Over the episodes, Christophe has proven to be more Machiavellian than ever in “Un si grand soleil”. Hubert Benhamdine confided in our microphone on the birth of this emblematic character and on what awaits him in the rest of the series.
Allociné: Christophe has experienced a great evolution since his beginnings in such a big sun. How do you view the development of your character and do you enjoy exploring much darker parts of it?
Hubert Benhamdine : I think everything that happens to Christophe is wonderful. I didn’t expect it to take on this dimension at all (laughs). But it’s true that if we take the character’s journey from the beginning, it’s quite incredible what happened to him. I find that the most interesting things to play are often the most dramatic, with the most contrasting and complex personalities. So, at this level, I am very happy.
You didn’t expect your character to take this trajectory at all?
No way. Anyway, since I’ve been on this series, I’ve gone from surprise to surprise. Initially, I was supposed to be there for three months because the character had to disappear. Christophe was not supposed to survive his heart transplant. In the end, the production decided to keep the character.
And it’s true that from there, it started to get quite strange since Christophe began to develop a sort of split personality. It surprised me but I found it very interesting to play. On the other hand, I absolutely did not expect the latest development, even less this side of a new vigilante with a scalpel and a syringe.
Frankly, I couldn’t have predicted that (laughs). When I was told about it, I found it very audacious. I don’t watch all the episodes of all the daily newspapers, but that doesn’t happen every day on this kind of series.
Finally, there is something quite captivating about villains on television. In your opinion, is this what fascinates viewers so much about Christophe?
I think what’s interesting is really this double-sidedness. He has a very ordinary side that loves the people around him and cares a lot for those close to him. I really want to defend that aspect of the character because I also need him to have normality (laughs). And at the same time, he has this completely unpredictable side which means that you never know when he will change. As soon as we attack him and his family, he can have extremely violent reactions.
With this somewhat vigilante side that attacks ill-intentioned people, there is also something new. Looking at the reactions of fans on social networks, I feel that this aspect makes Christophe more popular. People appreciate that he picks on scoundrels and that he does that too to save the people he loves.
I’m happy because honestly, I had no idea how people were going to react. I was a bit worried that viewers would take the character totally in dislike but that’s not what is happening so I’m very happy.
Christophe has had the ability to cross the red line for some time now. If a few months ago it did not seem to disturb him, it is quite the opposite today. We really discover this double facet which opposes and resonates with each other. Do you think it’s a psychological problem or is he aware of everything?
I think it’s a bit of both. When he acts, he is convinced that he is in his right and that there are no other solutions. And at the same time, he is very worried about feeling what is rising inside him. There’s a kind of voice in his head that he doesn’t really have control over. I think it scares him. He is still quite horrified by what he is able to do in these cases. He’s not an uninhibited, remorseless killer. He’s someone who remains human on the inside. That’s what I find interesting and interesting to play.
It crosses a certain line with the murders of Patrice and Eva. Does Christophe become a serial killer?
Yes maybe. Afterwards I don’t know if he will continue to kill people (laughs). In any case, we can think that we are going towards that. At the same time, he doesn’t have the cold, psychopathic, unempathetic killer side. That’s what makes me say that I’m not completely sure that he will definitely become a serial killer. I don’t really know what the future holds for him in relation to all that, but it’s true that it feels like the start of a small series (laughs).
The dark scenes where he spins are excellent whether in the direction, the dialogues or the cinematography. It feels like the writers and directors are going wild with your character. I am thinking in particular of the nightmare scene. Do you enjoy playing those scenes?
I think it’s great because I really like genre cinema. It’s true that with Christophe, the series makes a small foray into these universes and I find it great to do. The nightmare you’re talking about, I feel like it’s the first time in the show that we’ve really gone into that.
In the Un si grand soleil teams, people often talk to me about this scene because the people who participated in the filming found it very exciting to do. I hope there will be other things that will take us into these genre film universes.
Christophe now even has his own musical theme like Darth Vader…
The music was influenced by Tim Burton films. It gives an atmosphere of a slightly twisted fantasy tale. It’s music a bit like a strange nursery rhyme. I really like it.
