Reasonable doubt | When the current goes

Julie Perreault and Marc-André Grondin play a formidable duo of investigators in Reasonable doubt, Radio-Canada’s new detective series. In interviews, we found that they also formed a fire tandem away from the spotlight.

Are we mistaken in saying that you have acquired a great bond on Reasonable doubt ?

Julie Perreault: Yes… It went very badly! [Rires]

Have you met before?

Marc-André Grondin: We spoke to each other once. We had crossed paths maybe twice.

How do you explain this chemistry between you two?

Julie Perreault: Beneath his hat and his mysterious air, Marc-André is a really funny person. When we shoot, the days are dense. It’s important to laugh. It was really his humor that … charmed me. Can we say that?

Marc-André Grondin: We can say “amicably charmed”.

Julie Perreault: OK!

Marc-André Grondin: It may be heady, but it’s mutual. Julie has a lot of humor and self-deprecation. She is also very good audience. And I’ve rarely seen someone so prepared on set. She could have replaced the script as she knew everything by heart. It meant that we had time to talk about other things, to fool around, to make jokes. It may sound silly, but it’s important, because when you’re less well prepared and you have your nose all the time in your text, you condescend … And that creates more tension, more frustrations . It gives less time to build a bond.

Julie Perreault: Another thing about Marc-André, in my entire career, I have never seen someone so relaxed on set. I’m talking about real relaxation. Not that of a guy just relaxed. A relaxation which brings a great freedom, a great openness.

Marc-André Grondin: It surely comes from the fact that I grew up on sets. This is the place where I feel the best. When I am elsewhere, I am more anxious.

Police series continue to be popular. How do you explain this popularity?

Marc-André Grondin: Criminals have always fascinated the public. They are rich characters, who are the fun to defend, the fun to watch. In a crime series, you can also have a lot of different stories, with a lot of cliffhangers. It creates addictive series that you can binge-watch.

Julie Perreault: It appeals to the viewer. When you watch a police investigation, you want to find the culprit. It’s very participatory.

Marc-André Grondin: Before, people played Clue. Astheure, they watch District 31 !

Are you a fan of the detective genre?

Julie Perreault: I love it! This is what I read on vacation. And Marc-André has become my true crime podcast pusher. I listened to so much while we were shooting. I was swimming in there.

Marc-André Grondin: I have always been a big fan of police documentaries. In my twenties, I watched a lot of them on YouTube. If I had to be stopped and grabbed my computer, people would have thought my goal was to learn how to be a serial killer!

Reasonable doubt is not your first foray into the police world: Julie did it in 19-2, and Marc-André, in The impostor. Is there a way to play a policeman?

Julie Perreault: Its engine is its brain. His way of thinking is different.

Marc-André Grondin: I think we play human first and foremost. Not necessarily the job. In the way Julie approaches Alice [dans Doute raisonnable], we feel his background, the psychology of the character. Mine is really by the book. He is ready to denounce his colleagues if they do anything illegal. In short, he is not someone who jokes with everyone.

You have already played, each on your own, texts by Danielle Dansereau: Julie in 19-2, and Marc-André in The Dumont affair. What do you like about his writing?

Marc-André Grondin: I first like women. She is gentle, intelligent and cultured. With it, complex stories become accessible. The Dumont affair, it was complicated from a legal point of view, but when you read his script, you easily understood the stakes. And yet, she had not written a simplified or distorted version.

Julie Perreault: It leaves a lot of room for the actors. His writing is precise, subtle… Everything is not underlined. In Reasonable doubt, and even in 19-2, I was lucky to be able to install things quietly. There wasn’t a scene that explained every facet of the character.

You both have another job: Julie is a photographer, and Marc-André, content producer. What void does it fill?

Julie Perreault: None. It is complementary. For me, photography started out as a real curiosity. And I needed to take a step back from my job. I needed to watch someone other than me. When I do photo projects, I have a team to manage. I have to give people specific directions. When I come back as an actress, I have a lot less responsibility, but I am aware of the directions to follow. I am very attentive.

Marc-André Grondin: Production stimulates my creative side. I like to bring together talented people, to form teams. It’s a very exhilarating feeling. I can handle a lot of things. Currently, I’m preparing a documentary series, a fiction series, a variety show… It makes my brain work in a different way. During the pandemic, I did not shoot, but I was busy every day. I am with a great team at Groupe Fair-Play. I am really lucky.

Julie Perreault: I’m going to speak as if he wasn’t here, but it doesn’t surprise me that Marc-André is able to tame the profession of producer. I’m sure he’s good, because in filming, every time we debriefed, he always had a point of view on the whole project; not just about his role. He was at the service of history. It is a speech that I very rarely hear. For me, it’s the reflex of someone who has an outside eye, someone who approaches the producer.

Marc-André Grondin: It touches me a lot to hear that. It was worth 18 piastres of parking!

The first season of Reasonable doubt lands on the ICI Extra on Thursday.

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