Eternal Madame Le Quesnoy from Life is a long quiet river (1988), Hélène Vincent often played mothers in the cinema. A little too much, to the taste of the one who was trained by Patrice Chéreau to be a chameleon.
Of Bernie (1996) to Sense of celebration (2017) through A few hours of spring (2012), she played dozens of on-screen mothers. When Laurent Lafitte asked him to play his own in the comedy The origin of the world (in theaters September 15), she did not hesitate a single second. It must be said that her role, central, is a real breath of freshness, an “absolute gift”, she tells us:
“I got into this role, because it’s a great character. It’s an incredibly complex role, with totally unexpected springs. It’s rare for a woman to have characters who have a deep history in them. inside themselves. Many of the characters that are proposed to you, after a certain age, are either that of the mother or that of the grandmother. There, it is a character who has an existence in her. even incredibly strong, a journey, a story that we guess painful. “
In The origin of the world, first production by Laurent Lafitte, based on a play by Sébastien Thierry, a man discovers that his heart is no longer beating. While no one can explain this strange phenomenon, his wife’s life coach has a solution … which will confront him with the ultimate taboo: taking a picture of his mother’s most intimate part. He will multiply the worst stratagems for this and will discover unsuspected and terrible truths about his father.
75-year-old zombie Marilyn Monroe
Looking at The origin of the world, the spectator may wonder how Hélène Vincent was able to accept a role of such great violence, which paradoxically only she could play: “This character is very violent, and what they do to me is violent, but what she did is not bad either! “, she justifies. “That’s what is amazing. She’s an erased, touching character, whose infinite sadness we feel in this apartment where she lives alone abandoned by her son, then we discover little by little that this relationship is marred by incredibly things. scandalous. “
In The Express, in 2012, Hélène Vincent said: “I am not afraid in the cinema. I want extreme adventures. Lukewarm water is not my thing.” Her career proves it, but in this same interview there is a bitterness: “For a woman to accomplish what she has in her an exceptional destiny, she must be in perpetual transgression.” The 77-year-old actress did not hesitate to age herself for her role as The origin of the world:
“It is perhaps surprising, and even quite rare, but I am an actress who comes from the theater”, she says with a touch of pride. “In the theater, or at least in the theater I practiced, physical appearance was not very important. Beauty, prettiness, that’s not what it was done. In the theater, we works on meaning, substance. Appearance is the icing on the cake. When you play Lady Macbeth, you don’t give a damn about having a nice brushing! “
“The happiness of being an actress, for me, is to transform myself. It is not to be as I am in life: a little good woman,” she adds. “I think that one of my chances is to go completely unnoticed in life. Thanks to that, I can go to a lot of different characters, transform myself according to the roles that are offered to me. I would like it just as much. to play Marilyn Monroe coming back as a zombie at 75 years old as Laurent Lafitte’s mother in The origin of the world with her little wig and little white hair. “
The curse Madame Le Quesnoy
If the roles of mother cling so closely to her, it is not because of her physique as a middle-class woman, but of the success of Life is a long quiet river, which in 1989 earned her the César Award for Best Supporting Actress. The film was a blessing – she owes her career to him – but also her curse – he locked her in a type of role – that she tried to break: “I had to make Madame Le Quesnoy forget to continue to make movies, ”she says. “But it was such a success, such a happiness this film… It was a paradox to have to deviate from what was then the turning point in my life as a woman and as an actress.”
To get to the role of Laurent Lafitte’s mother in The origin of the world, she followed a path made up of meetings with iconoclastic directors, such as Albert Dupontel, whose mother she plays in Bernie. In a scene that has remained cult, she does her hair again with a severed hand. An improvisation by the actress: “I remember the shooting of this brawl sequence. We shot three days with Roland Blanche. It was amazing. We did a lot of improvisations with Albert. When we go into improv, if the director is open, the actors are able to go very, very far. “
Accomplice of Toledano and Nakache
She also shot under the direction of Yves Robert, another strong-character director, in The Pest Ball (1991), then by Fabien Onteniente (Tom is all alonel, 1993), Pascal Légitimus (West Indies on the Seine, 2000), Coline Serreau (Saint-Jacques … Mecca, 2004), Valérie Lemercier (Marie-Francine, 2017) and François Ozon (Thanks to God, 2019). The strongest relationship she has forged in recent years remains the one that unites her with Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, with whom she has shot three films in a row, in different roles each time: Samba (2014), The meaning of the party (2017) and Out of standards (2019).
https://www.youtube.com/embed/tmgHFI4k3Oo?rel=0″ I really hope I will find them again or twice, “she enthuses. “I love their outlook on the world. I love their tenderness, the way they tell the world without telling each other stories. But at the same time, this is not the land of care bears: they are capable to tell very painful, very violent stories. There is always something deep in Olivier and Eric’s films. And at the same time a kind of faith in humanity, of love, which transports me. “
More faithful to the cynicism of Laurent Lafitte, The origin of the world less love overflows for humanity. Hélène Vincent is not afraid of the reactions that the film could provoke: “I could imagine that there are divided opinions, different, that some people laugh a lot and that others are shocked. The origin of the world is a radical film. It’s a UFO. It’s normal. The rooms where I was able to go for the previews oscillated between bursts of laughter and moments of unease. “
Original article published on BFMTV.com