Danielle Fichaud in Aline | The role of his life

Danielle Fichaud could never have believed that by playing Sylvette Dieu – a character directly inspired by Thérèse Dion – in Aline, her acting career would take such a big leap. As the doors of French cinema open wide for her, the actress takes stock of what is happening to her and comments on the recent outing of two of the Dion family.

When she celebrated her 60e birthday, Danielle Fichaud told herself that it would not happen, that it would not happen again. Success, the great role that changes the trajectory of a career, no, that was no longer on the cards.

Sept ans après ce constat, Danielle Fichaud a pourtant gravi les marches du Théâtre Lumière au Festival de Cannes, bras dessus, bras dessous avec ses partenaires de jeu d’Aline. Valérie Lemercier, scénariste, réalisatrice et actrice principale d’un film en forme de fantasme, inspiré de la vie de Céline Dion, lui a rendu hommage sur toutes les tribunes. Sa performance en « maman Dieu » a unanimement été saluée.

« Dans ce rôle, je fais exactement tout ce que j’aime », a confié à La Presse l’actrice, lors d’un bref passage à Montréal avant de regagner Paris de nouveau. « J’ai fait du stand up à une certaine époque et j’ai réalisé que ça ne m’intéressait pas de faire seulement de l’humour. Faire du drame uniquement pour faire pleurer non plus. Mais passer de l’un à l’autre, comme dans ce film, ça, j’aime ça. En plus, j’ai dû apprendre à jouer du violon, on m’a fait péter des coches, j’ai cuisiné, et Valérie m’a même montré à coudre. Et puis, faire des essayages pour 55 costumes, j’ai adoré ça. Vraiment, c’est le rôle de ma vie ! »

Du respect avant tout

Même si elle était déjà une grande admiratrice de Valérie Lemercier (Palais royal !, Marie-Francine) quand l’improbable appel l’invitant à passer une audition pour un « gros » projet est arrivé, Danielle Fichaud n’a pas accepté la proposition tout de suite. Malgré son admiration totale pour la scénariste et cinéaste, dont elle avait vu tous les longs métrages, celle qui fut révélée à la télé il y a une quarantaine d’années grâce au personnage de Rosemonde dans Chez Denise a quand même tenu à lire un scénario avant de se commettre.

S’il n’avait pas été respectueux pour le Québec et la famille, je n’aurais pas accepté de jouer dans ce film, malgré l’ampleur de la production. La famille Dion, c’est notre royauté !

Danielle Fichaud

Aussi ne cache-t-elle pas avoir ressenti sur le coup un petit pincement au cœur quand les virulentes critiques que Claudette et Michel Dion ont exprimées envers Aline lui sont parvenues. Mais il fut vite effacé au gré des commentaires affectueux que lui ont fait les spectateurs ayant vu le film.

« Ce film est une fiction de A à Z, faite avec plein d’amour et de respect. Valérie [Lemercier] reinvented a life from what she knew about the character, and I did the same by reinventing a mother from what I knew. Valérie never asked me to do an imitation. That said, everyone is entitled to their opinion and no one has to like it. ”

For her audition, in which Sylvain Marcel (then already chosen to play the role of Guy-Claude) also participated, Danielle Fichaud prepared four of the biggest scenes contained in the scenario by giving herself a very precise mission: to make people laugh and cry Valérie Lemercier in the same scene.

“I had heard that Valérie had difficulty crying in the movies. I played, she laughed, she also cried. In fact, when she felt the tears rise, she stopped everything and made me take over the scene from the beginning. I think she wanted to see if I could do the same again. When she called me the next day to offer me the part, she just said: ‘Mom? It’s Aline! ” ”

Featured in France? A little …

Celebrating her 45 years of profession this year, leading for 33 years – and for five years in Lyon – workshops where many actors come more particularly to perfect their art in front of the camera, Danielle Fichaud is now represented in France by Artmedia, one of the of the biggest artistic agencies. Aline making a hit in France since its release on November 10, the actress is starting to be recognized by the public there. When asked if she is now a star across the Atlantic, she answers modestly: “Yes, a little …”

It’s funny, because the men who come to see me all tell me the same thing: “Me, madam, I never cry at the movies, but you, you made me cry three times!” Women ask me if I would agree to be their mother. Since returning home a few days ago, I realize that people here react in exactly the same way.

Danielle Fichaud

A bit like Juliette Huot was in her time, would Danielle Fichaud become the new emblematic mother of Quebec? The comparison makes her laugh, but the actress specifies that she thought a lot about Maman Plouffe when she approached her role. One thing is certain, the success ofAline in France delights her and provokes in her a reaction which, we can feel it, comes from the guts.

“We beat the Marvel! With a 90% Quebec distribution, we beat the Marvel. In France !

– Does that make you proud?

– Oh Christie, yes. Oh yeah ! ”

“I am proud to be a Quebecker,” she explains. I think we are beautiful. What i like about Alineis that Valérie emphasized the beautiful human beings that we are, the solidarity that can be found in families, even more modest ones. I think you needed a Frenchwoman to take a look at Quebec. It does not show poverty as a sadness, but as a source of solidarity. And then, we have actors who are damn good! ”

A Quebec “Auntie Danielle”

Danielle Fichaud will soon resume filming in Paris Merry Christmas, a comedy by Clément Michel (The Stroller Strategy) in which she gives the reply to Franck Dubosc, Emmanuelle Devos and Danièle Lebrun.

“I play the opposite of mom Dion,” she warns. My character is a sort of Auntie Danielle from Quebec, who has been living in France for a very long time, in a comedy that is a kind of mix between The stupid dinner and Santa Clause is garbage. We have crazy fun! »

Aline hits theaters on Friday.

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