You are ultimately the only character in the series to have a musical theme if I’m not mistaken. Christophe becomes a real entity on his own, whether through the script, the visuals or the music. Finally, we have the impression of witnessing the creation of a villain…
It’s true that the artistic direction around Christophe is excellent and audacious. I agree with you, we are in the process of creating a villain. I remember that Mathieu Bollet, the artistic director of the series, had mentioned the subject after Christophe’s operation. Already at the time, he had told me about The Man of Glass, a villain from the Marvel universe, to feed my work. We are clearly on the wish to create a villain close to these universes. I do not know what proportion it will take in the future but I think it is the wish of the production.
We can’t help but think that Christophe will sooner or later end up getting caught by the police. Inevitably, that makes us wonder if you are going to leave the series?
I’m a bit in the same position as the viewers (laughs). I’m a little ahead of the episodes but not much so I too am a bit in the dark. Afterwards, I had a little chat with the production. I know there will be several intrigues with Christophe this season. What will that lead to? Where is it going to lead? Will he meet a tragic end or end his days in prison? Will he go unpunished? That, I don’t know, but I think about it a lot (laughs).
Christopher and Cecile (Marie-Gaelle Cals) have just patched things up. What awaits the couple in the next episodes?
We are going to have a return to normality before a relapse into things that are a little darker (laughs).
Cécile investigates the florist. Will she end up suspecting Christophe?
We are not there yet. It is obviously the sword of Damocles above Christophe’s head. On the other hand, on the police side, Hugo (Bibi Tanga) is also on the trail of the florist and it is he for the moment who will go the furthest in his investigation. What is quite tasty is that with Christophe, they will have to work together on behalf of the police on an animal expertise. They will sympathize and Christophe will therefore become friends with the man who is best placed to unmask him.
Margot (Clara Boot) and Christophe have made peace, but is the hatchet really buried?
I do not know. In any case, Christophe will remain extremely cautious. If she has the slightest suspicion again, she will do anything to protect her sister. That, I have no doubt about. Christophe must therefore continue to see her as a potential adversary.
Achille gives Christophe a much more human side, which we had somewhat lost since his breakup with Johanna. Through this paternal relationship, is it an additional facet of Christophe that we are about to discover?
I really like this report. In addition, I really like touring with Matthieu Rodriguez. There is a kind of lightness. It’s a real breath of fresh air for Christophe. He has a very pure, very innocent, very light relationship and I think that does him a lot of good. The fact of being able to play this role of father is his oasis, his buoy. That’s what keeps him on the side of humans.
There has been another big change this year for Christophe since he is now evolving in his own setting with the veterinary practice. Is this decor destined to stay and is Charles (Nicholas Lancelin) will continue to work with him?
Yes quite ! I am really very happy with all these novelties. I love animals so this is really great. Nicolas Lancelin also loves animals. Her mother is a veterinarian. As a result, we are super happy to shoot together in this setting, especially since we get along very well.
It’s a very different relationship from the one Christophe has with Achille, but Charles is someone with whom he develops a great bond. That too is a bubble of oxygen in his life. I find it really good that he is surrounded by these two young people. It makes Christophe lighter, more human and more tender.
It also allows Christophe to gravitate around other characters too…
Yes, completely. Moreover, Christophe will soon be reconciled with Ludo (Folco Marchi). He finds a true friend. They manage to draw a line under the past and on Ludo’s betrayal. That too is great because Ludo is a character that I find positive even if he is sometimes lost (laughs). He’s a character that I find quite pure, quite innocent. Christophe needs this kind of relationship and I find it very good that Christophe is surrounded by characters who undoubtedly allow him to remain human.
Do you have any other projects outside of the series that you would like to tell us about?
So far, not really. I had a lot of proposals for roles, in particular for unitaries from France Télévisions. It could have been great, but the problem is that I’m shooting a lot for Un si grand soleil at the moment. It’s a bit Christophe at 100%. I am already entering a new big plot while the previous one has just ended on the broadcast. It’s great but it’s demanding. There is a lot of work and sequences. So it’s hard to do anything else. But I hope to have other opportunities by the end of the year when I will have finished this new ark.