Francis Veber: This huge actor he cracked up on set

At 85, Francis Veber, to whom we owe in particular 'Le Dîner de cons', 'la Chèvre' or 'les Compères', returns with a new play. The opportunity to confide in his sometimes tumultuous relationships with his actors in an interview granted to 'Gala'.

  Francis Veber: This immense actor who'il a fait craquer sur un tournage

Screenwriter, director and playwright now 85 years old, we owe Francis Veber a whole plethora of popular successes that have become cult comedies in French cinema, Des friends to Dinner of idiots , of The goat to Fugitives from Jaguar at The Troublemaker . His irresistible magic formula? French-style buddy movies carried by a tandem of characters who are always very poorly matched. The naive and clumsy blunderer, whom he generally names François Pignon or François Perrin, and his much more serious sidekick, a thick brute always ready for a fight. Accumulating up to more than 40 million spectators in theaters, Francis Veber returns to the theater this time with his latest play, ' The whirlwind '. On the stage of the Madeleine theater, the filmmaker will direct Philippe Lellouche, Caterina Murino, Stéphane Metzger, and Aline Gaillot, always with the same objective in mind, that of making us laugh. He confided in an interview.

Actors abused in the service of laughter, a star cracked on the set

A faithful director, Francis Veber often uses the same actors for his films. Among his favorite actors, we find in his filmography Gérard Depardieu who played in The goat , The Compères, The Fugitives, The Closet, and Shut Up! The actor should also have starred in The dinner of fools but the role was finally entrusted to Thierry Lhermitte. But to direct its actors and obtain the desired comic effect, the filmmaker can be ruthless with his actors and reveals a method of his own.

' The staging is impressionism, you have to go step by step. When you write a dialogue, you have the music in your head and then you ask interpreters to restore it to you. If they say different, you ask them to start over ', explains Francis Veber to Gala . ' I did 37 takes for Lining with Daniel Auteuil, who is a huge actor; 45 with Gérard Depardieu, who cracked the 22nd take . But those who follow me know that it is for the good of the film. With Gérard we reached 3 times 5 million admissions. There is no secret “, he adds.

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This film that Francis Veber regrets having made

The one who had the biggest successes of French cinema, however, recognizes a failure: ' Out of 10 films in France as author-director, I experienced one failure, with the remake of L'Emmerdeur.' For this revisited version of Édouard Molinaro's 1973 film, the filmmaker called on Richard Berry and Patrick Timsit. ' I had the feeling a little a posteriori to commit a desecration of burial towards Jacques Brel and Lino Ventura . Only 300,000 entries! “, he confides to Gala . The public forgives him.