An actress transformed into a role that “upset” her. After playing the petulant Alice Avril in The Little Murders of Agatha Christie on France 2, Blandine Bellavoir plays Christine Villemin, Gregory’s mother in A French affair this Monday at 9:05 p.m. on TF1. At the La Rochelle TV Fiction Festival, where this 6×52 minutes was screened out of competition, Blandine Bellavoir told 20 minutes how she experienced this extraordinary role.
“When director Christophe Lamotte offered me the role, I hesitated,” explains Blandine Bellavoir. I was in the middle of postpartum. It wasn’t easy. »Born in 1984, the actress was just a baby when Grégory’s body was discovered in Vologne.
“A very strong sense of responsibility”
Very quickly “there was a very strong sense of responsibility. “And to explain:” I knew that this affair had divided France, that everyone had an opinion on it … But I did not suspect to what extent. I have felt this since we were promoting. “
She accepts the role for “the incredible love story the show tells!” When one of them collapses, the other holds. », She sums up. “I had already toured with Christophe Lamotte. He is extremely benevolent and elegant in his direction. He’s someone I trust. Today, I no longer want to work with people who sacrifice what I give. “
What strikes the actress on discovering the details of the affair are the sexist prejudices of which Christine Villemin has been the victim, the attitude or the wardrobe that does not suit, in the eyes of some, to what expects from a tearful mother. “We criticized Christine for being too much or not enough like this or like that … Reproaches addressed to women in general”, analyzes Blandine Bellavoir.
“The witch hunt”
“The term ‘witch hunt’ came up right in the middle of filming,” she says, as she shoots a scene in the hospital where Christine Villemin, pregnant with twins, has just hemorrhaged and is losing her. ‘one of two babies.
“All of a sudden, the judge enters, an expert comes to make her dictate because she is suspected of being the crow, a cop constantly undresses her with his eyes. It was so violent. I said to the team: “I can’t anymore”. How did she do it? What strength! », Greets the actress.
“I slept three to four hours a night”
This shoot “was very special because of the truth of the story and the fact that the matter is not resolved.” On set, “the feeling of responsibility was there all the time. I have never experienced this. During the shooting, I slept three to four hours a night while I am not an insomniac, I am a heavy sleeper! », She confides.
The actress did not seek “mimicry”. “I’m not old enough for the role. I saw archive images and I tried to remain as faithful to the feeling that Christine inspired in me, ”she explains.
Christine Villemin taught her “the strength that lies in the feminine, and the word resilience, which has taken on its full dimension. On a personal level, “she turned me upside down as a woman, as a mother, as a companion.” Professionally, “I’m not going to interpret my roles the same way now,” she says. My work is part of me. It permeates my soul and my body. And Christine Villemin leaves an incredible mark. Thank you. “