Research section: “After Rose’s death, Lucas has difficulty living” confides Franck Sémonin

While season 14 of “Research Section” continues this evening on TF1, Franck Sémonin tells us more about the consequences of the death of Rose (Honorine Magnier) on Lucas, and on the arrivals of Fabienne Carat and Mélanie Maudran in the series.

Research section: "after rose's death, lucas has difficulty living" confides franck sémonin
FRANCOIS LEFEBVRE / ASSOCIATED AUTHORS / TF1

AlloCiné: The first episode of season 14 of Section de recherche ends with a real shock: the death of Rose, under the eyes of Lucas. How did you experience the departure of Honorine Magnier?

Franck Semonin : A departure like this is always very violent. Even if all the departures are very different. Manon Azem and I, for example, were great friends. We went to weight training together, we watched movies together. We were really very close. And when Manon wanted to leave, because she had proposals for the cinema, I first acted like a big brother. By saying “Are you really sure? On Section, we’re laughing, we’re fine, it would be a shame to leave”. And she answered me very correctly: “I am 25 years old, if I do not do it now, I will never do it”. And the rest of his career proved him right. Honorine’s case, however, is very different. It was not his choice to leave. It was linked to scriptwriting reasons. I think the writers felt it was a good way to breathe new life into the show.

And what’s terrifying is that the day we shoot Rose’s murder is Honorine’s last day. This is the last scene we shoot together. So when Lucas cries, and she cries because she is dying, we really cry. Because we know it’s over. These are the last moments we spend together. So we both inflated all of these emotions, and that helped fuel the sequence. But it is very violent. I don’t really want to go through that again with another character, because it hurts. When it is a wish to leave, you are sad, but you are also happy for the person who is leaving. Whereas here it is really different. It was very hard.

How will the death of Rose impact Lucas in the next episodes of the series?

It obviously affects him a lot, because he is in a mad sadness and anger. Because it happens in a pretty ugly way, it is not an assassination or a targeted willful act. It’s actually an accident, it fell on her. Lucas is as miserable as can be. He realizes that he was very much in love with Rose in the end. He loses a mistress, a friend, a colleague. All of this at the same time. There is a kind of void that is created in his mind. And for a while he’s not really there. Finally, he is there physically, but he has difficulty living. And little by little there is the story with Jeanne Lorieux which is taking place. And Commander Bernier who said to him “Come on, quickly hang on to the wagon because you are a gendarme, and it is out of the question that you will be in a nervous breakdown phase during the coming weeks. You have your pain, ok, we l ‘to all. We understand you. But we must return to the fight “. So Lucas comes back, but he keeps the memory of Rose with him.

Research section: "after rose's death, lucas has difficulty living" confides franck sémonin

FRANCOIS LEFEBVRE / ASSOCIATED AUTHORS / TF1

This season 14 marks your reunion with Fabienne Carat, seven years after your departure from Plus belle la vie. We imagine that it was a real joy to find her after all these years …

Of course. It’s a pleasure, because we are very friends Fabienne and me. And what is very funny is that the relations between our characters are now reversed because on Plus belle la vie I played Commander Nebout, who was Samia’s superior. And there on Research Section, it is she who encamps Commander Jeanne Lorieux while I am “only” Lieutenant Lucas Auriol. What is wonderful is the quality of the remarkable work that Fabienne provided in the creation of this character. I remembered what she did in the role of Samia, and also what Fabienne is in her daily life, in her joie de vivre, in her empathy. And there, all of a sudden, she presents us with a very hard, very cold, very mysterious character, who is the opposite of what she is in life. It’s amazing, I was very surprised to discover her in this new role.

From the start, the relationship is quite strained between your characters. How will this situation evolve over the course of this fourteenth season of Research Section?

