new complicity with Damas Roy, who plays Marius. For him it was not easy to land in a series like Here it all begins which already works, which is already well established, where everyone has their codes. And Marius, Greg is supposed to have known him for a very long time. It’s a real challenge. I know it can be intimidating for the guest actors who join us for an arch. But I loved shooting with him, it was very easy. He is very kind, it was very pleasant to play with him.
And then, without being socio-political, the fact that we have two homosexual characters leading the investigation, without falling into clichés about homosexuality, I find that very clever on the part of the authors. Homosexuality is normal, it’s just a variable, and the sexuality of Greg and Marius does not change the situation. That’s great.
After being convinced that they had hit and killed Alban with Chief Delobel’s boat, Greg and Marius, who receive strange threatening messages, now think that all this is a set-up by Alban to take revenge on Noémie. . What can you say about what awaits us in the rest of the plot?
We are not close to knowing the truth. We will explore many possibilities. It’s a plot that is really built like a thriller. False leads will multiply. And, indeed, there is a mystery that hovers around Alban, and we will discover the answer to all that during the final revelation. You will have to be patient.
Will Greg and Marius keep what they’re going through to themselves? Or will they end up confiding in Eliott, Teyssier, Anaïs, or even Benoît?
It will happen gradually. Greg confides in Eliott. And there is going to be this choice, on the part of the others, which is going to be “Do we decide to believe them or not?”. Because phenomena will occur at the hotel. And this could come to question the credibility of Greg and Marius.
Noémie will disappear in turn. What impact will this disappearance have on the brigade? Will they be able to continue to defend their place in the championship?
That’s going to be the whole question: can they continue the competition without a leader? Of course, logic would dictate not. But it would be sad to see Greg’s squad give up at this point. So you’ll see, suspense, I can’t say anything (laughs).
In any case, the disappearance of Noémie will come to concretize the strange aspect of all that. The characters will really start to understand that there are things going on that aren’t normal in this hotel. There was the episode of the boat, of course, but nothing was certain at that time. While the disappearance of chef Matret is real. And even if there will be a rational pseudo-explanation for his “absence”, Greg and Marius are not going to be fooled.
This summer intrigue of Here it all begins also highlights Greg’s friendship with Anaïs, which we had seen little on screen previously. Do you hope it will continue in season 3?
Yes, we would love to, because Julie Sassoust and I got along really well from the start. He’s one of the people I get along with the best. For several reasons. We play table tennis together (laughs). But we always wanted to shoot together and it’s true that we were very happy to have these little scenes between Greg and Anaïs. We even had a scene together at the beach, it was great. So we can only hope that it will continue in the fall.
You are shooting the back-to-school episodes right now. Can you say a word about what awaits us? Lots of new faces?
Yes, there is the whole new promo that is coming. From what I know, because I’m not very present at the start of the school year, there are a lot of secrets and new things that will come to fuel the start of the school year at the time of the entrance examination. New subjects, never before treated in the series, which will be approached, new types of characters, new profiles, and some monsters of the past of other characters. Everything we love (laughs).
You’ve done quite a bit outside of Here it all starts this year, whether for TF1 in The Fightersor for France 2 in Hinny. Do you have other projects planned for the coming months?
Right now, I’m enjoying my rest, I don’t have any projects taking shape outside of Here it all begins. There will surely be the Combattantes promotion this fall, and Bardot next year in broadcast I think. But for now it’s calm and it makes me feel good.
Sometimes I tend to run around and get excited about the workload, and my body doesn’t always follow. So I see this holiday period as a good time where I can recharge my batteries before starting again with a vengeance on Here it all begins and on other projects if providence wills it.