As the tiller of The Fountain , Michel Bouquet has “dug, dug, dug” throughout his 75-year career. With the feeling of having made his “usual path”, the sacred monster of the theatre, stated this week at the AFP that it will move more on stage. Interpreter’s legendary The Miser and The king dies an unforgettable experience at the cinema with Chabrol and Truffaut, he keeps to 93 years with a malicious eye, which contrasts with a grave voice. He has recorded thirteen Fables of Jean de La Fontaine, under the direction of the director Ulysse Di Gregorio, who was chosen for her “ability to be in a “skinning”.
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“It takes a lot of strength… to speak with words that are not his own, to make it true”
Why have you recorded The fables of la Fontaine?
Michel BOUQUET.- It is a provider of dreams. The people believe that The Fountain is there for the judge but is there to marvel that we were so different. It does not give an opinion. All human misery comes from here: the be believes that he is the only one to have reason.
Will you be back on stage?
I can no longer return to it. I’m tired, it takes a lot of strength… to speak with words that are not his own, to make it true. Now, I need a kind of intimacy, to say the last words, which to me are dictated by the fabulist.
What are your thoughts on your career?
I did what I could, I could, and I did not too many questions asked. I made my usual path but without any claim to the intellectual.
what is it that you live when taking a role?
This is not the character, that is the word. Is it that the word is valid? This question, we can ask it for a lifetime.
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Are you more theatre than cinema?
“The actor is not so important in his own eyes that the public would like to believe. Humility is sacred to the actor”
I had no preference because the two things are very different but they have the same value. Chabrol, Truffaut, the film impressed me a lot. The role of “Renoir” is one of those that touched me the most in my life. In the theatre, the personality of the author is so majestic, that it is Pinter or Shakespeare, all one does is try to spread the word the more meekly as possible. It is forgetfulness of the self which is the most important.
to Be an actor is…?
This is a service. The actor is not so important in his own eyes that the public would like to believe. Humility is sacred to the actor. I am preparing a role for six months and when the moment of the play comes on, I make myself very small, and I say to myself: “I did what I could”.
Your first memory on stage?
It was at the Théâtre Chaillot, at 17 years old. I was in a costume of Robespierre; I had the feeling that it was true, that I was Robespierre. It gave me the giggles interiors. It was my first sensations in the theatre. This magical costume that is issued to yourself and you know better yourself.
What memories do you keep of the school?
I was seven years pension, in Seine-et-Oise [now Yvelines]. I understood very quickly that I was the spectator of my life and when I was punished to the pole, hands behind back, head down, and I could see 600 of my classmates flank shots in the figure during recess and I said to myself “you’re better where you are.” I bénissais the pension have me terrified like that. My brother Serge was first class, I was the last one. This position is not the worst.
Child, how have you lived through the war, the Occupation, knowing that your father was a prisoner of war?
Yes, he was in Pomerania [former province of the kingdom of Prussia]. I didn’t know him much but I liked him a lot, his face impressed me. My mother took me to the Opera-Comique. I saw the performances after the tail all day to get the first places, to be from the front. Each time the curtain rose, there was the horror of the war, there were more Germans around (…) the unreal world was much more than the real world. It was the best education of my life.
today, do you follow the news?
I keep a distance. It causes a lot of anxiety, but it does not give me many answers.
No. I can no longer have, since I got ‘ em all, and they were forgotten.