It’s a real face to face between Jeanne and Lucas. My character does not accept being led by someone else in the absence of his mate Martin, who is recovering. And secondly, it finds it difficult to be run by a woman. It’s still Lucas after all (laughs). I love it, being led and mothered by women. But he hates it. So it’s not going well. And little by little, when Bernier returns, we will understand what Jeanne Lorieux came to do in the Research Section. The reasons she wants to stay. This is the common thread of the season. And we will discover the resolution of this plot in the final crossover with Alice Nevers.

Mélanie Maudran also joins the series in the role of Sandrine, Jeanne’s roommate, who quickly catches Lucas’s eye. Can we expect a love affair between them?

Of course, otherwise Lucas is no longer Lucas (laughs). He will fall in love again, yes. Insidiously because at the start he has a somewhat distorted relationship with Sandrine, because he sleeps with her to obtain information on Jeanne. Except that it’s Mélanie Maudran, so we inevitably fall under the spell of Mélanie Maudran (laughs). And Sandrine, her character. Lucas spins completely, one evening when she brings him home and jumps on him directly in the hallway. It’s a very beautiful scene, and it’s one of the first sequences that we had together Mélanie and I this season, and the thing matched directly. And what I can say is that, from that moment on, Lucas will fall in love with this Sandrine. Without knowing that it hides a Machiavellian side. And the conclusion of all this will be, there too, revealed in the crossover.

Research section: "after rose's death, lucas has difficulty living" confides franck sémonin

François LEFEBVRE / ASSOCIATED AUTHORS / TF1

How would you like Lucas to finally have the right to a peaceful love affair that doesn’t end in drama or heartbreak?

You know, that’s what Les Rita Mitsouko sang: love stories usually end badly. Because if a love story goes well, most of the time it does not end. I think it wouldn’t be interesting for Lucas or for the viewers watching the series. Because Research Section is not doomed to stage a great love story, as we can see on TF1 in the afternoon at 2 p.m. My wife is also crazy about these rosewater TV movies (laughs). Me, it’s not really my drug, I’m more True Detective.

I really don’t think that a great, big love story for Lucas wouldn’t offer enough for the writers to develop. While there, with such a murky plot between Lucas and Sandrine, we are not bored, and it is quite unexpected and muscular. And that we owe it to our artistic producer Laura Fontaine, and to Laurent Vivier in the writing. And of course with the completely crazy, instinctive, animal, and violent interpretation of Mélanie Maudran. These are extremely rich relationships in the love relationship. I would like these reports to be a little more thorough perhaps, in a heartbreak or a complication of couple. But sticking Lucas in a simple love affair doesn’t really interest me.

After seven seasons spent in the skin of Lucas Auriol, do you sometimes feel tired?

We just finished episode 163, so I would like us to pick up this discussion again in episode 326. That would mean that we would have reached the 30th season. And that would be pretty good (laughs). I remember when I started in Plus belle la vie, one day I arrive at my parents’ house and my mother is watching Love, Glory and Beauty. And I say to him “But what are you still doing in front of this series?”. And my mother replied “My darling, I wish you to have the same career as them, because I’ve been watching them for 30 years”. And it’s true, you can say what you want, but these actors have been doing their acting job for 30 years. More beautiful life has lasted for 15 years. Xavier Deluc has played Bernier for 15 years too. So I’m lucky and I really hope we get the chance to talk about it again in Season 30 of Research Section.

This season 14 of Research Section is more soap opera than the previous ones. Do you want the series to go more in this direction in the future?

I would love. Because in terms of television, I came from Plus belle la vie, I was trained in that. And I find it very interesting to have a character who has variations of stories. And for the public too. Because as soon as we have soap operas, the public clings to the characters and wonders what will happen to them. And the advantage is that viewers know before Lucas what will happen to him. When they see Mélanie Maudran, they know it’s not going to be good for him (laughs). So yes, of course, I hope that we will continue on this path in the future because, for everyone, it is necessarily more interesting than simple closed police investigations.

The trailer for season 14, broadcast every Thursday at 9:05 pm on TF1 and available on Salto:

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