We put down our phone. This Thursday, February 1, Amazon Prime Video invites you to discover its new French series, called Nudes.
A true television anthology, Nudes invites us to discover three distinct stories, those of Victor (Baptiste Masseline), Ada (Nelligan) and Sofia (Léonie Dahan-Lamort), three young people at different ages from adolescence, who do not know each other and have not much in common.
All three are, however, familiar with nudes, that is to say naked photos of themselves sent to a trusted person, usually a romantic or sexual partner. Unfortunately, these nudes are not always taken or shared with the consent of the person concerned.
For Allociné, Andréa Bescond (Les tickilles, When you're big) and Sylvie Verheyde (Stella, Madame Claude), two of the three directors of Nudeshave agreed to return to the filming of the series…
Allocinated: Nudes bears little resemblance to what we are used to seeing in terms of series since it is an anthology, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, because three different directors (Andrea Bescond, Lucie Borleteau et Sylvie Verheyde) were chosen to tell the stories of the three protagonists. How did this project come about? Have you interacted or worked together at any point during the series?
Sylvie Verheyde : In fact, I was the first to arrive on this project. When Gregory [Strouk, producteur] told me about this Norwegian series for which he had bought the rights and which he wanted to adapt in France, I immediately told him yes because I not only felt concerned by the subject, but also because I was frustrated after realizing Stella is in love. I found several young girls who play small roles in it great and I wanted to continue working with them.
With Grégory, we thought about who the other two directors of the series could be. We then thought of Andréa.
Andréa Bescond: And like Sylvie, I was hyper sensitive to the themes of the series. It also really interested me to start from the point of view of young people rather than adults.
Grégory first suggested Ada's story to me because he knows that I talk a lot about child crime, but I rather wanted to deal with the point of view of an accused guy this time, in this case of Victor. What's cool is that for Lucie, talking about Ada was obvious, so we didn't struggle at all to each choose a character!
Sylvie Verheyde : After that, we had a meeting with Amazon, where we were told “Dare!”which was really cool!
Otherwise, we rather consulted before the filming of the series, during its preparation. With Andréa, for example, we mixed our teams a little so that there was a kind of coherence between the different stories told by the series. We also said to ourselves that we wanted to make fiction and not documentaries. But afterwards, we left ourselves at a loss.
What is striking about the series is that we don't talk so much about nudes but of human relationships, abuses linked to uses rather than seeing this new practice as a danger in itself. Was this something important to you?
Andréa Bescond: Yes, especially since it's not true: as long as it's part of a relationship and a consensual process, it can be quite cool to be able to share intimate images, at any age. We have no judgment to make on this: teenagers do not seek to know whether nudesit's good or bad, it's part of their life, that's all.
The parents also don't have the somewhat suspicious and moralizing look that one might expect…
Sylvie Verheyde : No, because the parents were also teenagers. They know that at that age, it's the group that counts, even if what they think has certainly never mattered as much as it does today.
Andréa Bescond: That's it. And then, above all, we wanted to decipher the mechanisms of anger, to ask ourselves what pushes each character to act in this way.
Sylvie Verheyde : We also wanted to say that this kind of situation can happen to anyone because anyone can be, one day, driven by jealousy, envy or a feeling of abandonment and end up doing anything. .
The tone of the series is quite dark. Why this choice ?
Sylvie Verheyde : Because the subject is difficult, we are still talking about three dramas. Young people are not doing well, the suicide rate is rising, confinement has not helped… And despite all that, there is still a kind of life force, a vital momentum that emerges from our characters in each episode and keep their heads above water.
Andréa Bescond: That's it. We started from a gloomy subject to make a series full of life and energy. Without wishing to throw flowers at us, our montages are, in addition, ultra dynamic. There are also very lively, very strong, very visceral soundtracks. At the end of the day, we never fall into miserabilism.
The series contains multiple scenes of nudity or sexuality. Have you used an intimacy coordinator?
Sylvie Verheyde : Yes ! My anxiety was to make a series to denounce the abuses linked to nudes and that in the end, some people benefit from it nudes.
The story of Sofia that I tell is based on the fact that we see her having sex for the first time with a girl at a party. Typically, at that moment, we asked ourselves what to show, what message we wanted to send. Before that, there was a scene where the script originally planned for Sofia to be completely naked, which I didn't do. Instead, we imagined a slightly aquatic makeup for the actress.
More broadly, whether they had already filmed before or not, my actresses knew how to assert themselves when there was something they wanted or didn't want. We also discussed it.
Andréa Bescond: As for me, I absolutely wanted to avoid showing women's bodies, even for a sex scene. I wanted it to be preserved. This is why the video of Sarah that Victor takes and around which my story revolves is never shown and we only see Victor filming it. It was important to me that the only pair of buttocks we see in my episodes was ultimately Victor's.
I remember, moreover, that for the filming of a sex scene with Victor, I regularly asked the opinion of the intimacy coordinator but she didn't have much to complain about since what I wanted to do was quite choreographic, I had it so much in mind that I directed it a lot. Ultimately, his presence was mostly reassuring.
Sylvie Verheyde : It was the same for me. His presence reassures the actresses and actors. It also reassures us, directors. It is important.
For you, is there room to tell other stories in season 2? Which other directors could take over from you?
Sylvie Verheyde : Directors too, I hope!
Andréa Bescond: Clearly! It might be interesting to get guys' views on these subjects…
Sylvie Verheyde : In any case, I would like Hafsia Herzi [Trois nuits par semaine, une nomination aux César 2024 pour le César de la meilleure actrice avecLe ravissement]do an episode.
Andréa Bescond: Oh yeah, that would be great! I was also thinking of Maïmouna Doucouré [Mignonnes, César 2017 du meilleur court-métrage pour Maman(s)].
But whoever the director, the existing material on this type of subject is unfortunately endless. Look, for feminicides: although they may always be crimes of possession, the background and motivations of the aggressor can vary, so much so that a fiction would not be enough to describe what feminicide is. It's the same here, with cyber-harassment, revenge porn or child crime.
Sylvie Verheyde : And then, through the dramas mentioned, it is also about offering a sort of photograph of today's youth and asking people who do not already have a ready-made vision of youth to tell it. . And there is still a lot to say about this.
Comments collected in Paris on January 24, 2024.