Kaamelott: meeting with Guillaume Briat (King Burgonde)
While “Kaamelott – First part” has been in theaters since July 21, Guillaume Briat, who has found his character as Burgundian sovereign in the cinema, has agreed to answer our questions.
Present in the series of Alexandre Astier since the very first book, Guillaume Briat, interpreter of the unforgettable and hilarious King Burgonde, resumes his role at the cinema in Kaamelott – First part, in theaters since July 21.
On this occasion, he agreed to answer our questions and tell us about his meeting with Kaamelott’s troupe, his passage from television to the big screen, and of course the development of the Burgundian language.
AlloCiné: You are present in Kaamelott from the first episodes of Book I. Do you remember how Alexandre Astier presented his project to you more than 15 years ago?
I am one of the rare actors, I believe, to have had a casting. Alexandre Astier works a lot with actors he knows personally or who he has already seen play. We didn’t know each other. In a classic way, I therefore spent a casting which, for his part, was not really, given the originality of the character to be interpreted. There was little text, but it was necessary to find a language and a gesture.
Did you foresee at the time the extent that the series could take?
It is always difficult to predict such a success, but we felt that we were part of a new original adventure. And the joy of discovering this writing, this humor in a series, was a real pleasure for an actor. Afterwards, it is the public that makes the success of a series, and very quickly, groups of fans were created on social networks. It snowballed.
With Kaamelott, you have given us many bursts of laughter for several years. Do you remember your biggest laugh on the set?
I don’t think I had any giggles. Comedy, in fact, is pretty serious. Smiles, yes, of course, facing the play of my sometimes so funny partners. For this character, I only had one day of filming per year, which is to say very little. So of course, I still arrived on the set relaxed, but focused. Precisely, perhaps not to laugh!
As a spectator, we tend to imagine that the casting of Kaamelott works like that of a theater company. Is that the case ? Did you find this same atmosphere on the big screen?
In a way, yes, because some of Kaamelott’s actors knew each other before the series. Some of them had already performed together, notably in the theater. And then, a series allows the actors to meet regularly. This ends up creating complicity, and a troop spirit. I only intervened a few times, but each time I was happy to find this team. It was therefore a great pleasure to find them all after so long. It was a happy reunion.
What are the biggest differences between the series and the cinema?
Above all, space, scale! As far as I’m concerned, I only shot the series in the studio. So, for the film, finding myself on a tower, facing the plains of the Pilat regional park, with a view of the top of the pines, it felt good. You just have to adapt your sound level! In Kaamelott – First part, landscapes are very important. For the spectator, the fact of seeing the desert, the sea, the snow, of feeling the heat then the cold, that changes a lot.
What did you learn while playing under the direction of Alexandre Astier?
That one can direct the actors with very few words and a lot of benevolence! Perhaps also that my weaknesses as an actor could have become qualities in him, but you have to have a good look in front of you, and especially a good ear. A real feeling of freedom of play.
How was the language of Burgundy developed? Do these words really mean something? Did you have the possibility to improvise some of them, or were they precisely written by Alexandre Astier?
Ah, the Burgundian language! Everything is written with a comma. As for the meaning of the words, for the character, that undoubtedly means something, but for the others… For my part, of course, it was sometimes necessary that I find a subtext, to try to imagine this. that I could think of when speaking of “biography”, for example.
How did Alexandre Astier brief you on this particular language?
Alexandre doesn’t really brief you. First, he listens to you and lets you play. And that’s where it points you in the right direction. I had to find that accent and that scope. It turns out that I had played a few months before in Moscow, with the troupe of the Théâtre du Soleil. So I had the Slavic accent in my ear. Maybe I just improvised – I don’t know when – the word “Skaya”, which sounded good with everything.
Interview on July 27, 2021
(Re) discover our interview with Alexandre Astier …