Here it all begins: “Valérie’s return will lead to upheavals” according to Elisa Sergent

Disappeared at sea more than a year ago, Valérie Myriel has just reappeared in “Tomorrow belongs to us” and “Here everything begins” on TF1. How will the reunion with Antoine and Rose go? Elisa Sergent confides in her return.

Here it all begins: "valérie's return will lead to upheavals" according to elisa sergent
Screenshot / TF1

After more than a year of absence, Valérie Myriel, played by Elisa Sergent, made her comeback on Thursday in Tomorrow belongs to us. Disappeared at sea in October 2019, following the sinking of the boat on which she was with Antoine (Frédéric Diefenthal), her husband, and Souleymane (Dembo Camilo), their son, she had not given any sign of life to her close since. Even if the viewers of the daily TF1 soap opera, they knew that Valérie was still alive since, a few episodes after her supposed drowning, she had been seen for the very last time washed up on a beach in Algeria, with amnesia.

Following a helping hand from fate, Valérie ended up finding Souleymane’s trace in Sète with the help of the French Embassy in Algiers, and it is therefore logical that mother and son, once reunited, went to Calvières to announce the good news to Antoine. An Antoine visibly in shock, if we are to believe the last seconds of the episode of Here everything begins yesterday, who thus sees his wife reappear in his life at the very moment when nothing is going on in his relationship with Rose ( Vanessa Demouy). What consequences will Valérie’s return have? Will Antoine fall back into the arms of the one to whom he is still married? Elisa Sergent tells us more about the circumstances of her return in Tomorrow belongs to us and what awaits us in the sequel, this intrigue crossed with Here everything begins.

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AlloCiné: The return of Valérie Myriel was eagerly awaited by the fans of Tomorrow belongs to us. Has the wait been long for you too?

Elisa Sergeant : Of course, it’s been over a year, so I couldn’t wait to come back to Tomorrow belongs to us. I received many testimonials from fans, it is very touching to see that this character marked the spirits and that his return was expected. And that people are curious to see what will happen next for Valérie. I really appreciate it.

Did you know from the end of the ‘Disappearance’ storyline in 2019 that you would be back at some point? Or did the production leave you, too, in the dark for months?

The production had told me that my character was coming back at some point, but I didn’t know the exact return date. And in the end, the fact that this “absence” lasts so long added a lot of mystery around Valérie, so it’s great.

Did you stay in touch with Frédéric Diefenthal and Dembo Camilo during all this time?

Yes, we had the opportunity to run into each other a few times, at parties or unexpectedly. And we also left each other messages from time to time. And each time it was a real pleasure. And then I was delighted to see that their characters continued to evolve. And now I’m back, it’s great, we will be able to continue to develop the history of this family. The first one I saw when I got back on the set was Dembo, we met in the dressing room and we immediately hugged.

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Before appearing in Here everything begins, Valérie first reappears in Sète and finds Souleymane. How is their reunion going?

We already know that Souleymane receives a phone call from Valérie, so he is aware of his mother’s return to Sète. And, inevitably, there is a very strong, very important bond between a mother and her son. From the outset, Souleymane wanted Antoine to share this reunion with them, hence my coming to Here everything begins.

Here it all begins: "valérie's return will lead to upheavals" according to elisa sergent

Screenshot / TF1

Were you surprised by what the authors came up with to explain Valérie’s absence and what she went through during this year and a half spent away from Sète?

Not really, because we knew that Valérie had amnesia. But we are going to find out what she experienced in Algeria, completely new things for her. And we will quickly know how his memory came back to him about his son. Obviously, we have a lot of surprises in store for you, but viewers will have to be there in Tomorrow belongs to us and Here it all begins to discover how it all unfolds. But what I can say is it’s super well written. As usual, the writers did a great job. They are very good at making us believe that an intrigue is going to take us to one side, while finally we go in a completely different direction. It’s nice to see that there is a great scriptwriting quality on these two soap operas. It necessarily contributes to the addiction that viewers feel.

