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What made you decide to work on this movie? The chance to work with a new director or the story?
My agent gave me the screenplay and he told me I absolutely had to read it. For me it is hard and beautiful at the same time to connect with this kind of story. It’s a true story, I was stunned when David decided to avoid the dark side and bring reality, some lightness to the story. This character was impressive to me: it is his job to keep his mother alive. Everybody who has old parents can connect with that feeling of fear of losing them.
What was the biggest challenge in playing Simon?
The most important thing for me was to be true. I am not a doctor, of course. For one week I went in a hospital to observe and practice whenever possible in order to learn the best I could. It was fundamental to play this role close to reality, It would have been horrible if the audience felt I was just pretending to be a doctor. As an actor I need to make my character and his job my second life. I need to feel that what I am doing is real, and if it works for me most of the time it works for the audience too.
What would you like the audience to take away from watching L’Ordre des médecins?
It is very difficult and challenging to have someone you love dying, but life needs to go on. You need to feel the heritage, feel that something has been transmitted to you, and you have the responsibility to keep this wisdom alive. It is hard sometimes, but I am confident that the audience will understand the reality behind the drama.
What can you tell us about working with such a great and iconic actress like Marthe Keller?
More than with the actress, I fell in love with the human being behind the actress. I met her for this movie and even today she is still my mother! We developed an intense relationship, I still call her when I feel a little sick! We joke about that, Marthe is a wonderful actress but most importantly she is an amazing woman, funny and blessed with self-irony.
In your career you have already done so many movies and tried different genres: is there anything new you’d like to try in the future?
I would love to act in a project without narrative structure, based only on free improvisation. Something that would make an actor feel completely free to try whatever comes to mind. An experience like the movies of John Cassavetes, with the enthusiasm of going in different directions anytime you feel like it. I guess that could give an actor a lot of confidence about his own skills.