The many exterior scenes in “Les Combattantes” were not easy to shoot for the teams in the TF1 series. And Audrey Fleurot even has a rather nightmarish memory of one of them, involving vintage ambulances.
After four weeks of broadcast, The Fightersthe historic TF1 mini-series event, comes to an end this evening with the last two episodes, inevitably eagerly awaited by all viewers who have followed the adventures of Marguerite with interest (Audrey Fleurot), Mother Agnes (Julie de Bona), Susan (Camille Lou), and Carolina (Sofia Essaidi) from the beginning.
Centered on the destiny of four women – a prostitute, a mother superior of a convent, a nurse on the run, and a bourgeoise catapulted to the head of the family factory following the death of her husband – during the first months of The Great War. , in 1914, Les Combattantes takes up some of the elements that made the success of the Charity Bazaar and manages to brilliantly mix historical, romantic and soap facts.
But the new series produced by Iris Bucher and made by Alexander Lawrence has many more outdoor scenes than Le Bazar. What was a real technical difficulty for the whole team, as Audrey Fleurot told us recently, who gave Sofia Essaïdi one of her biggest laughs on set.
“We have a lot of exterior scenes, which was not the case in Le Bazar de la Charité. It’s a peplum to stage each time, because there are a lot of elements to take into account “indeed explained to us the interpreter of Marguerite de Lancastel before evoking a sequence in particular which was extremely complicated to shoot.
“There is in particular a scene where we are in a village square and we have to film the arrival of the ambulances. You have to know that these are vintage ambulances, so it’s a hassle without a name to drive. The steering wheel is on the other side, all your bearings are disturbed, it stalls all the time”continues the star of HPI and Les Combattantes, referring to a sequence in episode 4 during which paramedics bring wounded soldiers to Saint-Paulin after an offensive by the German army.
“We have a procession of ambulances which enters the square, then we have horses which must pass exactly at a certain moment. Then it is the turn of the soldiers to pass. And then after we know that a plane will be added by special effects. We have to stop exactly in one place. Play the scene with another character. And finally restart and then go back. That, you know that if you screw up, the team has half an hour to recover. everyone in place since there are 150 extras and horses”.
“Even if it’s a scene of relative figuration, because concretely there is not much to play (laughs), we have an enormous responsibility because we have to be careful not to stall, to stop well at the good place, not to crush someone. So you stress during the whole sequence, you are very careful to succeed at each step, and finally when you start again you stall. And you know that everyone hates you because there It really takes half an hour to put everything back in place (laughs)”.
From there to think that Audrey Fleurot, whose character of Marguerite drives one of the ambulances during this scene and briefly exchanges with Caroline (Sofia Essaïdi) before leaving, has indeed stalled when shooting this sequence, there is only one step which probably explains why she did not keep a very good memory of it.
“In the cinema, we would spend the day on this stage, but we, on a series like this, we have four to do in the day”concludes Audrey Fleurot. “This kind of scene can’t stand the approximate. Everything really has to be choreographed. Otherwise it’s approximate. It’s a nightmare”.
Fortunately, as a whole, the Les Combattantes adventure seems to have been rather exceptional for the four actresses in the series. So much so that Audrey Fleurot is not against the idea of returning to a third series with the Charity Bazaar team : “What Iris Bucher told me about is very exciting. I think it’s a good idea because it renews the form a lot. So why not”. We will not know for the moment more about this third project in development. Case to follow.