Finally, for you, as an actress, this amnesia almost allows you to approach Valérie like a new character, right? Or in any case it allows you to explore whole new facets …

Valérie is a character who will grope her memories and her emotions. And that’s what is really cool about my arrival on Here everything begins. She is going to see her husband again, obviously, and we do not know which way this reunion will go. What will her emotions and her memories dictate to her about their relationship? How will Rose go through all of this? Everything is in suspense, in question mark, as much for the character as for the viewer. It is very interesting to approach and to build.

Souleymane decides to take Valérie to Calvières in order to announce the news of her return to Antoine. How will he react when he finds out that his wife is still alive? Will his feelings for her come to the surface?

All I can say is that it’s going to be a real shock for Antoine. He and Rose are going to have a huge shock when they discover that Valerie is still alive. Especially since, if you follow Here Everything Starts Right Now, you know things are complicated between them. So for Rose, it’s not really going to be a pleasure to see Valérie unload at Calvières. And for Antoine, who is completely lost in his emotions, it comes at a fairly high point in the plot. So, obviously, the return of Valérie will cause upheaval. A husband who sees his wife again, with whom he is still married and who is now in a relationship with another, that necessarily presents a major dilemma. And since the emotions of his couple with Rose are weakened, we can assume that there will be doubts and questionings on his part.

Did you follow the beginnings of Here It All Begins?

Of course. The cast is hot, the plots are super strong, it’s a real treat. The setting is sublime, I had a great pleasure to disembark in this castle and to find some members of the team that I knew thanks to Tomorrow belongs to us. The atmosphere is extremely warm. I am really delighted to join this adventure.

Here it all begins: "valérie's return will lead to upheavals" according to elisa sergent

Screenshot / TF1

Will Valérie especially be part of the intrigues of Here it all begins or will she also continue to evolve in Tomorrow belongs to us, by settling for example in Sète with Souleymane?

Ah, that I can not tell you, we will have to follow the unfolding of the plot (laughs). But the bridge between the two series is so fine that there are bound to be possibilities. The trip is short, so depending on how things are going with Souleymane and with this family, we can hope that the installation of Valérie in Sète or Calvières is considered. It will depend on the envy of the writers.

So we can hope that your return will be long-term?

I would very much like. You will ask the production, I cannot answer you (laughs). It is the scenario that takes the characters. But I have a lot of pleasure to find this character of Valérie Myriel and all the small family. In 2019 I had only shot two months in Demain belongs to us. It was short but intense. Then I came back in the shoes of Ariane, who caused trouble in the family, and in the mind of Antoine and Souleymane. And today I am happy to come back with Valérie, because she is an endearing character. She’s a woman who knows what she wants. When she arrived, at the start, it was subject to argument with Antoine who was happy to be there, while Valérie was reluctant to invest in Sète. And so it’s all the more pleasant to come back today and tell yourself that things will be developed in a different way. Someone who has amnesia necessarily leaves with a little blank page. And suddenly we perceive the character differently. And, at the same time, his character and natural emotions return. It’s nice to see a character evolve who is surrounded by mystery and about whom there are real expectations. Viewers are waiting for answers, but they might be different from what one might expect.

You mentioned Ariane, the double of Valérie whom you embodied during an intrigue. It would be pretty funny if she resurfaces and finds herself facing Valerie. How would you like to play two characters at the same time?

It would have to be funny. All possible circumstances are nice with this character anyway. But I do not believe it is topical.

Do you have other projects, alongside these two soap operas, that you can talk about?

I shot in January in Tandem. It was great to meet this team and play with Astrid Veillon, Stéphane Blancafort, Baya Rehaz, and Alban Casterman. I shot two episodes which should be broadcast in April on France 3. I feel very lucky because, with the health crisis, the artistic community is very affected. So I am delighted to have these shoots which allow me to work and “travel”, from Sète to Montpellier, via Saint-Laurent-d’Aigouze.

Interview by telephone on February 17, 2021.

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